One of the perks of working on the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon is our living situation. I wish that I could say we trudge back from the field, up and down hills, through a swamp, and around a mountain but we don't. We live in the Dan Gardens Hotel and every day an air conditioned bus -- okay, a bus -- picks us up at the hotel and drops us off at the site and then reverses the process at the end of the day. It's pretty cushy. I admit it.
Some of the obvious perks? Air conditioned rooms. Maid service -- fresh towels every day which, frankly is a good thing. No matter how hard you scrub, it seems there is always dirt that sticks around to cling to the white towels. Laundry service -- and no, I don't miss doing my laundry in the tub. Lots of effort for very little return. Really, not so clean even after all the stomping.
Another nice thing? Food. We don't have to cook for ourselves. Granted, it is often the same thing but how can you complain when you don't have to cook? You can't. And there have even been some pleasant surprises this summer. Strawberries and cream for dessert one night. That was a wonderful surprise. Of course, we get shooed away from tables reserved for "the other group" but we do get to sit at tables and the food is plentiful.
You could say that some of us even wait for dinner with great eagerness!
The hotel does provide great opportunities for relaxation and entertainment. Ice coffee from the bar, people watching in the lobby, "Magic Land" which is a fabulous indoor/outodoor play area for kids of all ages and -- the pool. On most days, the pool looks a bit like this,
And then there are days when it looks like this,
All in all though, no complaints here. We could be living in tents, dumping water from buckets on our heads for showers and otherwise roughing it in ways that we can't even imagine!
Rumor has it that there are two other grids where excavation is ongoing -- Grid 38 and Grid 51. Next up, pictures from those areas. In addition, we'll highlight this past weeks day long seminar program where students got to learn about petrography, soil analysis, XRF and many of the other technologies we use here are Ashkelon. We'll also highlight the changes at the Lab and much, much more. See you then!