Today we had our first Tel Tour. It started in Grid 38 where Josh detailed the latest events. In Square 85 Johnathon and his volunteers have waded through Byzantine and Roman period drains on their way to the Persian period and, happily, what appears to be the first well preserved 8th century BCE floor ever found at Ashkelon. That is certainly a big discovery!
One of the goals of Square 85 is to keep moving towards the level of the gray sandbags you can see in this picture and the one below. Last year they uncovered a very important building dating to the Iron 1 period which extends into Square 85. Stay tuned for Johnathon's progress throughout the season as he gets closer and closer to uncovering the remainder of this important building.
Further down in the grid in Dana's square they are dealing with fill layers from the LB 1 period and a house with a courtyard from the LB 2. (LB = Late Bronze Age. The approximate dates for LB 1 are 1550 - 1400 roughly and for LB 2 1400 -1200.)
As mentioned previously, Grid 38 is the longest continually excavated grid on site but much of it is coming to the end of its long winding journey. Dana's may very well complete the excavation of his area this summer after which point Johnathon's square and the quest for the remainder of the Iron 1 building under the sandbags will be the focus of work.
From Grid 38 it was on to Grid 51 and happily I have pictures! Up first, Kate, who you met in our first "Getting to Know You" segment. Here she is explaining her very interesting grid which is newly expanded this season. With the new expansion Kate and her team of supervisors find themselves dealing with a wide range of time periods. They have everything from Islamic and Crusader through the Persian period. All in all some very interesting stratigraphy.
I have a few more details and, I hope, perhaps even a description of the grid from Kate herself who tells me she also has some great pictures to share.
They are very hard to see but if you look at the ground to the right of the volunteer with the red backpack can see some ceramic tiles which come from a Byzantine period villa.
In this picture Kathleen is standing inside a large drain which proved to be much bigger than expected. They also found some great things while excavating it which I hope to have more information on soon!
Under the shade cloth is where the earliest material in Grid 51 comes from. It is here that they hope to come down on the first occupation levels after the 604 BCE destruction of the city.
I realize this is a bit skimpy but pottery washing is fast approaching and I must head off. I promise to have more than just pictures of Grid 51 soon!
Enjoy the dirt!