Friday, July 4 (Day 10 of Dig)

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Uncovering an Iron Age I jug in our square

This was the last day of the dig for the three of us (Tom, Chilton, and myself).  It’s been a great experience.

The day started just like all the other days. The first thing done in our square was a photograph of the Iron Age jug we uncovered yesterday.  Following the official photo, we then excavated very carefully around this almost-intact jug.  We sifted all the dirt around it, looking for any small items perhaps missed the first time through.  We also cleaned up (brushed) the floor of this dwelling as well as the wall itself, exposing at least three levels / layers of stone.   We separately collected the pieces of pottery that was laying all around the almost-intact jug.  As for the jug itself, it was decided to extract it next Monday.  So the rest of the digging day was spent helping the two other squares.

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Iron Age 1 Jug “in situ”

After breakfast, we got a tour of the other two areas (some of the pictures in the gallery below are from Areas A & F).  It is amazing how much has been found in just a season and a half so far.  Most of the structures found to date can be dated to either the Iron Age I (1200-1000 BC) to Late Bronze (1550-1200 BC).  It appears the tower found in Area F dates to a time period earlier (Middle Bronze II, approx 1800 – 1550 BC).

As I reflect upon digging up the past, I caught myself countless of times thinking to myself, “How long and difficult did it take these residents to build their city? I wonder who touched this cooking pot or jug handle, or I wonder who walked over the threshold of the apparent Iron Age dwelling we uncovered?  Was it an Israelite who knew one of the Judges?  Or was it an Aramean who lived within a treaty relationship with David during his reign?

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“Area 0” group

All these questions of course can’t be answered, but through the work of archaeologists, maybe we ourselves helped shed light on the stories of the Bible in some small way.  Excavating at Abel Beit Maacah was very rewarding!  I hope I am able to dig here next year and unfold more of this terrific site!

Even though we don’t fly home until Sunday night, this concluded the daily blog updates of the dig.

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

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