In June, we set out to begin our project, by surveying the site. surveying has many facets, but the idea behind survey is archaeological study of a site without excavation (which is a very destructive process). the primary survey tool used today is surface artifact collection. this is done by simply walking around the site, in a systematic manner (and you can see the survey map here, which shows you how we divide and make sure to cover all of the surface) and collect the artifacts from the surface. most of the artifacts collected are pottery sherds. these sherds are used for dating the site, and retrospectively one can do the following with the survey data:
- determine the periods in which the site was settled.
- determine the size of the site per period.
- locate areas of excavation for the future.
While we are still processing the survey finds, we can share the following information with you. it seems that the site was settled throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages (Third-First Millennium BCE). the site seems to hae flourished particularly during the Iron Age, and it seems that the fortifications of the summit probably date to this time. the survey also indicates that in later periods (such as the Roman, Byzantine, and Arab) the tell itself was not settled.