A nice end to week 1 – as we are starting to have finds pop up in all of the areas. In A1 – it is becoming clear that Jane, Terry, and team are digging the same 10th century destruction from Area B2. In B2 – massive balks are coming down and the whole area is progressing inside and outside the fortification wall. It looks promising that we will reach the inside of the fortification wall this season. In D and B3 – Marcella and Debi have very large (and very strangely constructed!) Late Bronze buildings with a few possible complete vessels starting to appear in D. In G – we have reached some surface remains that we will continue to expose next week. As this is directly outside of the gate area – it will be interesting to see the relationship of these surfaces to the gate.
Great progress this week with lots of potential remaining for the weeks to come!
All of the areas are really moving – the team is working well together. Debi has several nice Late Bronze walls – maybe a couple of buildings – in Area D. Marcella also has some nice LB architecture that is becoming more clear. Aharon in B2 has a lot going on in the Shishak destruction, the Sennacherib destruction, as well as some preceding and intervening periods. Jane in A1 is finding some very nice Iron IIA pottery. We will know more about this context in the next few days. In G – things are becoming clearer within the area of the gate as we continue to look for the original gate from the Iron IIA.
Yesterday evening, I gave a lecture on historical geography and Micah’s lament (Micah 1:10-16) including some new ideas that will appear in print soon. Today, Haskel Greenfield will be lecturing on zooarchaeology and it’s significance for an archaeological project. Tonight we have our end of week special meal and say goodbye to some of the team – although we will have reinforcements next week…
The great cool weather continues! We had another nice day at the tel. Each of the areas is making great progress. In B2 – Aharon’s team found a nice piece of scale armor that is in great condition. In G – we opened another square and cleared the thorns from a very large area along the slopes – it seems that we have something very large that may relate to either a fortified entry ramp or some other large retaining wall.
Pottery washing and lecture on historical geography and Micah’s Lament (Micah 1:10-16 by yours truly) this afternoon.
Great day today – very nice weather and an awesome team of around 60 people or so.
We are working in all of the areas (now with shades!) and getting the old squares back into shape, as well as opening a number of new squares.
Area A1 – has a lot of erosion from the last few winters, but Jane and co. will soon be coming down on what seems to be a nice destruction(?) layer.
Area A2 and B1 – are being back-filled – this is a nice sign that we have done a lot of work and are now closing out excavation areas.
Area B2 – working throughout the entire section with finds from the 10th through 6th centuries BCE.
Area B3 – it seems that Marcella and her team already have a very corner that might be the elusive southern wall of the large cultic enclosure (Late Bronze) that we excavated years ago in Area B1.
Area D – Debi’s new area (thus the letter “D”) is looking very nice and it seems that this too is also Late Bronze Age in the area to the northwest of the tel.
Area G – in my area we seem to have great signs that we are on top of a large fortification that could be the original Iron II gate of Tel Burna. We will find out soon!
Great lectures this afternoon by Marcella (Late Bronze) and Aharon (Iron I-II) for our overview lecture series…
Today we setup the shades, chopped the weeds, and worked out many of the logistics for the weeks ahead.
Debi’s new area – Area D – is up and running. Aharon has a massive shade covering his entire area – Area B2. Chris’ area (G) removed a bunch of weeds and seems to be on top of some massive architecture that is already on surface. Area A1 (Jane) is expanding and has a nice new multi-colored shade 🙂 Marcella (Area B3) had mountains of weeds surrounding her new squares in the Late Bronze town. The finds should start popping tomorrow…
The team has begun to gather at Netiv HaLamed Heh for season number 12 of the Tel Burna Archaeological Project. Since the number “12” is a big deal in the lands of the Bible – we are expecting great things from this season 🙂 We have a great team – our largest yet – and we look forward to many great finds!
This season we will be digging in the following five excavation areas:
Area A2 – eastern slopes (10th-9th centuries BCE)
Area B2 – western section/sondage (13th-5th centuries BCE)
Area B3 – western platform/Late Bronze building (13th century BCE)
Area D – northwestern platform/Late Bronze? (13th century BCE)
Area G – southern fortifications/Iron II gate(s?) (9th-5th centuries BCE)
Check our blog and Facebook page for regular updates.
Check out this just-published article by Debi, Andrea, and Itzick:
Food for Thought or Threads for Weaving: Can We Identify the Uses for Ancient Flax Seeds Discovered in the Southern Levant?
Linum usitatissimum L. was, and still is, cultivated for either flax fibres or for oil-rich linseeds. Depending on their intended purpose, flax plants differ in height, branching and quantity of capsules. Likewise, the linseeds themselves vary in size: linseeds for oil production are larger and heavier than those for flax plants purposed for fibres. Archaeobotanical studies of ancient linseeds have succeeded in identifying these motives, by comparing the lengths and width of waterlogged seeds. However, carbonization of archaeobotanical macro remains, found in southern Levantine contexts, often results in shrinkage and deformation of seeds and limits the meaningfulness of morphometric analyses. At Tel Burna (c. 30 km southwest of Jerusalem), linseeds found in Iron Age strata, along with groups of loom weights representing weaving on warp-weighted looms, may point towards flax cultivation for the production of linen. Excavations concentrating on the Iron Age IIA context (950-900 BCE) outside the fortification wall, exposed an area of destruction containing hundreds of charred linseeds in proximity to complete storage vessels. These carbonized linseed finds from Tel Burna may provide the basis for establishing a method to distinguish whether these archaeobotanical macro remains are residues of flax cultivation intended for oil or for textile production.
The 2022 season is quickly approaching! We would like to remind our readers that the application remains open for the 2022 Tel Burna Excavation season – which promises to be filled with excitement and new discoveries!
See below for the Volunteer Guide along with some descriptions of the various areas.
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Leah’s mother. May her memory be a blessing.