Having started our final week in the field for the 2006 season, a short update on some of the finds is called for. Although our numbers have gone down from the previous weeks, we are still quite a large size group, ca. 90 people.
Area F has had a very successful couple of days of digging. In “Upper F” they have a Persian period level with interesting finds; Continuing to expose the 8th century BCE (Sargon II? Sennacherib?) destruction level; and the 9th century BCE (Hazael) destruction level. In the latter, they have been excavating a very interesting context with a large collection of worked bovine long bones, what appears to be a bone object/tool production area (thanks for the input from our zooarchaeologist Justin Lev Tov). We hope that we will be able to further elucidate this activity zone.
In “Lower F” we continue to expose the new apparent MB II fortification, with a very impressive stone structure and what appears to be a glacis. For the first time in the excavation we are excavating clear contexts of MBII pottery, in situ.
In Area P, in addition to excavating what seem to be the modern and medieval road to the village, they have several clean Iron I contexts (with surfaces and architecture) which will hopefully develop in future seasons.
In Area A: we continue to excavation several skeletons of people who were killed in the Hazael destruction, including at least 4 or 5 distinct, well articulated skeletons. In addition, several very interesting plastered installations (silos?) were found. Also, several well-preserved Iron I round pebble hearths were excavated, similar to the hearths excavated at other Philistines sites (such as Ekron).
In Area E we have been excavating additional parts of the EB III level, including a room with several restorable large storage jars.
In Area T we found various Iron I finds, including several vessels, scarabs, and other small finds.
Oren Ackermann has been continuing his geomorphological probes around the site, primarily studying the formation processes of the river beds around the tell.
Also, various people from the Kimmel center of archaeological science at Weizmann Institute have been at the site and have been sampling various contexts and finds for further analysis.
Altogether we are having a great time, great finds and a great group!