And now for some archaeology from today…

After the last two posts, now an update on some of what happened today in the excavations:

In Area A, work in the early Iron I levels continued. In a complete Iron I room that is being excavated in the north of the area, which has already produced some very interesting finds, a very nice faience scaraboid, with the very commonly used “prenomen” of Thutmosis III (Men-Kheper-ra) was found. Also, the archaeological science has been working hard to define the layers of phytoliths in the area and it seems that there are some clear patterns in these layers – perhaps hinting to the function of Area A in the early Iron Age (perhaps an area where animals were kept).

Here you can see Liam (who found the scarab) and Brent (who first read it) showing off their find!

scarab from Area A

In Area D, in addition to the day camp that we had, we found some very interesting finds, including what seems to be portions of a fenestrated cultic stand, found right near the two chalices described yesterday and in front of what might be a standing stone (massebah).

Also, Area D, they celebrated the double birthday of Barbie and Mor!

B-Day party for Barbie and Mor

Here’s a preliminary view of the possible fenestrated stand:

view of parts of possible cultic stand from Area D

In Area E we had some great finds as well. This includes a very nice cluster of carbonized olive pits right in the alleyway – great for dating this feature. We also can now clearly say that the two eastern most squares have clear architecture, and we are now exposing more and more of the earlier EB levels.

Here is Kent photographing (with an IPad) a very interesting EB installation of unclear function:

Kent taking picture of installation in Area E

In Area F, we also had a bunch of nice finds, including a beautiful philistine bichrome sherd with a bird decoration. Also, we have just reached what appears to be the late 8th cent. BCE destruction level – perhaps connected with the 701 BCE campaign of Sennacherib.

Here’s a view of the 8th cent BCE destruction:

8th cent destruction level in Upper F

And here is a view of the Southwestern Assemblies of God University team (led by Eric Welch) with the beautiful bichrome Philistine sherd with the bird decoration – Joseph – who found the “bird” is holding it on the right:

Lower F team with philistine bird sherd

In Area P, the city wall continues to be exposed and it appears now, almost without a doubt that it is first built in the EB, and then reused in the LB. Also, thanks to Brian Stachowski’s important insight – we can probably connect this wall in Area P, and an additional section in Area F – with the city wall that was discovered by Bliss and Macalister way back in 1899!

Here’s a view of the wall from within the deep probe that Andrew is digging in the fill layers outside of the wall in Area P:

EB wall in Area P

Cool Day! Half of the season is over – and as I told the team last night at the end of the week party – the results so far have been so good that if we stopped digging today, we could say that we had an astoundingly successful season!

Shabbat Shalom!


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