History at Tel Gezer
Wednesday, August 28th 2018, our very first tiyul. Dazed by the abstruse idea of Gazer being an archaeological site rather than a carrot patch, I became invested in this tiyul– “mystery creates wonder, and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand” - Neil Armstrong. After a day of learning, finally, I began my journey to Gazer. Some miles and a few olive trees away, southeast of the campus, mountains appeared and suddenly I found myself in the lowlands on an old dirt path, I was taken aback by the beautiful landscape. Aubrey, my teacher, taught me about the ancient civilizations- such as the Canaanites- that had once lived on Tal Gezer and how over time, each of those societies were conquered, destroyed, and rebuilt again and again, thus forming a stratum, and how Avraham had affected the societies that he saw at Gezer. I learned about artifacts, such as which were interesting (pottery with inscriptions or an ostracon) and which were not as interesting (plain pieces of pottery), I even went searching for some artifacts. Albeit there were a lot of artifacts on the site, I was still amazed by the fact that I had found and was holding a physical piece of history.
I learned a lot at the Gezer but I chose to focus on the picture I presented because it was shot at a time where I really truly felt as if I was walking the footsteps of my ancestors. My group and I were challenged to try and invade the fortress- which was left behind from a previous civilization. I learned that it was very hard to get past the gates and as a result of this, the civilizations on Tel Gezer were in power for quite a long time. I thought that this portion of the tiyul was very exciting and interactive and it really allowed me to understand how impressive these societies were, despite the fact that they existed some 3000 years ago. What I enjoyed most about this tiyul was that I was able to make history tangible, whether it be through touch, smell, sight, or action, I understood the feelings and strength of these ancient peoples. - Hagar