July 2nd on site

Today we had another very nice day on the dig.

In Area F they are working in EB (nice surface seems to be coming up with smashed vessels about to be exposed), as well as what appears to be LB and Iron I surfaces – seemingly relating to the fortification wall in this area. In addition, a group of bronze objects were found bunched together – we still have to see what they are and what the exact context is.

The Area P team is working on several things. At the bottom of the deep pit outside the EB wall, a very interesting structure/installation which appears to go under the wall is being partially exposed. Also LB levels inside the wall are being uncovered, and in the new squares, hopefully in the next few days they will be through the topsoil and late remains.

Area A is working right in the 9th cent. BCE destruction and are beginning to see vessels for restoration, In the lower squares, LB and some EB materials are being excavated.

The large team in Area E have a lot of nice finds, mostly from the EB neighborhood. This includes what appears to be some large pieces of carbonized wood – and tomorrow Lior Regev, from WIS, who is now focusing on tree-ring chronology, is coming to check it out.

In Area D they are working on various Iron Age stages, from the 10th cent, 9th cent destruction, post Iron Age destruction with metallurgical area, and what we hope is the fortifications on the northern side.

Here are some nice pictures from today:

Louise and Linda totalling Weight from P Adi and Annie analyzing Amit explaining level Area E team at work

And now a little nature from the site – a beautiful Swallowtail butterfly on the tell

Today, walking from Area F on the summit of the site towards Area P on the eastern side, an astoundingly beautiful butterfly flew by and landed on a thorn and I managed to get a nice picture of it.

This beautiful creature is known as the Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) – and is truly astounding! In Hebrew, it is known as the זנב סנונית נאה

See the picture below of the Swallowtail in it’s imago stage, sitting on one of the fierce thorns covering the tell:

Yellowtail butterfly on Safi 2_7_15

July 1st, 2015 on the dig

Today we had the first full day of digging in all the areas and things are looking great!

In Area E, Haskel and his team are working mainly on EB materials, but with some LB intrusive pits as well. Some of the nice finds include a boar tusk which is partially polished from the EB levels, and some decorated LB sherds as well. In addition, they are clarifying a lot of architectural features relating to the EB neighborhood, and are ready to expand the excavations in various areas.

Area A with Louise’s team are working on the top of the 9th cent. destruction in one square, and in the lowest LB levels in two others. Some of the their finds include imported cypriote LB sherds

Jill and the Area P team are up and running. To start with, the took out the old “Goliath sherd” sign – which sat right in the middle of a square which is being excavated, in which the continuation of the EB wall will be found. In addition, other parts of the EB wall are being excavated as well as LB levels

In Area F, Eric and his team (Jeff will be back from a short trip tomorrow) are working in several interesting points, including what may be an early Iron I room, materials from the LB/Iron I transition, and some very interesting EB architectural contexts which go below and to the west of the EB fortification wall.

Amit and his team are also finding great stuff. Additional parts of the metallurgical area are being uncovered; more sections of the 9th cent. BCE destruction; hints to the Iron I activity in the lower city; and a few new squares searching for the fortifications in this area.

We also had a flyover a helicopter of the Electric Company who cleaned off the electric lines with a water hose – see the picture below

Great day – great team – great finds!

And here are a bunch of pictures:

Area D 2 Area A 2 Area A 1 area p1 Area P 3 Area P 2 Area E3 Area E 4 area e 2 area e 1 area d1 IMG_7142 IMG_7132 IMG_7122

Philistine sherd with depiction of fish

Today, the Area E team (which are excavating EB almost exclusively!) found a really nice sherd with a depiction of a bird. While the original suggestion was that it is Philistines, I think we have to entertain the possibility that it is Late Bronze…but this will be debated further.

In addition, after one day of cleaning in Area D – complete vessels are ready to pop out!

Great way to start the season!

See some pictures:

2015 Philistine fish sherd

Vessels in situ in area D 2015

First day of work for the 2015 season

Today, we had the first day for the full team in the field for the 2015 season!

Although I don’t think anyone did any “real” digging today, the season is off to a great start! We have an absolutely fantastic team – altogether about 90 members this week – and things are looking really super.

As in previous seasons and in other excavations, the first day is a very technical day, in which a lot of equipment is moved up to the excavation areas, thorns and plants are removed from in and around the excavation areas, and the tarps above the excavation areas are finalized. In addition, the team members of the various areas get to know each other (for many, it is the first time in the field) and get a feeling what goes on during the excavation.

Tomorrow, all the areas will start actual excavation – so I hope we will commence having some nice finds right away!

Looking forward to a great season!