About that mystery object, the one about which "at least two supervisors" got very excited. It's a column base we found dumped into a water cistern, visible on the left side of the picture above, excavated in Grid 32. The reason why it is so exciting is the material found at the center of the column base.
There in the center, you can see the metal fasteners -- an iron spike or similar object with a lead seal around it -- used to hold the pieces of column together. Metal was so valuable in antiquity it was usually cut out of discarded architectural features, such as this column base, and to find it in this context was unexpected.
What a crazy, wonderful season! Thanks to everyone who followed along. This is the last daily post for the 2014 field season. Can't get enough of Ashkelon? Check back periodically during the offseason. We'll post updates periodically and then come October, if plans for the salvage excavation come together as we hope, we will have some new material to present.