Oh Baby – that’s sums it up! :-)
This morning, with all the news about the sphinx from Hazor and the inscription from Jerusalem, we were all feeling a bit unhappy…..
…. but not for long!
As often has happened in the past, Amit and the Area D team came to rescue of despondent mood, and found some cool stuff!
So what the story:
In Area D, as you all know, we have a very impressive late 9th cent. BCE destruction. We clearly see that the late Iron IIA city included a large lower city during this period, making Gath one of the largest, if not THE largest site in the Land of Israel at the time (ca. 45-50 hectare). What was not clear, save for hints here and there, whether this lower city existed in earlier stages.
Well today, we seem to have the answer, and in spades!
It started out with some very nice architectural features, clearly earlier than the late Iron IIA stratum that started to appear in the last few days, along with typical late Iron I/early Iron IIA pottery.
But today, we definitely had the clincher. Right next to the main wall of this earlier phase, we found what can only be described as astounding – and beautiful group of vessels – bowls, juglets – apparently votive, and to top it all, with a perfectly complete Triton shell! The pottery seems to date to the late Iron I (more or less comparable to Qasile, Stratum X).
The Triton is very interesting. First of all, an additional one was found in the Qasile X temple – as well as at Hazor and Qadesh Barnea. The Triton is very well-known in the Aegean world as an important cultic symbol, found in various cultic and symbolic contexts (both real ones and various imitations other materials) as well as being a common motif on the decoration of pottery and other objects. As already noted regarding the Qasile Triton shell, this may be yet another connection between the Philistine culture and the Aegean world.
Here are some great pictures of Amit’s team (Amit,
Mor, Maria, Miriam, Eliraz and MiYoung) documenting and taking out the vessels:
Needless to say, other areas had some great finds today – but I believe these are the story for the day!
Cool day and very cool finds!