We all had a jolly good time, and around midnight, we decided to start to trek back to the paradise of a hotel that you saw on the first page of today’s entry. This morning, Erin and I frantically moved clothing from our huge checked bags to smaller carry-ons because today, we board the boats! Woot woot! We ate a marvelous breakfast by the poolside around 9:30 to go the underwater archeology museum – and it was awesome. We saw a couple of boats and their cargo, glass vessels, and busts from the late Bronze Age all housed in what used to be a fortress for the Christians during the crusades. I found two particular aspects especially cool. First off, the exhibit was bursting at the seams with amphoras, or clay jars manufactured specifically for sea trade. There were various sized and slightly different designs. Tolga told us that members of trading and port cities would be chosen for one-year once-in-a-lifetime terms to take the weight of the vessels coming and going to make sure they met the proper standardized volume for international trade purposes. This, like the positions in government, was implemented to avoid corruption and foul play. The other really neat thing I got to see was a beeswax journal they recovered from one of the shipwrecks. According to Dr. Goebel, papyrus and parchment were much too expensive for citizens to keep on hand for notes and passing thoughts. So, when they had something to write, they inscribed it in beeswax in their journals. If whatever they scribbled turned out to be important, they would take it to a scribe and lave it transferred onto something more permanent. If not, they would smudge it out and start all over. And I saw a real live one!
[Drafts of my four-year plan for classes. Not too terribly exciting.]