The 2015 field season is right around the corner. As fun as it is to look back, it is time to turn our thoughts to the upcoming summer. We have a lot to do and some important questions to answer. The next two seasons will be devoted to investigating the following:
- the occupational sequence on the North Tell
- Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of the city in 604
- the Roman period cardo
Grid 32 and the cardo:
It is a commonly held theory that the Roman period cardo and decumanus, the main north-south and east-west oriented streets of the city, influenced the subsequent development of Ashkelon well into the Islamic period. It is time to test that theory directly.
Last season, a salvage excavation conducted in Grid 32, just outside the park offices, identified a familiar occupational sequence; monumental, likely public, Roman/Byzantine period architecture which was replaced by industrial, and possibly residential, structures in the Islamic period. The stratigraphy was dense and the material uncovered strongly suggested we were close to one of Ashkelon's major streets.
During the 2015 season, we will move even closer to the presumed location of the cardo and open a 5 x 10 meter area as we expand our search for this important feature of the ancient city.