Sara Westfall writes:
A Pair of Boots, a Bottle, a Tooth, and a Coin …
Today was day 2 of digging at area Q, an area that hasn’t been excavated since 1926. We finally got the tent completely up and finished most of the “gardening”. Now it was time for the good stuff and right off the bat we made some interesting finds….most not being from ancient times. Sure we found a lot of pottery pieces and a spindle wheel but the coolest stuff was modern. In the granary/well, affectionately referred to as “the Jacuzzi,” we found a pair of boots and a bottle from the 1926 excavations by the University of Chicago. So my first thought is, “Well that’s interesting, there’s got to be a story behind that.” Next, while I was “gardening” a little further up the site I found what we decided might be part of suspenders. So now I’m thinking, “someone from the Chicago dig lost their pants.” Then, not far from me, a tooth was found and it appeared to be a molar. Lastly, an Ottoman coin was found at the other end of the site. Now I’m really confused since the site was abandoned in the 3rd century BCE. However, as I was trying to keep my mind busy while moving dirt and avoiding spiders, a story started to form in mind.
Megiddo, Area Q, University of Chicago Excavation, April 22, 1926, 9:00 pm
A couple of the team members are playing poker and drinking in the “Jacuzzi”. Man A (I’m going to call him George) is losing badly and in a last act of desperation bets his boots. He’s sure he’s going to win this hand. Naturally he loses and consequently loses his boots to Man B (I’m going to call him Harry). George has a gambling problem and decides to bet his old Ottoman coin on the next hand. Harry says he can’t do that because it’s now worthless. George reminds Harry that in decades it will be priceless. Being an archaeologist Harry agrees. George loses the hand and accuses Harry of cheating. A fight then ensues and George tries to take his coin out of Harry’s hand. Harry throws it off in the distance and runs to the other side of the site to get away from George. George tackles him to the ground and grabs at his suspenders, one of which pops off. They struggle a few more feet and then Harry finally breaks free of George’s grasp and punches him in the face which knocks him unconscious and dislodges his molar.
That’s how this story went down in my head. Who knows if it actually happened that way—but it could have! Stay tuned for more exciting archaeological adventures from….AREA Q!!!!!