Sunday, June 17, 2018

Week Three at Tel Shiloh

The short version of what happened and was discovered at Tel Shiloh by Dr. Scott Stripling of ARB, his team and volunteers:-

In Squares AH29-30, Tim Lopez identified two more walls to add to his wall list – Roman, Iron Age (Israelite) and Middle Bronze Age (Canaanite)...on Friday...the dirt they dug was then sent to our new wet sifting station. There, Richard from my square, wet sifted the dirt and recognized an ancient Egyptian scarab. It had a cartouche with an Egyptian pharaoh’s name – but we’re not certain what it said. I thought I could read it, but wasn’t sure. We’ve sent it to an expert…and I’ll let you know how good my knowledge of hieroglyphics really is!

opened new Square AG29...finding a wall-line on Friday afternoon. Still, in all that dirt, his team uncovered a large number of wonderful finds – including seven coins, fragments of nine oil lamps, two slingstones and one stone mortar. Then on Friday his team discovered a ceramic object which no one knew for sure what it was- even our conservator said she had never seen one before! Best guess at the moment…an inkwell.

In Square AF29, we were able to find two more stones in the interior face of the Canaanite perimeter wall that runs the full width of our square. In the bulk take-down, we did find a number of interesting pottery sherds and small objects, including one coin, which were kept for further study. 

in AC28-89 and AD29, have been excavating a long stretch of the outer face of the 5m-wide Canaanite perimeter wall – and by the end of the week, they found a hole in the wall! Well, not exactly a hole, the wall was just stopped – from top to bottom! Yet it does not appear to be a gateway and neither does it appear to be part of the original Canaanite wall construction. 

In AF27 and AG27, Ruth Vanderford supervised the final clearing of the glacis – a 35-degree sloping earthen rampart constructed around the outside of the ancient perimeter wall. It was designed in antiquity to hinder attacking armies from reaching the wall and to protect the wall’s foundation from being undermined. Directly above the glacis, they found a large amount of disintegrated red mudbrick, apparently the fallen mudbrick superstructure of the perimeter wall’s stone foundation.

In Square AG30, Kevin Larsen and his team have four walls from a Roman house. It includes what looks like a circular stone column drum deliberately set in the corner of one room. In the next room was a restorable whole New Testament era storage jar along with an unusual stone mortar found in situ within the same room. While the base was flat, the bowl of the mortar sat at a 30-degree angle, seemingly tilted especially for someone’s convenience while sitting on the floor. Finally, one of the corners in this house is created with well-cut stones – maybe the finest Roman room corner in all Israel – probably not…but it was still really well-constructed!

Suzanne Lattimer’s team, in AE29, sits next to mine and she has also uncovered the inner face of the city wall – giving us about 10m of continuous exposure. They have also cleared the wall’s top – almost to the outer face. And, in the process, they found a large dump of Roman pottery – the largest pile of broken pottery we’ve found on the site.


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