Fascinating things are coming out of all the various areas, and it really is an extremely interesting season. I’ll try to mention some of the more interesting finds.
Area A: Amit’s crew is working in quite a few squares in the mid-Iron I, including a very interesting tabun (oven) that is being meticulously excavated by Prof. Rosa Albert of the University of Barcelona, and expert in phytolith analysis; several additional hearths are being excavated in the east of the area (under the close supervision of Shira).
Louise’s crew is working in a variety of Iron I features, including some very interesting plastered features, ash layers and other unique features. They have come upon a layer that is very rich in carbonized plant remains and both Udi (our archaeobotanist) and Lisa (our Carbon 14 expert) our having a field day.
Yesterday, louise’s team found an upsidedown almost complete bowl, and here you can see some pictures of it.
Jill’s team is working in the 9th cent. destruction and along with Steve Weiner, Clive Trueman, and the archaeological science team we seem to be getting an understanding of the process of destruction. We now have good evidence for the burnt and collapsed roof, the internal collapse and the burnt materials on the floor, and we can follow the patterns of burning, based on both visual observations and on intense sampling for IR spectrometry.
Cynthia’s team is also on top of the 9th cent. destruction level, but more importantly, they appear to have began to uncover a large building that is situated just below the 9th cent. building in which we found the interesting collection of cultic items two years ago. This building has so far revealed to very large pillar bases and some very nice brick work. Although it is a bit early to say, this might very well be a large public building, and perhaps, who knows, a temple. Time will tell….
In addition to this, throughout Area A, the archaeological science field school has been working in small teams on various problems, and some interesting aspects have come up.
Area E: Today, we had some very important finds and it appears, at least preiminarily, that we may have the metal production facilities from the very end of the LB that we had hoped for. Various remains indicating this, including a copper “prill” seem to point to this. This should be VERY interesting!
Area F: Jeff and his team are working in the early Iron I levels and are excavating a very nice series of early Iron surfaces with Philistine Bichrome pottery on the top levels and Myc IIIC (LH IIIC) on the lower levels. This should provide some very important evidence, with possible good 14C dating) for the initial stages of the Iron I settlement of the Philistines.
In addition, Jeff and his team are working in the 8th and 9th centuries levels in Upper F.
Finally, yesterday, we had a very nice visit to the tell by Israel Finkelstein, along with his assistants Yuval Gadot and Shirly Ben-David Evian, who came to see the finds, and also discuss the various aspects of collaboration with Israel’s ERC project.
It’s now the end of the 2nd week and we are having simply a great season!