Grid 32 is busy -- and is even using a mechanical "wheelbarrow" to help cart away stones from dismantled walls. There sure are a lot of walls, too, and for everyone that comes down, another wall gets bigger and goes down deeper. Some very complicated stratigraphy in this grid.
This area has surpassed all our expectations. The fragments of the building being uncovered are impressive. As of yet, the function of the building remains undetermined but with a few more days of excavation to go, there is still time to learn more. Onward and downward!
It goes without saying that Shimi, Ben, and the crew of Israeli workers digging this area are doing a tremendous job and adding significantly to what we know about "late period" Ashkelon.
They are not alone in Ashkelon, however. Co-director Daniel Master is in Israel helping with the final shutdown of the 2014 season and planning the 2015 season. Dr. Kate Birney, in Jerusalem for several months, has been assisting as necessary while also making progress on the publication of Hellenistic period Ashkelon. Jeff, one of the 2014 season volunteers, has lent a hand as well. And this week, our registrar Meghan will arrive to assist in processing the material being uncovered in Grid 32.
Shimi is sending pictures on a near daily basis. Check back often to see the progress.