Leen’s favorite lighthearted comment in his lectures on the Temple Mount excavations and the one that is most chuckled about is: “My best find on the dig was Katia.” And other couples have found each other on digs, too. They do tend to be located in scenic or atmospheric places (just look at the pictures in this issue!).

Picture the scene where we met: It is the southwest corner of the Temple Mount. King Herod’s massive retaining walls soar up into a blue October sky. I am still trying to absorb my impressions of the Old City of Jerusalem through whose narrow streets I have just passed. And there on the paved Herodian street below the wooden bridge on which we, the new starters for the week, are standing, is Leen. He is the young Dutchman who is the site-architect, and one of his tasks is to give the weekly orientation tour on Monday mornings. Talk about defining moments that changed lives!

But it was not that initial meeting in 1975 that did it, although it remains etched in memory. It was actually working together on a day-to-day basis. The drudgery of surveying was overcome by the excitement of Leen showing us how a building worked. The walls and stones we had to measure were different when they were read by him because they were augmented by his reading of them. “Look at those doorposts, here was the entrance to the building. See these stone blocks—they were the steps that led up to the second story. These Astarte figurines found underneath the floor show that some Israelites in the time of the United Kingdom were worshiping false gods.”

And then the eagerly awaited Friday tours, when we would finish work early and go wade through Hezekiah’s Tunnel or explore the aqueduct that ran deep under the Tyropoeon Valley. We began to read the Bible together in the evenings, Leen able to help me with questions of religion that were puzzling me at the time. And our springtime courtship was blessed to be carried out against a Song of Songs-like backdrop. We walked through a Hinnom Valley filled with almond blossom, visited Solomon’s Pools gorgeous with cyclamens and explored hidden paths high above the oasis of Ein Gedi.

Many excavation squares have been dug and much soil sieved in the hope of discovering that special find. But because we met in that unique way, the moment will always be cherished, and Jerusalem will hold our hearts captive for the rest of our lives.