Update for Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

Great day! Not only was it the US independence day, we also had some nice finds!

In Area M, Maria and her team found two (!!) stone vats for olive pressing – similar to ones that were found in Area A years ago, and in Area K, two years ago. It’s looking like we have an olive oil production center in the lower city. And, if I may add, this seems to be the official demise of theories that suggested that olives were not grown in Philistia and the Shephelah until the late Iron Age, when Ekron became a center for olive oil production!! :-)

Who knows – maybe part of the economic strength of Iron IIA Gath came from it’s olive oil??? The olive oil capital of the 9th cent BCE???…:-)

Below is a picture of one of the stone basin – most likely olive presses.

In Area Y, Jill and her team are working on several very interesting features, comprised of mudbrick, stones and chalk surfaces. So far, the architectural finds are quite interesting – even though other finds are surprisingly somewhat lacking.

In Area D West, Vanessa and her team found additional remains of the metallurgical activity area – and remains of earlier phases below the metallurgy.

In Area D East, Jeff and his team are working away on exposing the massive architecture of the various stages of the gate – and still we don’t have a clear cut explanation of these features.

Today we also had a very interesting visit from a film crew from the Israeli Channel 1, who filmed at the site as part of a series of connecting present, past and future in relation to the various Jewish holidays, and talked to me about archaeology in the context of the new year! Particularly interesting was that the host of the program is the well-known Israeli musician Shaanan Street, the lead musician in the very well-known Israeli band – Hadag Nahash. That was a lot of fun!

Needless to say, today was July 4th, and this was marked in the field by various people wearing US regalia – and playing US music! Happy US independence day!

See below a picture of one of the vats – and our daily clip


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