Gath Dig – Day 2 – Tuesday, June 26

Gath Dig – Day 2

Today was the second day of the Gath dig and first real excavating day. We again left at 5:20 and arrived at the site for sunrise to the east. It would be a productive day of getting into our squares.

Shade Canopy Raising


Raising of the shade canopy at Area D at Gath

Shortly after arriving and unloading the equipment & tools for the day, we raised the shade canopy. Supported by about 25 poles and tension lines, we all together raised our poles and up went the canopy. Each square now in Area D is now shaded from the hot Israel sun.

The Digging Begins

So with tools in hand (picks, tareas -hoes, hand tools, spades, and brushes, etc…), we began to dig. Each square is managed by a square supervisor. The square where I am digging is located just inside the 12th century BC fortification wall. It shows promise that this was also the location of a city gate. But we’ll see what is discovered over the next 3.5 weeks. The area supervisor is Dr. Jeff Chadwick from BYU University here in Jerusalem.

Philistine ware Gath

Philistine ware

The digging begins within each square by first getting elevation readings and then determining how to continue to dig down based on last year’s records. The objective (and hope) in our square is to get down to a level that matches the possible two “chambers” protruding from the opposite wall. By the end of the day we dug down about 8-10 inches.

Of course a dirt pile was started. We discard dirt from the squares by using small buckets. We then carry them to the wheel-barrows and then dump it in one pile. From early morning to when we left the site at 1 p.m., the dirt pile is off to a good start. :). It’s getting bigger and bigger. This is the non-glamorous part of archaeology.

Buckets for pottery and bones are also used. Each piece of pottery that comes from the squares is collected in buckets and recorded. “Special finds” (e.g. objects) will get their own identification. In our square we filled about 1.5 buckets with pottery. Some pieces were large jar handles, while other pieces were classic 2-color bi-chrome ware. This type of pottery is Philistine from the 10th century. Reddish pottery (9th century BC) is also Philistine in nature.

Back to the Kibbutz

Re returned back to the kibbutz by 1:30 for lunch. We brought back the buckets of pottery from each of the squares. We filled the buckets with water and will wash and sort this pottery tomorrow. A few lectures took place this afternoon and evening.

For a complete collection of pictures from the day:



More updates tomorrow.


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