Unless the weather is really bad, in three weeks, on Tuesday, Dec. 31st, we will conduct a short, half day dig at the site, to uncover an interesting stone installation that can be seen on the surface of the tell, in the lower city, about 200 or so meters east of Area D. If all goes well, we will excavate this stone installation, which appears to be similar to the large stone basin which was found in the 9th cent. BCE destruction level in Area A, and most probably served as part of an oil press. If this does in fact turn out to be something similar, this will strengthen our supposition that this type of oil press might represent a type typical of the 9th cent. BCE, prior to the appearance of the types well-known from various 8th and 7th cent. BCE sites (such as at nearby Ekron and Batash), and more developed than a type which is known at various sites in the Iron I (as discussed by R. Beeri in PEQ 2008).
This, by the way, has interesting implications vis-a-vis the question of whether or not olive oil production was a substantial agricultural production activity in Philistia prior to the 7th cent. BCE.
Should be very interesting!
See here a picture of the “bathtub” in the middle of Area A, in a photo taken in the 2004 season.