Another great, but extremely hectic, day on the tell. Once again, the team was enormous, with something like 200 people in the various areas (most of them in Area D…). We also had quite a few visitors today, including a group from the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, the Tel Burna Team (led by Dr. Itzik Shai), and the Land of Mannaseh Survey team (led Dr. Doron Bar). We were all running around like mad… :-)
But the finds were great!
Area A: In the Iron I square they found a concentration of ca. 25 olive pits, and removed a very nice dipper juglet. In the Iron IIA square there is oodles of pottery, including a complete jug and quite a few jars. A very nice that came out today in the pottery washing is a clay bulla, with two poorly preserved stamps and the negative of the string on the back. Due to its form, the bulla was probably for closing a box and not a letter, and from what could be seen, the two stamps were anepigraphic (which is to be expected in the Iron I)
Area D: The metallurgy area had some nice finds, including a couple of bronze objects (though poorly preserved) and perhaps an installation. So, maybe we will have some insights on how the metal production was carried out – and what was being made.
In the gate area more and more architecture is coming out, and its becoming more and more complicated and massive. We have more finds from the Iron I and IIA levels, including a series of tabuns covering all these periods, a ton of restorable pottery from the Iron I and IIA – including a very nice strainer jug (“beer jug”) of the “Late Philistine Decorated Ware” pottery group – something what we have not yet seen at Safi.
Area E: The donkeys are starting to come out of the ground – and we have most of the skeletons of both of them. In addition, Johanna Regev (WIS) came to take some 14C samples from a probe into the lower levels in the area – hopefully to add lower, earlier phases to the 14C sequence of the EB in Area E.
Area F: The almost complete jar was removed today, and it very much looks like an MB form. If so, this is the first restorable MB jar from our excavations, and also nice evidence of the MB levels within the city wall. In addition, LB and Iron IIA levels were excavated and a nice bone object was found.
Area K: More and more architecture and smashed pottery is coming up in the area, but it is still quite hard to understand the plan and function of the contexts – and the various installations in and around them. Today the K team took out a bunch of loomweights, two nice juglets and a bunch of other vessels. An interesting find was a vessel in which a collection of small pebbles was found! We have no idea what this might have been used for!
All told – a great day – here are some pictures: