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.
I first helped finish cleaning the square above and we then marked out a new square about 30 meters away.
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.