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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

In the Field: Bethsaida Week 7

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Shai Schwartz, Bethsaida Excavations Project volunteer, writes the following recap of last week's activities:

Week 7 was a hot one, with temperatures getting up to about 100 °F (38°C). Dr. Savage's group continued working in the Roman area inside the city just west of the city gates. It appears to be a complex of small buildings with Hellenistic floors and Roman walls built at a later date. There might be a connection between them and the temple that Dr. Arav believes is in this area by the Iron age palace. They cleaned out a silo (see above photo) from the Roman period that was dug into the floor of a Hellenistic outside courtyard. A number of interesting pieces were found such as coins, shoe nail, bronze earring and half of a face of a ceramic figurine.
Work continued to clear off the surface material from the northern end of the Iron age street leading to the main city gates. A section of the street had been cleared down to the cobblestone pavement during earlier weeks of this session. The challenge is to repeat this clearing down to the street level in the 2 weeks remaining for this session. Much dirt, small rocks and many small pottery sherds (that were used as fill material) were taken out and it now appears that we're getting down to the destruction layer formed by the collapse of the city wall caused by the violent earthquake during the middle of the 4th century AD.
A small trench was excavated on the west side of the outer city wall just behind where the city street is being dug. More work will have to be done in order to get down to this wall's base.

View pictures and more information about the Bethsaida Excavations Project.


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