Day 8 – Pittsburgh

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Yes I know, its an old joke, but thats what it felt like today at Burna.  With the days coming to an end, and getting ready to close things up (doesn’t it seem like we just started?), we were in cleaning mode.  most of what we did today was sweep, straighten and  try to define certain elements that weren’t clear.  that didn’t stop Seth, working with Debi, for defining another pit:

then Ido, Sandy, Tirtza and Michal joined the fun, and found one in their square.  this one cuts the wall, meaning it must be later then the wall.

That means that if the pit gates to the 7th Century, the wall must predate it and is certainly an Iron Age feature!

Here are a row of shots of the squares, as requested by some of the team, so that they can see how their hard work has paid off – way to go guys!


Burna – Day 7: The first evidence of war!

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Today was another great day at the tel.  other than the large group of volunteers, and numerous visitors, we had a couple of interesting finds.  But Ill go square by square.  as we approach the end of the season, we are slowly starting to close things down.  In Chris and Mindy’s square – they finished most of the cleaning.  tomorrow we will draw the section showing the destruction layer that they excavated, and that will be it for Square V6 this season.

In Tim and Alex’s square they are also working towards closing things up and were lowering the upper step down to the level of the lower step, when Tim discovered a beautiful arrowhead.  Stylistically, it seems it may be Israelite, although a better definition will be possible once we’ve cleaned it.  Way to go TIM!

In Ido, Sandy and Tirtza’s square they continued working to uncover an interesting wall, which may relate to the fortification wall.  In Debi’s square they removed a lot of dirt, uncovering part of a stone basin along the way.

In Amit’s square, Mor and Merav helped him clean up some more in preparing for the final stages of the season.  one of the main focuses of work revolved around the silo or pit already mentioned in earlier posts.  the pit has yielded much pottery, which at first glance gives an interesting glimpse into the site’s past.  the pottery still needs to be analysed, but at first glance seems that it may be 7th century or Persian.  If Persian, this is a common phenomenon to find Persian pits lying around sites.

However, if it is 7th Century, than this could be another clue to identifying the site.  this is because Tel Burna is one of the main candidates for ancient Libnah.  Libnah is an important Levitical city, on the border with Philistia, and near Eter.  A later post will present more on the subject, but – in relation to the pit – one of the mentions of Libnah in the Bible refers to Hamutal, who was from Libnah and married King Josiah in the 7th Century.

Until now we have been uncertain if we have 7th Century, but if this pit does date to this period, then it will be the first clue as to whether there is a settlement at the site in the latter days of the Judean kingdom.

And here are a couple of shots of Itzick goofing around – just to show you what happens after too many hours in the sun 🙂

Opening up Week Two – Day of the Smashed Vessels

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Today, we opened week two with a bang.  In Chris and Mindy’s square, more smashed vessels turned up:

The silo or pit in Amit’s square became much clearer.

In Ido’s square, we found an additional wall that may be connected to the fortification system – lets wait and see.

Closing up the first week

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Thursday we closed off the first week with a bang!.

First of all, the weather was beautiful – nice and cool.

Amit’s friends Yehudah and Yossi came to visit and brought with them many treats including cookies and watermelon.

Aren Maeir ad Louise Hitchcock came for a visit and were quite impressed with what we found so far.

And on their way out they caught a glimpse of a whole smashed vessel that Chris and Mindy had discovered.  They were very familiar with this type of vessel, since they have the same vessels at Tell es-Safi/Gath!

Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to some of the team – thanks to David Mescheloff and Eitan for all their hard work!

Yehudah and the watermelon.

Mindy cleaning off the Iron Age II krater

Chris sweeping acrobatically…

The pieces of the whole krater,

And Ido looking good after a great first week!

Hope next week is just as great!

Support the Tel Burna Archaeological Project

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As the season continues, and the finds keep rolling, we would like to remind all of you that in order to keep this project going – we need your help. that help comes in many forms. for some, the contribution is in the field, helping excavate. however no less important is the financial support that is essential for running a dig. If you are interested in helping support our project, please see the link on the side bar, or click here.

Day 4 – the fun continues

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Today the weather was much nicer, making it much more pleasant to dig.  We had quite a few friends who hadn’t been at the dig yet join us, including Itzick’s family – David, Ilana and Julio – Tirtza, and Alex Zukerman, and old friend and colleague from Tell es-Safi.  we continued work in all of our squares, but probably the most significant feature discovered today is what seems to be a round silo, with very fine sediment enclosed by field stones.  we will continue to excavate this in the coming days, and see if we can figure out its exact function.

All in all, a very fun day – as you can see by the pictures here (and once again – Amit, Mindy – thanks!)

Julio taking a rest from the hard work,

Here are David and Ilana getting some work done.

Unfortunately, Joel LAmbert, who was with us from the beginning, left us today – thanks for all the help.  we’ll miss you.

here is the silo….

Alex smiling after working on clearing a stone collapse.

Lets keep our fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Tel Burna – The Windy City

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Today, with the heat wave still going strong, the winds on the site went wild and made digging very difficult.  this was quite upsetting since we had our biggest team out there today.  in the end we managed for most of the day, but closed up an hour early….

however, we didn’t waste time, and headed back to the Kibbutz for pottery washing and reading.  one of our team – Yael, who came for the day – found a sherd with parts of two letters (possibly one being a Yud).  We hope this is thee first of many, and thank Yael for her attentiveness.  Here are some shots for the day.  there is also a short movie on Mindy’s blog, to give you the feeling of what it was like in the wind today.

Seth and Anthony getting a bit dirty,

Debi telling Ari about the pottery he washed.

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