We moved out as usual and I was first up on the hill of the volunteers. As they day went on the “oven” got hotter – our Eastern section and Ido’s top section shut down early and we went back to base camp to wash pottery instead. Once again the consideration for the wellbeing of the people is exemplary. But I am happy to report that more walls appeared on the eastern slopes!
More buckets of destruction layer material came out from both the top of the hill and the south side, and bits and pieces of the puzzles are coming together. As more squares are opening and the digging deepens, the chances of interpretation increase.
Excitement in the office – 3D modeling is being prepared and when properly mapped the archaeologists can use it to analyze and predict where to dig. It seems the paths up the hill to ancient Azekah may be identified, which can for example indicate where to look for a city gate. More on this later.
British rabbis-in-training visited. Curator Leora Freud explained artifacts like a stamped jar handle, a sheqel weight, grinding stones and the like, and why bone and charcoal analysis are important. Then we went out to Lachish and Azekah and they “got the picture.” They wanted to “feel the text in their bones” before going out to teach. Dr. Raphael Zarum of the London School of Jewish Studies was there and was most pleased- he is familiar with the Lachish relief from Sennacheriv’s palace in the British Museum, but had never been to Lachish. The group saw walls first uncovered only hours before! The program was organized by Rabbi Mark Daniels.