We had a very nice group of volunteers this week with participants from all over the world including – Taiwan, England, New Zealand, the United States, Israel, the Philippines, and more. Here is a group shot of the whole crew from the first week.
On Tuesday – Aharon and myself led the crew over to the Maresha National Park where we discussed the impressive ruins of the (mostly) underground city.
On Wednesday, we also had several visitors this week including friends who had participated in past seasons and even a film crew from Faith Life Bible/Logos Bible Software who interviewed our staff as part of their production of a mobile education course and documentary on the relationship between archaeological fieldwork and the biblical accounts (headed by Prof. Craig Evans). Later that evening – Ron (Area B2 supervisor) gave us a very nice lecture on the Lamp-Bowl deposits in the southern Levant from the Late Bronze and early Iron Age.
After spending the first couple of days dealing with the enormous amount of winter weeds (aka – the Forest of Libnah!) we have already started to witness the appearance of several nice finds and architecture.
In Area A2 we seem to have reached the upper level of the 8th century BCE occupation inside the large “four-room” house in both of our 2 new squares.
In Area B1 we have already reached bedrock in both of our new squares and have begun opening another square towards the tell. In one of these squares we have two complete storage vessels and yet another locally made chalice – we are hoping that the context of this find will allow Dvory Namdar (our Residue Analysis expert) to determine the contents of the chalice.
In Area B2 the complex architecture below the enormous collapse is starting to become clearer as several small walls have now been exposed – we will remove these later walls next week in order to determine their relation to the presumable fortifications beneath.
In sum – it was a great start to the season and we still have 3 weeks to go!