Yesterday I didn’t find Waldo, but I did find Baal — or a probable representation of him. It was a bronze image of a “smiting god,” a standard representation known throughout much of the Levant.
Last year’s expedition also found a smiting god, and was so happy about it that they put him on this year’s T-shirt (mine is missing the club, but has the proper pointed hat that was considered a divine crown). It created quite a stir yesterday, too — right after Susan had uncovered what was initially thought to be a bronze spearpoint that turned out to be a scepter-like standard, possibly made of silver, that could have been carried by a priest of the smiting god.
I can’t claim any special skill in finding the image, which I don’t get to keep but nicknamed “Waldo.” When everyone gathered around to look at the standard, which was near the edge of the square, a good bit of soil broke loose and fell to the floor of the next square. As soon as the people cleared out I gathered up the soil and sifted it — and there he was.
It was quite a day altogether, and then back to the sifter, where I managed to find four tiny beads from the same general context. Just for fun, you may wish to play “Where’s Waldo?” with a photo from my sifter. I found two beads among the dirt and small gravel in the photo. One of them is visible. Can you find it?
Enjoy the expedition!
Professor of Old Testament at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and the Contributing Editor and Curriculum Writer at Good Faith Media.