The answer to the most recent WWWW is, of course, the Grid that simply won't die! The picture is of Grid 38 which is the longest continually excavated grid here in Ashkelon. Located just to the west of the city center Grid 38 has proven to be a treasure trove in the Philistine through Byzantine periods. What will this season add to Grid 38's legacy?
We should find out soon enough. Today, heavy equipment moved in to start clearing a new square in Grid 38 to prep it for excavation. The picture below is a terrible one but if you squint enough you might just be able to make it out a column drum sticking out of the baulk, the side of the grid.
The column drum is now gone. As is a second one found lying next to it. Josh, the grid supervisor, expects to encounter some Islamic period material before quickly moving into the Byzantine and Roman periods in this new square. It is possible the Hellenistic and Persian periods will be reached although that seems less probable.
So what are the five reasons you want to dig in Grid 38? Well, Josh hasn't given me any reasons but I think I can come up with a few on my own. Here goes.
1. It has the best pedigree; a million years of excavation and counting
2. Work with Josh
3. Three words: Roman oil lamps
4. In case it wasn't mentioned before, you get to work with Josh
5. A day in Grid 38 is a year-long advanced seminar on mudbrick architecture
There you have it. I first worked in Grid 38 twenty-two years ago back when it was all Roman. Spent a lot of time in sewers. I wonder if we'll hit any of those this season.
Next up for the heavy equipment? Grid 47. Stayed tuned for a picture or two.