Today we had a great day! As I noted earlier, fortifications were key issues today, but other interesting finds came up as well.
In Area D, we had a very large team today. A group of over 20 students from the Ashkelon College, led by Dr. Ayelet Levi, joined the team and helped give the area a big push. The highlight of the day in Area D was the apparent confirming that we have found the Iron Age city wall of the lower city of Gath! Despite claims by some of my colleagues (who will not be named at this stage…) that the lower city was not fortified in the Iron IIA, we seem to have found a wall, at least 6 m wide, running right at the end of the lower city, immediately above the Elah Valley river bed. Woohoo! We suggested this long ago – and now we have what seems to be clear evidence of this. I hope we will conclusively “nail this baby down” by the end of the season.
Area P also dealt with fortifications today and we are reaching two additional sections of the EB fortifications in this area. Also, we have very nice evidence of pre-wall EB activities under the wall. On a side note, the Area P team (in particular Sam Raab, on his first day on the dig), found a really nice decorated ivory handle, perhaps of a mirror, spoon or other implement.
The Area F team is working on several various phases from the EB through the Iron I which relate to the city wall, and we can clearly see that in Area F, the EB city wall is reused over a long period.
Area A is working in the 9th cent. BCE destruction and the LB levels.
Area P are finding great stuff in the EB levels – including what appears to be a rather large piece of carbonized olive wood, which we will attempt to take out in as large a piece as possible. In addition, the E team, along with Jessie Pincus, continued working on the GPR of the Area to the east of the excavated area. Hopefully, this will provide us with a nice idea on whether or not the EB neighborhood continues further down the slope – towards the possible line of fortification in the terrace below Area E.
What a day! And this is only the beginning of the 2nd week! :-)