It was wonderful to drive from Nes Harim seeing the bright stars, and then walk up with cool breezes at first light. Everyone was also heartened and appreciative of the consideration that we would end by 12 to avoid the intense heat. What is more exciting are the first finds! A bronze Scytho-Iranian arrowhead, hard to date, but either Assyrian/Babylonian/Persian, was found, perhaps in a destruction layer of fortifications! More: a sheqel weight, a letter or two on pottery, a small well shaped mortar and pestle, a coin, grinding stones, a beautiful flint cutting edge, a beautiful sleek Hellenistic oil lamp, a sling bullet, and more. And in our area – Azekah East – we have reached 60 scorpions!
Shatil gave our section an on site lesson in surveying. Efrat’s night classes on technique are helping understand how to record data, and she and Shatil are giving us opportunities to actually do the work and learn it for ourselves.
Following Prof. Lipschits’ introduction talk last night, Ido Koch will discuss the history of the Judean Foothills, the Shephelah, the subject of his dissertation. This will give the participants- some of who never traveled out of their home country before, some of who were never in Israel and many who never excavated – a sense of where they are and why the excavation is important.
This Azekah blog is being interlinked with the excavation website, facebook page, and youtube channel – now celebrating its third hour since creation- so images and writing from participants, and movies can be accessed and enjoyed. I gave up seeing the latest finds at Tel Es-Saf Gat with Aren Maier http://gath.wordpress.com/ to work with Bob Cargill and David Willner on various media. The loss is mine, and the gain will be yours. As I write, Bob is experimenting with a media post to see if the system is ready for you to contribute your thoughts and images. Much to look forward to!
Please continue to send in comments.
My mother asked that we post a map, and offered to proofread my writing. Now that’s what I call strong support! Thanks Ima.
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!!!
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.