Sneak peak: Objectives of the 2018 season

With just a week to go before the 2018 season starts, here is a short overview of the objectives of the upcoming season.

To start with, this will be first season, since the very beginning of the project (in 1996), where our excavations will focus solely on the lower city. For now, all the excavation areas in the upper city have been closed. That said, there is a good chance that we will return for a short season in Area F during the spring of 2019, to check out a very specific issue that is remains unanswered.

We will have a nice sized team this year, and in the 2nd and 3rd weeks we will be close to 100 team members working on site. This includes participants from all over the world – archaeologists, students and volunteers. Go team!

In the lower city, we will be excavating in three areas:

Area D East: We will continue excavating in the eastern part of Area D, where we believe that we have found the city gate. Jeff Chadwick will be taking over as field director of the area, following several years that this area was expertly directed by Amit Dagan.

Two new areas will be opened in the lower city, based on the results of the magnetometry survey that Andy Creekmore and his team conducted last year. And in fact, this survey showed some very interesting anomalies in the parts of the lower city between Area D in the west and Area K in the east.

Area M: Will be directed by Maria Eniukhina, and will focus on a location in which the remote sensing indicates that there may be buildings and/or streets.

Area Y: Will be directed by Jill Katz, and will focus on what looks like, based on the remote sensing, a large building with several rooms, with apparent evidence of high temperature fires.

It must be stressed that these assessments are based on the remote sensing – and clearly, only after we start excavating, will we be able to say what in fact will be found in these new areas. I believe this will be VERY interesting, and based on the the stratigraphy in other parts of the lower city, there are good chances that the Iron Age remains are very close to surface!

In addition to this, there are three other things that are planned:

* Additional remote sensing (Ground Penetrating Radar [GPR] and perhaps magnetometry) in the lower city, that will be carried out by Andy and his team in the last week of the season. This will supplement and expand on the remote sensing conducted last season, and in particular, compare between two remote sensing methods (GPR and magnetometry).

* Some very specific probes will be conducted in Area D West by Vanessa Workma, to check out some details relating to the Iron IIA metal production zone.

* Check out and plan for the possible small-scale spring season to be carried out in Area F, to conduct a limited probe into the MB and EB levels.

To this we can add that we will be trying out some new equipment (toys…) this season, including our new drones, a GoPro camera, and related hardware and software.

All told – I believe we going to have a great season – with lots of finds and LOTS of fun.

No less important – I will continually update throughout the season.