2015 Field Season Day 38

It was a busy day across the site.

In Grid 51, they still have two rooms filled with destruction debris from 604 they are excavating. What makes that rather complicated is that 51 is a big grid and it needs to get cleaned for final photos on Friday. So, while they are still excavating, they have started cleaning as well.

 Volunteers begin cleaning Grid 51

Volunteers begin cleaning Grid 51

We backfilled Grid 47 today. There are several reasons why we backfill excavation areas when work is complete. The number one reason? Safety. We want both visitors to the park and the antiquities themselves to be safe and well protected. Of course, we want to let people know when we've excavated an area. We map everything and keep detailed records. When we close an area, we also put down a few modern objects. That way, if someone were to dig in the same area again, they would know it was already excavated once before.

 Backfilling Grid 47

Backfilling Grid 47

We managed to find time to dig a probe right in the middle of the basilica today. This was a cooperative venture with the Parks Authority and the Antiquities Authority. The goal was to locate and identify a wall previously excavated and identified as part of the basilica associated with the bouletuarion. Just about three and a half meters down, we found it. Not only that, we found something very familiar -- backfill from John Garstang's 1920s excavation of the building.

 Rubble backfill from John Garstang's 1920s excavation of the Ashkelon basilica

Rubble backfill from John Garstang's 1920s excavation of the Ashkelon basilica

It's been a few days, maybe longer even, since we had a picture of Grid 16. They are still in the field cleaning so check back for a picture or two soon. We have two more days in the field and then everyone is in the compound on Friday as we work to shut down the 2015 field season.