Day 8 / 20 (40%)

Matt showing off yesterdays pottery haul

Matt showing off yesterday's pottery haul

Pictured are buckets of pottery from yesterday, soaking in water for today’s pottery wash.  In the background people are just finishing putting away breakfast.

Aharoni, a kibbutz dog and the digs mascot, making sure we do it right

Aharoni, a kibbutz dog and the dig's mascot, making sure we do it right

Eric displaying C4s dump pile

Eric displaying C4's dump pile

This is more or less all we found today in C4’s southern squares – dirt, some rocks, and more dirt.

Bullets from C4

Bullet shells from C4

We’ve been finding empty bullet shells in one of the C4 squares over the past couple days (none today though – looks like we found all the ones in the square).  Until this morning we assumed that they were from the Six-Day War (1967), but someone from the kibbutz came by and suggested that we look on the bottom of the shells and sure enough the date of manufacture was written there.  Turns out that they’re from the War of Independence or earlier – most are from ’48 and ’47, but there are a few from ’41, and even from ’38 and ’36.

Ramat Rachel, which is right on the edge of Israeli territory, was an important strategic outpost during the War of Independence and the Six-Day War.  The remains of an Israeli bunker are still visible on the hill directly above us, right where the ancient Assyrian fortress tower stood.  Finds from both periods are a potent reminder of the strategic position this hill held for many different peoples over the millennia.

(If only this were America.  Then we could just dig up the 1948 stuff and call it “archeology”.)