During the offseason, August through May, work at Ashkelon falls into the pleasing rythyms of scholarly research, the drawing of ceramic corpora and the daily maintenance of the site as well as the Ashkelon Lab. While the pace might be slower there is still much to learn and discover. And not just by the Leon Levy Expedition. The ancient city of Ashkelon is now a National Park where visitors come to swim, camp or to spend a day wandering the ruins. It is operated by the Parks Authority and sometimes they come across something interesting in the maintenance of the park. Indeed, it is almost impossible to stick a shovel into the ground and not find something.
This winter while renovating the bathrooms on the South Tell, good news for those working in Grid 51, the Parks Authority uncovered the remains of what the Antiquities Authority has determined was probably a bath. It's a fascinating discovery, this bath which stood on one of the highest points on the South Tell in a neighborhood that enjoyed unparalleled views of the sea.
This is a view of the bathrooms on the South Tell and the area of the Antiquities Authority's salvage excavation.
And here is a picture of the excavation.
What happens next remains to be seen but the discovery of the bath has already given us some important information about this area of the city. With each such discovery we learn a bit more about ancient Ashkelon.