Sights and Insights: Where history becomes a story

06.09.2011                      07.Elul, 5771

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Sights and Insights: Where history becomes a story

Tel Maresha and Beit Guvrin offer a wonderful peek at life as it really was, says Dr. Wayne Stiles.

With picks in hand, my wife and I entered an Idumean cave near Tel Maresha. The archaeological dig had only recently begun, so our group was one of the first to volunteer
The low ceiling of the cave forced us to squat while digging, and I could see the original tool markings still scratched on the walls of the cave. Everybody was thrilled when my wife unearthed a fully-intact jar handle. I dug up some pottery shards, and upon a close examination, I saw fingerprints on them. I held my own fingertips next to the shards and compared my prints to those on the pottery. Whoever the potter was two thousand years ago seemed more real to me as I felt the roughness of their fingerprints. Somehow it bridged an emotional gap between the second-century potter and me….