Today, we had the pleasure of Avshalom Karasik of Hebrew University visiting the Burna lab. He came in order to create a measureable 3D scan of our huge (!) Cypriot (?) Wavy Line Pithoi that we found in Area B a couple of years ago. The whole process was very interesting and should provide some great results for comparison with other similar vessels (e.g. Ulubrun Shipwreck) and their function in Burna.
Check out our new 3D model of the entire tell. Thanks to Limor and Griffin Aerial Imaging for the aerial shots (like their page at the link)!
3D Image here (works in Google Chrome, click on “3D Model” – you can then pan and zoom and get a good view of the tell).
The view of the tell on the south and east is particularly interesting as this may very well be the location of the gate. The 3D model also gives you a nice view of how Tel Burna dominates the Nahal Guvrin and the route that ran through it. This model also gives you a great view of the mostly square c. 75x75m fortified area of the Iron II casemate walls. Enjoy!
See the more detailed models of Areas A2 and B here.
Check out this aerial video taken by Iftah Gold (Ron’s son) from his DJI Phantom “drone.” We took this footage and other aerial photos at nearby Khirbet ‘Atr (biblical Ether). The site of Ether is mentioned only once in the bible.
“Libnah (Tel Burna?), Ether (Khirbet ‘Atr), Ashan, Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah: nine cities with their villages.” (Joshua 15:42–44 ESV)
Thanks Iftah! Maybe next time we can find and identify Iphtah for you :)
Check out these models of the tell and the excavation areas. The models load best in Google Chrome. Once you are in the model click on “View 3D.”
General tell view (the model is rough with some holes in the mesh. Zoom into tell for a nice view of the west, north and south side of the tell.)
I am of the opinion that these models are very helpful for visualizing the excavation areas. Remember the excavation squares are 5×5 meters, including the sections (balks/baulks) between the squares.
Please let us know if you have viewing problems. Enjoy!
Yesterday we took our the final aerial shots of Area A2 and B. This was our first time using a helicopter instead of a balloon. It was really cool to see this machine in action!
In other news, we have set our schedule for next year’s season – June 7-July 5, 2015. Based on our findings from this season – next year should be our best season yet, as we hope to excavate the complete plan of the large 8th century BCE building in A2, the eastern half of the large cultic building in B (including the parallel squares where the most cultic finds were uncovered), and finally begin the great east-west section of the site in which we will hopefully establish the full stratigraphic sequence of the tell. Hope to see you then!
Yesterday, was our last day of work at the tell. We were able to close all of the excavation squares and remove the shades. We also had the pleasure of showing Prof. Bill Dever around the site. He told us many interesting anecdotes about his prior archaeological activity in the region. We were very happy to have him out for a visit.
Today we finished all of the pottery washing (!) and reading, as well a packing up the office and the equipment in our brand new storage container.
In the morning Prof. Yoram Tsafrir came to visit us at the camp and I also took him to the site and showed him the excavations.
This evening we heard an interesting lecture by Dr. Antonio de Frietas on the ancient Near Eastern seals and tablets at a museum in Portugal, where he acts as curator. Also in the afternoon, a few of us went back to the nearby site of Kh, Eter (חורבת עתר). It is a very promising site with Iron Age remains (but also later periods) located midway between Lachish and Tel Burna.
Tomorrow morning @ 5:15 am! we will have the final aerial photos and then we will take all of the finds to the lab at Ariel University.
We will post some of the aerial shots over the next couple of days.
Three weeks done, one more to go! It was a fantastic week in which we finished working in the Late Bronze Age remains in Area B, defined the plan of 8th century building in Area A, and exposed a destruction level in one of the rooms with complete and smashed vessels in situ. Nearby on the pavement, we uncovered a collection of some 40 burnt olive pits in the cracks of the pavement – hopefully this clean context will provide us an absolute (through C14) date of this building and its destruction. In addition, two more Rosette stamped handles were found from the Iron IIC, which strengthen the Judahite 7th century BCE affiliation of Tel Burna. This is an important argument relating to the site identification with biblical Libnah (Hamutal from Libnah (2 Kings 23:31; 24:18; Jer 52:1).
Finally, as we mentioned last week – we now know the location of the Late Bronze Age cemetery – thanks to some inside information from Herzl and Ido of Kibbutz Beit Nir. On Thursday, we were able to spend a few hours sifting through the materials just inside and around this tomb. This pottery will be read next week and hopefully will provide us a clue to the period or periods associated with this tomb. We already have several nice vessels from the grave robber dump that Herzl reconstructed and graciously allowed us to photograph. Check out the rough 3D model of a Mycenaean IIIB bowl (i.e. 13th century BCE import from Mycenae) that we created. (In order to see the 3D image click on “3D View”)