The start of the season is a little over a month away. By now you may be thinking, "What did I get myself into?" Fortunately, we can tell you all about it. This season, as in previous seasons, we will be excavating in three main areas. Grid 51, located the furthest west almost overlooking the Mediterranean, Grid 38, located near the center of the site, and Grid 47, located east of Grid 38 almost within site of the Jerusalem Gate.
You don't get to pick the grid in which you will work but that doesn't mean you can't learn a little about what you might be doing if you were, say, in Grid 51. Or why, exactly, you might want to work there. I asked Dr. Kate Birney, who directs the excavation of Grid 51, why someone might want to work there and she gave me 5 good reasons.
WHY you should dig in Grid 51:
--Access to 1000 years of pottery in a single grid
--Best Coffee on site
--Sea view at fruit break
--Home of Wall Awesome
Grid 51 is the only grid to offer the Full-body Archaeological Workout Plan (TM)
By integrating theory and technique, FAWP develops both major muscle groups (bis, tris, and thighs) for general fitness, as well as minor muscle groups (obliques, neck, wrist) for precision excavation of small finds! That gleaming bronze god you hoped to find in the dirt this summer... might just be you.
And what will you be doing if you work in Grid 51? According to Dr. Birney,
This season Grid 51 will be continuing excavation in three areas:
Byzantine (6th c. A.D.) neighborhood bathhouse, which was totally robbed out during the Islamic period. The bathhouse had floors paved with black and white mosaics or large terracotta tiles, and we will continue to work on the substructures and try to better understand how the rooms were heated and used.
Hellenistic apartment complexes (ca. 3rd c. B.C.) The walls for these apartments served as the foundations for the later Byzantine bathhouse. Half of this building was excavated in the late 90s, and its courtyard produced a hoard of coins dating to the period just after Alexander the Great. What the eastern half holds, only this summer will determine....
Persian period duplex (late 6th/early 5th c. B.C.) This fantastically well-preserved building served as the foundation for centuries of successive building and reuse. It features floors paved with mudbrick (some carefully arranged with alternating colors), mudbrick walls preserved over 1.5m in height (!), and constructed doorways. The finds from the previous season included a variety of Egyptian jewelry and a grain storage room (complete with iron plowshare tip).
Intrigued? Learn more about Grid 51 (and yes, Area 51 is too obvious) this season as Dr. Birney leads a team investigating the hottest spot in all of Ashkelon!
For the latest installment of WWWW (Who? What? Where? When?) we're sticking with Grid 51.
The answer for the last WWWW coming soon!