4th Expedition to Lakhish
Yesterday, was a very hectic day. The meeting that was suppose to happen at 9AM happened at 1PM-ish or so. After arriving back at Romote Shapira we were able to just sit around and relax for the morning. At the meeting, Yosi the lead Archaeologist for the Hebrew University along with Drs. Hasel and Klingbehil talked about what they hoped would happen during this weeks dig as well as the purpose of the dig. The evening before in Jerusalem Dr. Hasel had worship where he talked about the some of the 24 times Lakhish is mentioned in the Bible along with some of the context.
On site later sunday afternoon, we started digging our two squares. Soon after beginning to dig we found a coin, with the help of a metal detector. Having been in the ground for so many years there were no markings on it, we also found part of a flint cycle blade. We started dry sifting some of the buckets of fill that we excavate from the site. That is a really neat part of the excavation, at least to me it is. We have several wooden frames with a wire mesh on the bottom. You pour the bucket of dirt onto the screen and start shaking, as you shake the dirt, dust and other fine particles filter though leaving you with the larger stones and hopefully pottery. You can see an example of what dry sifting looks like in the gallery below. The HU, has started wet sifting, I will see about getting a photo of that operation tomorrow.
Today, the exciting find was an metal arrowhead found in the HU’s square! As you can see from the photo it is very small, smaller then I would have thought an arrowhead from that time would be. As I have mentioned in previous posts, pottery is extremely abundant, having only been on site for a few days and thanks to Clay’s and Bob’s help, it is getting easer to distinguish between pottery and stones that are just lying on the ground, as well as those that we find either through sifting, or when we are digging though the squares.
We have started to arrive at levels 2 and 3 in our squares, which would be from the Hellenistic. While Herald was working in his square he found a pottery sherd that had been burnished and was shinny black color. We are thinking that it comes from the Hellenistic period. After looking over the square, Yosi said that it looked like Herald and his crew had come down to a destruction layer. I am looking forward to seeing what comes to light from this observation.
Since being here in Israel, I was thinking about how odd it was that I had seen very few insects and no arachnids and not much in the way of animal life. Well, that changed Sunday and today, when Clay found a 3 inch black scorpion crawling around on some shade cloth that we had lying on the ground, as well as a fairly large spider among some rocks we were moving as we prepared an area for a square. Neither one was very interested in us as they ran for cover. We have also seen a large lizard and around 6 millipedes around the palace area at the top of the Tel.
Tomorrow Michael and I will be working on getting arial photographs our squares! He was able to get an attachment that will allow us to capture stills instead of only video while still viewing the image area through the monitor. He did a few test shots today and the results were promising. 🙂
Towards the end of our day, we heard a loud explosion near the Tel. Looking in that direction we could see smoke rising from a missile that had been test fired by the Israeli’s. We were told by one of the guys who lives in Israel that if it had come from the west bank sirens would have been going off warning the surrounding countryside. So on that interesting note we finished our day on the site. Sorry for the lack of photos on the other post, I am working with a little bit of a backlog. Enjoy the photos. 🙂