Today was our second day of digging. We continued the task of trying to dig down to the 10th century level of the fortification wall. We worked hard in our square as a team. We enjoyed a great sunrise to the east and a very clear day!
We moved a lot of dirt again today, nearly 20 centimeters further down. This may not sound like a lot, but it really represents a lot of effort. Moving dirt requires wheelbarrowing it about 30 yards where it is dumped over the side of the tel. We take turns dumping. Lots to larger rocks were also taken from our site. These are rocks that collapsed from the 8th century wall. Some of them weighed over 100+ pounds. The “big guys” were called to remove these! Thank goodness!
“We continue to work in our square in Area G. Our task is to continue digging down to find the 10th century BC fortification wall. This means moving, hauling, and dumping a lot of dirt.”
Pottery is the primary means of dating architectural structures. Our bucket was about a third full after the day ended. So while we did not see a lot of pottery, it was primarily 9th century BC. So we are moving from finding 8th to now 9th the deeper we go. This is how it works… the lower you go, the earlier the ruins/pottery is.
Pottery washing resumed this afternoon after getting back to the kibbutz for lunch. This also is a team effort, with almost everyone scrubbing pottery. All pottery is carefully collected in labeled buckets coming from individual excavation areas and squares. Some very nice potsherds were found today, even in our square.
Following pottery, many in the group labeled pottery already washed and analyzed a few days ago by the professional archaeologists on staff. Sharpies are used to write on the potsherd where it was found. It is a meticulous process.
After a very interesting lecture (they occur nightly at 6 p.m.) on textiles in antiquity, we enjoyed dinner together. It is now time for an early bedtime since wake-up tomorrow morning is once again at 4:50 a.m.
NOTE: The next update will probably not be until Friday following my fifth and final day of digging.