Friday, July 16, 2010, was a busy day, not only for archaeological aspects. In addition to excavation finds, we had a swarm of visitors to the site.
But first to some of the archaeology:
In Area A, among the finds of note on Friday was a small, but very nice bone handle from Jill’s area, and a decorated jar, which was actually excavated partially by the Australian ambassador (see below).
Here is a picture of the jar after it was fully uncovered:
In Area D, additional vessels from the 9th cent. destruction level continue to “pop” up.
In Area F, there were several important finds. Ely Levine continues to uncover the collapsed bricks of the possible 8th cent. earthquake, and there is now what appears to be more evidence of the earthquake (bricks apparently lying in a “wavy”, undulating position). Mike and Zach’s teams have begun uncovering clear evidence of stratified deposits in the two squares that connect the upper and lower parts of Area F (various phases of the Iron Age), while Eric’s team (including the CBC group – led by Mark Jenkins) have uncovered an additional section of the MB fortification wall (known already from previous seasons), but with an apparent floor on the inside face of the wall. This may be very important, since it may help us determine whether the MB wall was reused in later periods (LB and Iron Age) as well.
As far as the visitors, they seemed to start pouring in from the very early morning.
The first visitor was Israel Finkelstein, who came to see the various areas and in particular the aspects of research going on at the site that are connected to his ERC project. We had some great discussions (some of the team were very excited, as he is considered by some to be the “rock star” of near eastern archaeology… :-), and he was quite impressed (kept on stressing how Safi and the finds from it, are such so central for the undestanding of various issues).
Here are some pictures of Israel’s visit:
This was followed by a visit from a bus load of staff and volunteers from the Megiddo excavations, led by Eric Cline, who toured around the site. We tried to stress to them that although Megiddo is nice, there is no comparison… :-)
The real star of the day was the visit of the Australian ambassador, Andrea Faulkner, who came to the site to visit the team, and in particular, the Australian team from the University of Melbourne, led by Louise Hithcock. The ambassador arrived on site bearing presents as well, including a cake (!), several bottles of Australian wine (quite good), and copies of Australian papers with the Aussies were very interested in reading. After being introduced to the team, Mrs. Faulkner got tour of the Aussie excavation area (in which an Australian flag and a blowup kangaroo had been setup), excavated a little (she worked on the top of the decorated jar mentioned above), joined us for breakfast, and then spent about another hour on site, hearing explanations about the site and our work (she was very interested and asked many questions), and then finally spending a considerable amount of time talking personally with all the Aussies.
Here is a picture of the ambassador talking to Sam Crooks, one of the Melbourne team:
We finished off the day with the regular Friday “tell tour” – which was accompanied with popsicles for all!