Monday, June 30 (Day 6 of Dig)

IMG_9386It was a new week of digging and this meant getting up at 4:30 a.m.  Boarding the bus at 5 and arriving on the site, we once again climb the tel.  This time our destination was our new area, Area O.  With the grids already marked off and with help getting the “shades” up to protect us from yet another sunny and warm day (it wasn’t as hot as this past weekend), we began to open up a 150 cm section in each of the three 5 x 5m squares.   What we hoped to dig down to was the top level  of some wall structure from the Iron Age II period (approx. 1200 – 1000 BC).  And that is apparently what we did.

Going down about 40 cm, the tops of a series of big boulders was uncovered.  Actually, Chilton from our touring group as the one to unearth the first larger boulder of what appears to be an Israelite wall.  We’ll see how far the wall goes this week as more is unearthed. The work was hard today (lots of pick axes, shovels, and emptying dirt in buckets and wheelbarrows) but rewarding, since we were able to come down to walls that we hope date to the time of the Bible.  Our area also excavated some very interesting pieces of pottery, including an apparent Iron Age (Israelite) “trumpet bowl,” rimmed storage jars, and cooking pot shards.  The most impressive find of the day came from our area – a large mortar bowl made of basaltic rock. IMG_3309

Once again, the 7:15 a.m. “tea break,” the 9:15 breakfast, and the 11:15 juice break were welcomed times of rest and good conversation with our other areas. We returned back “home” for lunch, naps, pottery washing and sorting (very interesting with the insights of Dr. Nava), dinner, and a lecture on the role of “Archaeology & the Bible” by Dr. Lauren Monroe (Cornell University, NY). Bedtime came early but not before watching the first of two World Cup soccer games.

We do the same thing tomorrow!

For the official Abel Beit Maacah update from the site Director, go to: https://www.facebook.com/AbelBethMaacah

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