This last Friday was our community archaeology day – and many old and new friends (and family 🙂 came out to work on the dig for the day. Community archaeology remains an important aspect of the project. We had several nice finds including fragments of a Judean Pillared Figurine, as well as more progress on exposing the fortifications.
On Monday, the team removed several walls that were excavated in previous seasons in Area B2 and we now have a nice view of the fortifications. I was told that Terry and Jerry’s presence was particularly missed in the wall demolition and removal! Among the interesting finds in this removal was a very nice head of an Iron II horse figurine.
It is still not entirely clear when the Iron II casemate wall was constructed (late 10th century BCE? 9th century BCE?), but it is now clear that there was a large glacis (stone/earth fill) added to the outer casemate wall on its western side sometime after its construction. This can be seen by the long,”crappy” walls that run perpendicular from the fortification walls. These are actually interior dividing walls that were used to construct the glacis for the strengthening of the fortification wall. Interestingly, and despite the fact that the glacis was constructed at some time in the Iron II (9th or 8th century?), this glacis in Area B2 was filled with Late Bronze material that showed lots of evidence of metallurgical activity. We now believe that these LB metallurgical materials were “stolen” from Area B1 where the 13th century cultic enclosure was located. Thus, this data tells us much about the realities of the Iron II city in which the glacis was constructed – apparently on the west (towards Philistia) only – as well as giving us answers as to why the eastern part of the Late Bronze enclosure was so purely preserved when compared with the rich assemblage in the west of Area B1.
Thanks to Tamir Schwartz and Benjamin Yang for the photos (and awesome photogrammetric model from Benyamin!)