Some mornings you just find yourself marveling at the size and diversity of ancient Ashkelon. Venturing out to Grid 16 this morning, I wandered through this area of the park --in a word, beautiful. (Again we had rain clouds, and again, no rain fell.)
I turned the corner and found myself at Grid 16 where Josh, Emily and their crew of volunteers are doing some amazing work. Their effort follows on that of last year's group which launched the excavation area with the goal of identifying the occupational sequence on the North Tell.
Last year, Grid 16 was able to demonstrate the vertical cut through an outcropping of bedrock along the North Tell, long suspected to be a Crusader era moat, pre-dated the Hellenistic period. In fact, with evidence that the mudbrick wall they are uncovering is associated with the bedrock scarp, the thought is both features might be earlier. Much earlier. Perhaps as early as the Early or Middle Bronze Age.
To date the wall, the team needs to find a surface or another feature associated with the construction and/or use of the wall. As of this morning, the mudbrick wall fills their excavation area! There is no more room to dig, so it's expansion on Sunday.
Next week promises to be very exciting in Grid 16.
Grid 51 continues to get further and further into 604. We'll have more pictures next week.
Grid 25 is being closed on Sunday but the search for Roman period Ashkelon continues. Look for some news on that front next week.
Tomorrow we are back in the compound and then it's the weekend for us. We'll be saying farewell to our half-season volunteers, those here for the first three weeks, and welcoming another group who will be with us until the end of the season. It's hard to believe we are almost halfway through the season. Where does the time go?