Being in Israel these past few weeks has been an amazing expierence for a lot of reasons. I have learned so much about how archeology works and how difficult and rewarding it really is. It is a great feeling when you realize that the work you have been doing is helping us learn about history and how people lived in ancient times. It is also amazing going to the other archlogical sites around the area and seeing how they connect and relate to the site at Omrit when people were living there at the same time. I have started to realize just how complex and skilled ancient people were to build these huge stone buildings and harness nature to thier will. For example, in Ceserae maratima a freshwater swimming pool was built in the Mediterranean Sea and huge freshwater bath complexes were built complete with heated floors and intricate mosaic designs. They also built giant temple complexes and huge stadiums that could seat thousands of people. I marvel at the engineering and planning it took to built these grand structures and also at the fact that they still exist today for us to enjoy even now.
Another thing that has amazed me about this trip is the diverse culture that this area possesses both in antiquity and in modern day. There are several examples in Israel of ancient synagogues are having mosaics of the pagan Zodiac on thier floors. There are many possible explanations for this, but it shows that even ancient groups were not culturally isolated from each other. We see evidence of cultures mixing ideas and traditions even to this day. Along each major road the sign markers are in three or more different languages, Hebrew, Arabic, and English being the main ones. To me this shows how diverse the culture in Israel and the cultural identities. It is amazing how a country the size of Delaware could be so important to so many different people. I am so glad I got to expierence this place first hand both in the dirt of antiquity and the livelyness of modern cities.