Today was the last day in our square at the dig at Lachish.
The dig will continue, including work in our square, but our time at the dig came to an end today. Two weeks is a long time to be away from work, but it would have been nice to stay at the dig a bit longer.
Here is what our square looked like at the end of today. A big change from the flat patch of earth that it was last Monday.
You can see that there is more definition to the wall that we found and that there are also two other curious objects in the square.
What are they? We wish we knew, and wish we could stay a bit longer to find more clues. The answers may come next week after more excavation.
After a tour to see what other areas were finding, it was time for one last walk down from the top of Tel Lachish. It is a nice long walk down that usually comes during the hottest part of the day. However, it is toward the air conditioned bus, so it is motivating. 🙂
Then it was back to the kubbitz for lunch. We usually get a great lunch and today was no exception. Our last meal was delicious.
After some goodbyes it was time for hot showers to wash off the dirt from the dig.
Then it was time for one last look at our room at the kubbitz as we rolled our bags to a taxi. We took the taxi to Ashkelon to pick up a rental bus and headed to the airport. Luke will be taking an additional five people on a tour of Israel during the next week..
Now to make my way home and enjoy the holiday.
Today I helped with a couple of survey squares. These are also know as test pits or shovel test pits and are used to determine what might be just below the surface of a tel.
This morning when I arrived at the site we found that we would just be cleaning our square for pictures, and they requested that one of us volunteer to help with the survey squares.
I first helped finish cleaning the square above and we then marked out a new square about 30 meters away.
Here you can see that the square is quite small. It is less than 2 meters square which is much smaller than the big 5×5 meter squares we have been digging in.
You can also see that we found a lot of rocks just below the surface.
We found a good sampling of pottery in the square with most of it coming from the Iron Age which indicates it is Level 3 at Tel Lachish.
Here you can see some of the 100+ buckets of dirt that we removed from the little square. Since our mission was to see what pottery and how much was in the square we had to carefully look through the contents of the buckets.
This meant that we needed to do some sifting.
We were able to get some help with the sifting. A nearby school has a program where the kids learn about archaeology and then get a chance to visit a dig site. The kids had a lot of fun sifting through the buckets of dirt and looking for pottery sherds and other items.
Here I am supervising a group of boys as they look through the material in the sifter. I felt like a square supervisor.
I learned a few new Hebrew words as I had to help them determine what they had found. Even though they didn’t know much English we were able to understand each other.
I really liked their enthusiasm as they helped us with the sifting. They were so excited at finding even very small little pieces of pottery.
I was a bit amused as they were leaving. Three of the boys wanted to get my autograph. They found some pieces of paper and I signed them. Perhaps someday they will run across them and have good memories of the morning that they spent at Lachish.
It was great to help participate in this wonderful educational experience for the kids.
Tomorrow will be the last day at the dig for me this year. After the dig tomorrow I will start making my way toward home.