Days 8-10 and Second Week Wrap-up

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This season has yet to produce exceptional small finds the likes of which we have been spoiled by in previous seasons (e.g. masks, figurines, seal impressions, scarabs, etc.). Nevertheless, we have made quite a few strides in exposing the answers to some of the main architectural questions we were asking at the beginning of the season. On this count the second week was very successful – the fruit of which will be seen most tangibly in the aerial photography.

Additionally, we had several opportunities to witness firsthand the state of archaeological research at some neighboring sites. On Tuesday, Omer Sergi gave our team a nice tour of the Azekah excavations and the fascinating remains that they have uncovered in only one excavation season. On Wednesday, Adi Behar Eliyahu presented on microaechaeology. That is the relationship of the hard sciences (chemistry, biology, etc.) to archaeology. Of special import was the uncovering and analysis  of metallurgic activity (both bronze and iron) at a small Philistine shrine at Tell es-Safi/Gath. And on Thursday our team returned to the mothership – where I (Chris) led the team around the extensive excavations of Gath. Before enjoying a campfire party and “poyke” meal prepared by our fearless leader. (See pics below for proof 🙂 )

In area A- we seem to have finally reached the bottom of an intrusive Persian pit, right next to this pit we uncovered the semi-articulated skeleton of a cow that seems to have died in the collapse of a wall towards the end of the 8th cent BCE.

In area B – we have been able to remove several balks throughout the area – this procedure has greatly clarified the architectural layout of the complex of walls from the 13th. Cent BCE . We also found a very nice fragment of a Mycenaean figurine (IIIb) which is perhaps another hint that this area is cultic in nature.

Next week we will quadruple in size! On Monday and Tuesday we will be joined by two groups of thirty. We hope to move a lot of
dirt!

Thanks Sandy, Elizabeth and Dwight for digging with us! See you next year.

Here are some pictures from the last week.

The Week 2 Crew
The Week 2 Crew
Ido and Ornali removing a balk - finding a complete bowl
Ido and Ornali removing a balk – finding a complete bowl
Elizabeth cleaning in area B
Elizabeth cleaning in area B
Ido - the one and only...
Ido -after removing a balk you need to hydrate
Andrew taking some measurements
Andrew taking some measurements
Sam and Abiathar working hard in Area B
Sam and Abiathar working hard in Area B
Straightening the balks
Straightening the balks
James checking out the balk in area A
James checking out the balk in area A
KJ - carefully working around the cow skeleton
KJ – carefully working around the cow skeleton
Marylinne working in area A
Marylinne working in area A
Abiathar - thinking about whether these three walls are abutting or bonded...
Abiathar – thinking about whether these three walls are abutting or bonded…
Matt and Itzick with David and his grandson who joined us for the day - David discovered a plaque with the depiction of Lamashtu around 40 years ago. How cool!
Matt and Itzick with David and his grandson who joined us for the day – David discovered a plaque with the depiction of Lamashtu around 40 years ago. How cool!
Itzick the Master Chef
Itzick the Master Chef
Poyke - campfire stew!
Poyke – campfire stew!
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