Cleaning is well under way in Grid 47 where the walls have been hit a second time with the leaf blower. They positively sparkle!
An interesting find while we were cleaning, well okay, digging a bit. The first archaeologist to excavate in this area, John Garstang in the 1920s, found several walls which he called Hellenistic. We decided to poke around one of them to see if we could learn more. What we found was that he was right, the walls stratigraphically are Hellenistic. The one to the right is, in fact, cut by the apse of the 1st century C.E. Roman bouleterion. They are also something more than just walls as they include engaged column bases. Very interesting.
Grid 51 was still hard at work today excavating their tabun. It sits on a floor that dates to the Persian-Hellenistic transition. The bowl smashed up against it is an in-curved rim bowl which dates to 4th-3rd century B.C.E.
The end is in sight, however, and tomorrow Grid 51 will start cleaning.
As the focus shifts from excavation to cleaning and shut down, supervisors find themselves spending more time on the computer. It's always helpful to find a comfy place to do that and hey, why not use a wheelbarrow?
Grid 38 finished excavation today and after breakfast both Grid 38 and Grid 47 was in the compound working on inventory, pottery marking and other end-of-the-season tasks.
And finally, from Dr. Walton and his wife Kim who joined us for the first three weeks of the season, a hilarious contribution to the blog. Ashkelon and its denizens are everywhere!