We made it! Our first week of excavation -- and everyone is excavating -- is done. It was a great first week. Grid 20, the Snake Tower, is already starting to clarify, slowly but surely, the constructional sequence of the tower and related features. The most interesting development? Perhaps the fact it was a round tower.
In Grid 16, the steps are cut and the volunteers are making progress cutting into the side of the North Tell as they look to uncover and identify the occupational sequence from Bronze Age Ashkelon to the last Crusader period occupation. So far, they've more fully exposed a fallen piece of masonry and they are excited to see what the dirt reveals next.
In Grid 51 they continue to finish the excavation of the insula and its earliest phase of occupation, during the Persian period, in preparation for removing this remarkable building. It has dominated the landscape of the grid for years and it will be very interesting to see what lies underneath it.
The volunteers are off to Jerusalem tomorrow on their first dig sponsored field trip. Much of the staff will also be off to relax while the remainder will stay here and do ever popular things like bookwork. We'll be back at it on Sunday including our salvage excavation where a morning of cleaning by the staff revealed the corner of a large building.