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Third Week of Excavating

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Harel13, Aug 12, 2022.

  1. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Three weeks ago the Bar-Ilan archeology department started excavating at Tel Tibna in southern Samaria. I made a post at the end of the first week and was planning on making another one after the second week, but simply did not have time. So here's something about the third week:

    In Area A we've dismantled most of the Jordanian bunker. The first layers of most of the squares are dated to the Early Roman period, and were likely destroyed or abandoned circa the Bar Kokhba Revolt. Just today, what appears to have been a pottery kiln was discovered while work was done on dismantling the dividing ledge between two squares. Another interesting find, from week 2, was what appears to be some kind of hurried fortification from the western part of the area. It has been suggested that the fortification was made during the Bar Kochba Revolt, but this is still a baseless hypothesis, mostly based on findings from other squares.
    After a week and a half of digging in the first square I worked on, we hit bedrock, which was very frustrating. But we also found the remains of some kind of ancient wall or structure, dated to the Iron Age I, circa the time of the Judges (as a reminder, this site is identified with the hometown of Joshua Bin Nun), which was very cool. One of the interesting findings from the area of the wall was a decorated astragalus bone. My team and I were then split up between other squares and volunteers continued digging until they reached bedrock in the entire square.

    In Area B, a few whole or nearly whole pottery vessels were uncovered, as well as a destruction layer consisting of ashes and old nails in one of the squares. This dates that layer to the Early Roman period, possibly related to one of the two main Jewish rebellions.
    Besides for that, for three weeks the diggers of Area B put in a ton of work into uncovering some kind of large structure with plastered walls. It was clear from the start that this was some kind of structure used for containing water, but it was unclear what its intended use was - until they hit steps this week. The steps were the necessary proof to show that this was actually an exceptionally large Mikveh (ritual immersion pool)! The Mikveh is dated to circa the end of the Second Temple Era until the Bar Kochba Revolt.

    Earlier this week a third area was opened- Area D (named after the head of the area, whose surname starts with a D). Soon after digging began, a nice find was uncovered - a fragment of a decorated black Herodian candle.

    Some pictures:

    The astragalus bone:

    WhatsApp Image 2022-08-12 at 7.02.03 PM (1).jpeg

    A flint blade:

    WhatsApp Image 2022-08-12 at 7.02.03 PM (2).jpeg

    The Iron Age I structural remains:

    WhatsApp Image 2022-08-12 at 7.02.03 PM.jpeg

    Area D:

    WhatsApp Image 2022-08-12 at 7.02.04 PM.jpeg

    The Mikveh:

    WhatsApp Image 2022-08-12 at 7.02.04 PM (1).jpeg

    Side view:

    WhatsApp Image 2022-08-12 at 7.02.04 PM (2).jpeg

    The Herodian candle fragment:

    upload_2022-8-12_19-6-49.png
     
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  2. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    Very cool! I'm so glad you're getting to take part in this! And thank you for keeping us posted!
     
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  3. Heyo

    Heyo Veteran Member

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    Very interesting, especially the Mikveh. It seems it was just below the surface? The first step is, what 30 cm? down.
     
  4. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Seems so. However, the Mikveh was dug the other way around. Remains of a stone arch were identified above-ground prior to the opening of the season and that's why Area B was set up there. A square was opened up around the arch and pretty soon the arch and some plastered walls came into view - but no steps. In other words, they were digging at the deep end of the structure, which is about three meters high/deep, from what I heard. It was only after two and a half weeks that they found the steps which confirmed that it was a Mikveh.
     
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