This is our final week of excavation. We will dig as usual on Monday and Tuesday, but will start to close down on Wednesday and Thursday when we take final photos. On Friday we will leave for Jerusalem. Here is a brief summary of the finds from this past week.
The main item of interest is a large L-shaped structure of uncertain plan and function at the southern edge of the tel. Its walls average 90 cm wide. It was three large stones forming the north-south wall line that first attracted our attention to this area. Already in the first week we uncovered the structure's northeastern corner and its east-west wall line; however, it seems that later pits and disturbances destroyed part of it. The stone foundations of this structure continue to go down, so we are not yet able to give a firm date for its construction. Yet, walls of apparent Iron Age II date abut the northeastern corner, so the structure would seem to be earlier than this. The big discovery last week was the jug with the small hoard of silver inside. The jug was found abutting the east-west wall of the structure. The jug now appears to have been on a floor with other objects, including some nice pottery and two basalt ring weights. The latest news from our faunal expert, Nimrod Marom of Haifa University is his discovery of a possible lion bone (a phalanx) from one of our loci.
Area AAlready in the first week we uncovered a series of rooms that appear to be domestic in nature. The pottery is predominately cooking pots, pithoi, and a few jugs. There are very few bowls. The rooms to the west are better preserved than those in the east. This is largely due to erosion near the slope. But in general, the more we go down, the better preserved it is. The date of this phase seems to be Iron I, which is very strange, since the ring flask that we discovered in the 2012 survey is way below this level. We hope to learn more next season. We are close to the next phase below, which is the uppermost wall exposed in the road cut during the 2012 survey.
All of the dates stated above are provisional, since we will be going over the diagnostic pottery again in Jerusalem and firming up our phasing of the site.