Today we had our second day of excavations. some new aspects were added to our work – Shovel pits, and pottery washing.
Pottery washing, a standard activity at excavations, took place after the field work, back at Kibbutz Beit Nir, who have been very kind in helping us in every which way they can! the idea behind pottery washing is to clean the sherds found the day before (after having soaked for 24 hours), and then set them out to dry so that we can look at the the next day and gather information about the different features we are excavating.
In addition, today we excavated our first shovel pit (or test pit). this is a type of survey method, where you dig a small hole (1 meter wide and 20 cm deep), sift all the dirt, and collect the pottery. this is considered to be more reliable than just picking up sherds on the surface (like we did in 2009). this fits in with our goals of improving survey methods used, which will enable future projects to gather more information through survey, a method less destructive than excavation (as you know archaeologists love to dig destruction, but we also destroy as we dig).
here are some shots from today:
here are Seth, Anthony and Mor working on the shovel pit,
and sifting the dirt from the test pit.
Amit explains to the crew the principles of taking the height of finds using the dumpy level
Eitan washing pottery,
and the pottery drying on the table (the closest pieces are large fragments of Iron Age II bowls found near the fortification wall).
Again, thanks to Mindy and Amit for the photos.