Sitting in the lobby which hasn't gotten too noisy yet. In a hour or two it will be packed with people and the pool even more so! Summer vacation has started for Israel and the hotel is filled with families.
We have finished our third week of excavation and are bidding a fond farewell to our part-time volunteers who joined us for the first three weeks of the season. Bon voyage to all our friends! It was a productive half season with each excavation area making great progress. Grid 51 continued to move deeper into the Persian period and while doing so discovered some amazing objects including a museum worthy carved ivory knife handle. Grid 44 opened with a bang and over the course of the first three weeks uncovered a house with a mosaic floor, paved courtyard and plaster lined drain. Special finds included a bone doll, a bone comb and a large riveted piece of iron. In its final season Grid 38 continued to surprise as they uncovered more of the Philistines. Some of their amazing small finds included worked ivory, a puppy in a pot and, as always, wonderful pottery.
One of the highlights of the third week was, as I've mentioned, Tell Games. Another was the opportunity for the volunteers to see all the excavation areas and learn about what other areas have been doing while on a Tell Tour. I'm including pictures of each excavation area do you can see the same things they did.
Grid 38 had some great news yesterday. Just when they feared they would find no more of Phase 20B, the earliest Philistine phase on site, they uncovered a wall and some floors that belong to that phase. Great news and the work continues.
Have a great Saturday!