Satisfaction is on everyone’s face. Work is progressing, walls are being revealed, coins are being found which are always wonderful, and great for dating when in a context – today we found a Hasmonean coin in Lower Azekah East! And there we are once again peeling away layers of walls, occasionally with a sledgehammer, which our girls also swing. The finds section is filling up with wonderful objects- same at Socho, by the way.
Omer has found a few walls and is opening up new squares. Ido’s team collected over 75 buckets of materials which will mostly be wet sifted to catch small finds. This is the living space and destruction layer of this period, a real catch.
It was hot, and starting time has been moved a bit later to make sure it was safe with enough light when we come up the hill. In the afternoon we ran off to a tour of Khirbet Qeiyafa and Tel Bet Shemesh led by Ido Koch (hence I must still obtain a full report from the other areas). This followed last night’s lecture by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University about the site and its implications. The students particpated in a point by point discussion on site; very illuminating. At Tel Bet Shemesh the layers were very clear, and you could see the burining of destruction layers in the section- the wall of the excavation squares- which was a great object lesson in why such emphasis is placed on keeping them in tact and clear. Here again reference was made to last week’s lecture by excavator Prof. Shlomo Bunimovich of TAU.
Tonight Shatil and Yuval Gadot will explain surveying and why we chose the five areas. The classes have an immediate impact on work in the field, as people understand better, they work better, with more awareness and care. Last night both the International Master’s program and the Hebrew BA program learned about pottery, and were given papers to start recording information and finds. Today the area supervisors began dedicating time to help people practice – I recorded a list of loci and basket numbers, and was able to follow a technical conversation held between supervisors as a result.
I hope by this time next week there will be solid results to report. In the meantime, the appetizers are tantalizing!