2016 Preseason Day 1

We are in Ashkelon.

 The road to Grid 51

The road to Grid 51

It's warm and sunny today as more and more staff members arrive ahead of the volunteers who come in on Saturday. We have a busy couple of days ahead of us as the GIS team gets everything surveyed, as computers are updated and prepared for the season, and as we descend on the wonderful Leonardo Hotel.

It was a busy offseason in the park where a number of new projects got under way. On the North Tell, the Parks Authority received funding for the restoration of a mosaic the expedition excavated in the 1990s.

 Mosaic south of the gate on the North Tell

Mosaic south of the gate on the North Tell

Near the center of the site, the IAA, in cooperation with the Parks Authority, has started excavating the basilica which is one of the first steps in the restoration program for the bouleuterion.

 Dirt pile at southern end of basilica

Dirt pile at southern end of basilica

Tomorrow we'll be in the compound organizing tools, preparing supervisor bags, getting registration set up and working to make sure Sunday morning, Day 1, goes as smoothly as possible. The 2016 field season is here.