Visiting a Dig at Jericho

The experience of participating  in a dig in the Palestinian West Bank in 2010 fueled my fire to write Shepherd, Potter, Spy—and the Star Namer.

Continuing on the theme of fire building and campfires:  Fire-building had a prominent role in the day-to-day life of the people of 1407 BCE. From fires to cook their food and provide warmth, to the traditional fire-circle for socialization, to the large signal fires to warn of the advance of the enemy.

I described their fire-building from my experience as a Girl Scout when I was a kid and leader as an adult. See my recent blog about campfires and referencing a reader’s  great website on this subject.

As a leader, I learned a really cool way to teach fire safety and basic fire building 101 to the girls without actually building a fire–for our time for refreshments.

With all the troop standing around a table, we gave them a small cup of water or juice and stated the importance of being prepared with a bucket of water from the start. Also stressing the bucket used at a campfire should always be metal!

Then we gave each member  10-12 small marshmallows with instructions to arrange them in a circle. These stood for the rocks you would gather at your campsite to define the perimeter of your fire circle. Only those assigned to building the fire and cooking were allowed inside the fire circle.

Further safety elements for a fire were a spoon/shovel, a fork/rake.

Then we gave them fuel for the fire. First, coconut flakes for the tinder. Tinder is small dry combustible material: twigs, dry grass, dryer lint, etc.

For larger sticks or kindling, we used small pretzel sticks.

For wood or logs, we used larger pretzel sticks.

When the wood was laid for the fire, we gave them candy red-hots in place of the heat from a match.

This was always a favorite at refreshment time!

Watch for my blogs this summer about the new dig with ABR at Shiloh!



More next time on the socializing aspect of a fire circle.