Connecting Through an Egyptian Bead

Sara Westfall writes:

I’ve been in this country for a month and I’m almost positive that I hit the zenith (as far as digging goes) yesterday. We removed a possible 3 jars from my square (one of which was almost completely intact, albeit broken) and as we were leveling out we made a remarkable discovery. My square mate, Joey, was pulling back some loose dirt from an area we had just pick-axed and I stopped him because something caught my eye. Something turquoise colored was sitting on top of the dirt. I picked it up and realized it was a bead. As I started to clean it off my heart jumped. There was a design on it; and not just any design but an Egyptian Horus Eye. It was so beautiful. I immediately started jumping up and down and called for Norma. As awesome as it was to find this, it meant one thing: we now had to sieve all the dirt we pulled up to look for more beads.

We didn’t find any more beads, but as I sitting near my square, waiting for Sasha to finish his drawing, my mind began to race. For the first time since I’d arrived, I really began to feel an attachment to what I’d found and an appreciation that it had belonged to someone thousands of years ago. I wonder who was the girl that wore this jewelry? Was she Assyrian and had bought it or was she an Egyptian living in a foreign land? What made her leave this bead behind? How did she loose it? Did she think it was as pretty as I do?

As I sat thinking about these things a few tears came into my eyes as I remembered my grandfather. He died a few years ago and although I regret not getting to know him better, the one major thing he imparted to me was a love of Ancient Egypt. He would always give me books and documentaries as well as a variety of trinkets with Egyptian symbols on it (one was a necklace with Horus on it which I wore for good luck to Professor Cline’s final on Ancient Egypt – it worked). I wished he was still alive and that he could’ve come to share this experience with me. At the very least I wish I could’ve called him up to tell him all about it. I know he would’ve been very excited. I know he would be proud of me for being here. Instead I called my dad, with whom I also share a love of history. He was also very excited about my find.

For once I am at a lack for a good story about the history of this bead. It seems to me that anything but the true story of this bead wouldn’t do. I suppose the history of this bead and who it belonged to will have to remain a mystery, but at least now I can leave this dig totally satisfied. I finally made my personal connection with history at Megiddo.


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