Monday, May 11, 2009


I spent most of the day looking at old rocks, which I expect to do quite a bit more of once I start the program at the University. I was down at Jerusalem Archeological Park, which is at the south end of the Temple Mount, right next to the Western Wall. Excavations have been going on here since 1968, an have uncovered remains dating back to both the first an second temples. Here you can see things like a street from the time of Jesus, the 50 ton cornerstones that are at the base of the temple mount, and the rubble left on the street from 70 AD, when the Romans demolished and burned Jerusalem to the ground. The rubble lays right where it fell when an arch supporting the walkway up to the temple gave way and fell to the ground. Then I saw the homes of some priests and wealthy people that were destroyed in the fire. Archeologists found the charred arm of a little girl in one of the homes.

Then, this evening I went for a walk across the street from the old city. Less than a hundred yards from all of this old stuff is an ultra modern mall, that is very similar to Jordan Creek in West Des Moines. The shops are brand new, and the people walking around are young and hip. I grabbed a coffee and a brownie in the coffee shop and walked around for a bit. Then, on my way back there were about 75 Roman Catholic youth from Poland who were doing a very spiritual dance and song right outside the coffee shop. What was really fun was that as I was watching suddenly a couple of the waitresses from the coffee shop joined in the dance and had the most joyous looks on their faces as they were whirling and stepping with the youth from Poland. There always seems to be something surprising happening here, and this was it for today.

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