Saturday, February 1, 2014

I know, we haven't posted to this blog since July 2013. How uncyberlike of us. Since the end of our first successful season, we have been busy processing our great finds, writing articles, lecturing at the ASOR Annual Meeting, and you know -  just life. But now that we have begun registration for summer 2014 and are accelerating the preparations for this second season in the field, we would like to share with you some of our accomplishments and goals.

First of all, the dates for 2014 are Tuesday June 24 to Tuesday July 22. We decided to try this different dig week schedule so as to make travel to and from the kibbutz easier. We found that due to Sabbath public transportation restrictions in Israel, it was difficult for team members to travel to the kibbutz on Saturday, Sunday morning, or from the kibbutz on Friday afternoon. We hope this new schedule will help. Thus, we will be digging in the field from Wednesday to Friday, then Monday to Tuesday, instead of the 'traditional' Monday to Friday. Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) are, of course, free to rest, enjoy and tranvel. Full details are posted on our website (www.abel-beth-maacah.org) under the heading '2014' 'Volunteer Guide', Of cousre, feel free to write to us with any questions and comments:
abmaacah@gmail.com
You are most welcome to join us.

We will be staying at Kibbutz Kefar Szold, like in 2013. They promised us even faster and stronger WiFi in the rooms and an improved menu in the dining room(!!). The beauty and serenity of the kibbutz, and the warmth and friendliness of the staff people there, remain the same!
view of the kibbutz center
 Now that we've finished secondary sorting of all the pottery from Area A, we can say that our first sense in the field has been corroborated and indeed we are in an Iron I context; about 90%(!) of the pottery is composed of collared-rim pithoi (both the wavy-band -Tyrian?- and the central hill country type) and straight-rimmed cooking pots. Restoration of selected loci in Area F, as well as the comparative material to the silver hoard (both the jug in which it was found and the jewelry and ingots from the hoard itself), point to a late Late Bronze/early Iron Age date. This context seems to be secondary to the large stone structure (tower?) so the latter must be earlier. How much earlier? This is one of our goals in 2014 - to examine the extent and nature of this impressive structure. In Area A, our goal is to expand westwards and to see if the 'missing' Iron IIA occupation (10th-9th centuries BCE) will be found there, far from the eroded eastern slope. And in Area A we will g down to the level of our 'logo' ring flask. I think I 'smell' a destruction level down there, judging by the material recovered there during our suvey. That's the kind of smell we like....!

a central-hill type collared rim pithos, Area A


the silver hoard from Area F as found, before cleaning
the silver hoard after cleaning and conservation-earrings, ingots and scrap metal

One more update for now - our first article about the excavation has been published in a scholarly journal - Strata, the Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeology Society. We thank David Milson, the editor, for his encouragement and careful editing. We hope this will be the first of many more to come in wake of interesting and enriching finds and insights. This article can be accessed through www.academia.edu or our Facebook page.