Week 3


Day 15 / 20 (75%)

The third (and so far most exhausting) week of the dig ended today.  This was the last full week of intensive work – next week we’ll be finishing the squares we already opened and cleaning up the site for the end of the season.

Dana and Manfred talking about Important Things

Dana and Manfred talking about Important Things

After the article in Haaretz came out, reporters from two news outlets – a cable station and an internet news site – came to do features on the dig.

The camera crew interviewing a family of volunteers

The camera crew interviewing a family of volunteers

Since I’ve been neglecting to show any part of Ramat Rachel other than the dig site, here’s a picture of some of the kibbutz’s fields:

Cherry and olive orchards, with the monument that serves as the kibbutzs logo in the background

Cherry and olive orchards, with the monument that serves as the kibbutz's logo in the background

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Day 13 / 20 (65%)

The dig made the news!  Haaretz, Israel’s most respected newspaper, has an article about some of our finds.  (Unfortunately respected does not mean completely accurate – the coins from the columbarium were silver, not gold.)

*   *   *

We worked alongside a bulldozer in the northern square of C4 today.  Our goals were to enlarge the square and to remove the top layer of soil (old dirt pile from earlier excavation) to save us a lot of pointless digging.

Taking out a section wall

Taking out a section wall

(Why does the sky look so weird in these pictures, you ask?  No idea.  I blame my camera.)

Driver examining the underside of the bulldozer

Driver examining the underside of the bulldozer

It was more than a little unnerving working that close to a machine that big and potentially dangerous – even without taking recent events into account.  Not that little concerns like these daunted our area supervisor:

Dana walking past the bulldozers shovel

Dana walking past the bulldozer's shovel

Day 12 / 20 (60%)

We found another bomb today – thankfully not in my area.  This time it was in one of the Ds (D4 or D5), toward the north-east corner of the site.  The bomb squad was called in and digging in the nearby areas was stopped until they got rid of it.

At our request, the bomb wasn’t detonated on site for fear it might damage something.  Instead it was picked up by the robot, put into the secure chamber in the police car and taken to be detonated elsewhere.

Policewomen from the bomb squad at the site

Policewomen from the bomb squad at the site

Pottery reading

Pottery reading

“Reading” pottery – identifying its period and type – from a given locus enables us to date the locus and figure out how the different layers that we dig through relate to one another.  If pottery from a certain locus is Byzantine, for example, it’s pretty safe to assume that the layer itself accumulated during the Byzantine period.  Aside from giving smaller finds context, it also helps us date structures and get an general picture of past events in a given area.

Day 11 / 20 (55%)

Sorry about missing Friday’s post.  Here are some pictures to make up for it:

Photographing the square

Photographing the square

Among last week’s finds:

Decorated oil lamp shard

Decorated oil lamp shard

Piece of mosaic floor

Piece of mosaic floor

And now, a brief word from our mascot:

aoeu

Aharoni (Aharona? Aharonit?) taking a break on our dirt pile