Day 3 / 20 (15%)

We made considerable progress today, at least in my area (C4).  We went down half a meter in parts of one of the squares today, and finally reached the layer of garden soil – brought up from the valley by (according to the current hypothesis) the Assyrian occupants of the Ramat Rachel citadel – that we already knew was there.  Hopefully we’ll get down to the surface underneath tomorrow or the day after, and be able to make some kind of guess about what the structure looked like.

The difference a day makes:

South square of area C4 on day 2

South square of area C4 on day 2

South square of area C4 on day 3

South square of area C4 on day 3

We also found (in the locus above the garden soil) two seal impressions on jar handles (reading Y-H-D and Y-H) – indicating Yehuda, the ancient name of this region.  Ramat Rachel is a primary source for seal impressions of this kind, and they give valuable insights into the periods of occupation by various empires and names of individual officials.

Here are pictures from some of the other areas today:

Area B2

Area B2

Staff discussion at area D5

Staff discussion at area D5

View of the already-excavated monastary next to area D4

View of the already-excavated monastary next to area D4

Afterward we cooled off a bit during the pottery wash at the site.

The whole group heard a very interesting lecture in the evening by Prof. Roni Reich on the water pools and channels built to utilize the Gihon spring, in the Bronze and Iron Age and Herodian periods.

Roni Reich speaks to his adoring public

Roni Reich speaks to his adoring public

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