Day 14 Full Swing

As Omer says, “My area was a gamble.” Boy did it pay off! A destruction layer from the Middle Bronze Age, over 3500 years ago, with pots and ovens on the floor. And those pots have materials in them which can be analyzed on the lab! Not only that,  structures of mud bricks, boulders, and floors are all around. Many questions need to be answered! Right above him Keren’s team has uncovered several rows of walls which may end up connecting, and floors may be appearing. Boaz’s team stretches over a very, very steep slope, and has built a Grand Concourse from top to bottom. Mud brick walls seemed to be appearing as I walked by.

On top, Ido’s team continues to find dozens of objects on a destruction floor layer. One sweet item today was a pinched stopper of a storage jar, which curator Leora says she never saw the likes of before. Dozens of buckets are being wet sifted and material is being sent to the lab.

Finally, in our eastern section, all along the slope walls are appearing. We may have identified a defense tower, with an adjacent floor, or that floor may be itself an earlier fortification.

Guest today included Tzvika Tzuk, archaeologist of the National Parks Authority, and JJ Wernick with his bar mitzva son Ariel Zvi and entourage.

Azekah is coming out to shine…

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First Day!

The buses left about 430am and we reached Azekah with first light when it was cool. Since we had met and cleaned our site the day before everyone was raring to go! We cleared topsoil in my area =E-East-Efrat the supervisor- Elah Valley side-  and filled sandbags all around the squares, and found- I kid you not – 37 scorpions!

On top of the tel Ido found walls or installations, which is great because we do not know exactly where Bliss and Macalister dug and refilled their trenches.

Because of the intense heat wave for the rest of the week we will end an hour earlier to play it safe. This is another indication of how they really care for our physical comfort and safety- e.g. coffee cups with plastic tops int he morning so we can head for the bus and drink as we drive!

Aren Maier of Bar Ian presented a talk on Gat and tomorrow will guide us there.

Yuval Gadot ave a nice personal talk of his early encounters with archaeology. Later in a training class he explained what we hope to find in each of the 5 main areas we are tackling now, and how they were chosen- based on seeing walls or other features in an extensive survey, for which team member Shatil earned an MA.  

Dsvid Willner and Bob Cargill are working with Ido Koch and myself to help all the volunteers contribute thoughts and images through this blog, youtube, and facebook- stay tuned!!!  

Barnea Levi Selavan

Warm up Day

After 4 years of planning, today, Sunday July 15, dozens of students from all over the world walked onto Tel Azeka, and delicately gathered topsoil for replanting by the National Parks Authority. Squares are now cleared prepared and geo-positioned each on their own grid. Two sections to the South, one to the East- I am there, in Efrat’s section, facing the Elah Valley), one on top, and one to the west- E, S1 and S2, W, and T. ( Off the bat I found 5 jug handles, 2 definitely from the biblical period. I am psyched). We’ve got months of geophysical work showing features under the ground, which indicated where to dig, plus Bliss and Macalister’s notes of 1898-9. Staff set up on Friday to be ready, as you see in the photo.

France, Australia. England, the US, and even Israel are represented, with Germany on the way, and more.  

Today- waking up 4 hours from now- we dig!