Update for Friday, July 13, 2018

Quite a few nice finds on the last day of the 3rd week! And we are about to start the 4th and final week.

Area M was overflowing with finds from the Hazael destruction, including a complete Late Philistine Decorated Ware small jar/large amphoriskos and a totally beautiful bowl with an applique of an animal (lizard?) situated as if it’s climbing into the vessel, over the rim.

In Area Y, for the time being, the architectural features can be defined as questions, wrapped in enigmas, covered in uncertainties… Clearly, something fascinating was going on here, but so far, we can only guess what. On Tuesday, Adi Eliyahu (microarchaeologist from Ariel University) will be on site to sample for analyses – and hopefully this will eventually provide some answers.

In Area D, the team was cleaning for final photos and drawing sections.

We had a few visitors as well: Elisabetta Boaretto and Xin Yan (WIS), who had some good suggestions on various analytic issues (and to plan a possible mini-season in the coming spring), and Oren Ackermann (Ariel) and Yaakov Schreibman (TUA) who came to sample from bricks from various periods on the tell.

Here’s a picture of some finds, a nice shot of the 3rd week team –

and the daily clip.

Update for Thursday, July 12, 2018

Yup, another great day! As we near the end of the 3rd week, we have quite a few nice results.

As it is the last day with a full sized team (the CCU team is leaving early tomorrow morning) first thing this morning we did aerial and ground group photos of the team – which came out very nice!

Then, we divided into teams and went to work in the various areas.

In Area D, they took off the tarps and cleaned, since the main part of the Area D team is leaving (CCU and others). All told, this was a great season in Area D East and we think that we are finally moving towards a very good understanding of the gate, its stages and some of the features associated with it. Still what to do and what to explain – but we are quite happy with the results!

In Area Y, Jill and her team are cutting into the burnt brick structure. We still don’t understand it – but it is getting very interesting. Similarly, the squares with the chalk layers are puzzling us!

Maria and her team in Area M continue to recover tons of finds. In one of the stone tubs (we believe mainly used for olive crushing) several vessels and a collection of loomweights were found. The large jar with holes was finally removed – and this jar served as the motif of the group picture!

We also had quite a few visitors, including Ron Shaar from HU, Rafi Greenberg (TAU), Chani Greenberg (BGU), Gideon Suleimani, and Zvika Zuk (RATAG).

Tomorrow is the last day of the week – and next week we scale down towards the end of the season.

Here are some pictures and the daily clip:

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Update for Wednesday, July 11, 2018

We had a great day on site today, with great finds, and some nice visits.

In Area D East, Jeff and his team are finishing up defining the gate area, as tomorrow is the last day of the CCU team, and next week, the area will be working with skeleton crew. It looks like we have a really nice understanding of at least some of the stages of the gate area – even if we have more work to do in future years.

In Area Y, Jill and her team continue to expose the various brick and stone walls, and the very interesting chalk covered features. The architecture in this area appears, more and more, to be of an Iron I date, based on the identifiable pottery coming from the various contexts. This, and the fact that the orientation of the architecture is very different from the Iron IIA architecture in Areas K and M, seems to indicate that there is some extensive activity in the eastern part of the lower city, already in the Iron I.

In Area M, Maria and her team continue pulling out great stuff, with many vessels of various types and other nice finds. In one of the stone vats, most probably used for olive oil production, a collection of vessels and loomweights were found. Perhaps, during the final days of Gath, they had been stored in this location.

We had quite a few visits today, including Dr. Iossi Bordowic from the Nature and Parks Authority, Prof. David Ben-Shlomo from Ariel University, Vladimir, from the IAA, and Amanda Borschel-Dan (and her son, Yair), the archaeology correspondent of the Times of Israel, who spent more or less the entire day on site.

Here are some nice fotos and the daily clip – in fact both from yesterday and today.