Since I have not posted recently, I thought it time to post on something completely out of the blue, only vaguely connected to Safi (one has to do this once in a while…).
A few years ago, one of the volunteer team members on the dig (and I apologize for having forgotten who it was – I’ll gladly add the name of who it was, if this can be provided – UPDATE – my “senior moment” noted above has been circumvented! Louise Hitchcock has reminded me that it was VAIA LIOUSAS, from the Univ. of Melbourne team – THANKS VAIA!!!), visited Syria right before coming to Israel for the excavations. To my surprise and enjoyment, she was nice enough to bring me a can of cola from Syria! Most amusingly, it turned out that the popular local cola beverage in Syria is called “Ugarit Cola” – named after the well-known ancient site in NW Syria – Ugarit/Ras Shamra.
In light of the very difficult news that we have been hearing from Syria in the last few months, I can just hope that in the near future things will be peaceful – and perhaps even if there is a regime change – might we even wish for peace between Israel and Syria, and then I could even go and get my own can of “Ugarit Cola”!
In any case, here is a picture of the can – and I decided to put it with a background of one of the original reports on the first French excavations (by C.F.A. Schaeffer) at Ugarit (Schaeffer, C. F. A. 1962. Ugaritica IV. Mission de Ras Shamra XV. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale):
And now, that we have made a connection between Safi and Ugarit, hopefully in the future seasons we will find actual material evidence of this at Tell es-Safi/Gath…
P.S. I have not yet opened the can – so I don’t really know how it tastes…