With only three weeks until the ground breaking ceremony on June 13th, we are in the midst of finalizing all of the preparations for the dig this year – the first one ever at Tel Burna!!!!
Just to fill you in on what we plan on doing this season – well we have set out three main aims:
1. We will be excavating a series of squares on the summit, near the fortifications, in order to try and date the feature (our survey tells us its Iron Age II, but this needs to be finalized through excavation). We will also hopefully get an idea of the stratigraphy of the site, by excavating along the slope.
2. Cleaning out agricultural installations: there are many installations carved out into the rock at the site. while we documented most of them last summer in the survey, this year we want to actually clean them, draw them and map them using a GPS, so that we can get an idea of their function and distribution on the site.
3. Shovel Pit Survey: this is another type of survey method and we ant to compare it to the surface survey results we had, in order to find the best way for surveying tells in the future.
Just to remind you, we will be digging for three weeks from June 13th, so even if you haven’t signed up, but you happen to find yourself in Israel, and would like to take part – please contact us!
I just found out now (by checking on the Tell es-Safi/Gath Blog) that an article on the Tel Burna Dig has appeared in BAR. here is a link to the article!
In the article we discuss why we chose Burna, how we came to work together, and a little biut about ourselves and the project.
I know its been a while – but I just had twins, and its keeping my hands full!
Returning to our series of earlier posts, its time to discuss the Iron Age I at Tel Burna. The Iron Age I, for those of you who don’t know, is the period that is approximately between 1200-1000 BCE, and marks the arrival of the Philistines, and the development of the Israelite Tribes. During this period, Tel Bruna is not very large, with a settlement of about 2 hectares.
That said, a few important finds were collected in the survey. One of the most interesting is the collection of Philistine pottery. While it seems that Tel Burna was on the Judean side of the border, the presence of Philistine pottery at the site indicates that the people living at Tel Burna interacted with their Philistine neighbors. this is an indication that research needs to rethink how borders worked in the past – these were not like modern borders. this is one of our main research goals at Tel Burna.
Continuing the recent series of posts, the next period to discuss is the Late Bronze Age. the Late Bronze Age (1500-1200 BCE) is generally considered a period of Egyptian domination in the southern Levant, after the establishment of the New Kingdom and the expulsion of the Hiksos. The famous Amarna Letters vividly describe the political upheaval that was part of the period, with local rulers warring amongst themselves, while paying tribute to the Egyptian overlords.
During this period, many sites see a decrease in settlement, with other sites abandoned completely. it seems that sites are not fortified at all, and the urbanism that thrived in the Middle Bronze Age diminishes. that said, the results at Tel Burna, show that the Late Bronze Age is very well represented, and it seems that the site was thriving during this period. the surface finds dating to the LB cover an area of 6 hectares, and the number of LB sherds identified are more than any other period! It will be interesting to see whether the excavations confirm these findings, and if we have a very unusual trend of growth (and not diminishing) of a site in the LB!