Posted by: Justin Singleton | June 28, 2009

The Wonders of “G”


Field G at Sunrise

Field G at Sunrise

We all here at G truly apologize for not keeping you informed concerning what all is happening/has happened in our field. I could say that the reason we have not been posting any entries is because we have been working so hard that I haven’t had time to do so – that would sound heroic wouldn’t it? – but the truth is that I have just been a bit lazy.

What has been happening in Field G? I am so glad that you have asked. To give you the brief synopsis – a lot! Our field has become the showcase of Jalul these past few weeks. Some news is old: we have a wall, we have a water channel, etc. The new news is what you want to read about! let us start with the wall.

Iron Age (10th? cent) City Wall

Iron Age (10th?/9th cent) City Wall (lower left)

We followed the wall (it really was quite interesting – a small group of children linked arms and skipped along the wall singing, “Follow the Iron-age wall; follow the Iron-age wall” Then they said something about a wizard – what’s that about? The wall extended beyond Square 2 (Shellie’s original square) to the west – leading through the corner north/east balk of the adjacent square (Micah’s square), through the square above that one (Jeff’s square), and then through two more squares (Micah’s and then Shellie’s) until we found an odd rock formation. We will have to “dig a little deeper” and to the north to fully understand this bit of the wall. This could be a tower, a corner, we just don’t know at this point.


The 9th cent. City Wall can be seen at the top of the photo. The chambers inside the city wall date to the 8th cent. B.C. Nadine is in foreground.

The wall doesn’t continue to the east but instead dog-legs out into a corner and moves northward through Square 4 (Justin’s square – and the best one in the field I might add).

The "Pillard" Room. John Heczko digging probe.

The "Pillard" Room (8th cent). John Heczko digging probe.

   This new wall will be followed at a later time, but it does have some interesting facts to discuss. The wall runs along the pillared room in Square 4 (only one pillar found, the second is actually a wall leading northward) but has a second phase of the wall added to it. This second phase is only a course or two deep at this point and therefore not much can be said (we need to “dig a little deeper”).


The water channel which was at first believed to be bringing water into the city is now believed to be an overflow from the city’s reservoir. The elevations of the channel are such that cause us to believe this. What is even more intriguing is the fact that the water channel actually curves inward to the large depression (the city cistern). Is this a cistern, a water collection point, what? We just don’t know. That is what we will find out next year when we come back to follow the channel. At these point is appears to be clear that the channel is heading toward these depression in the tall.

Later Water Channel

7th cent Water Channel

A third very intriguing point that we cannot avoid is the extremely large pottery cache. Of course, it must be pointed out that the cache (that word sounds so much better than “dump”) was found in Square 4. Some speculate whether the cache was truly there originally or if somehow the sherds from around the area were mysteriously pulled by the magnetism and charisma of the square supervisor. My professional opinion is that somehow the sherds found their way to that specific supervisor in order to first appear to him and to others (and of course those working with him – that must be mentioned because he wasn’t actually present at the initial finding). This cache of pottery contained mendables from every type of pottery that was found there – does that sound right? From jars to lamps to juglets to storage jars … the types go on and on. In the two meter wide, two meter deep, and three meter long room, more than eleven large crates of pottery were found – that is over fifty pales of pottery! We emptied only about two or three crates onto the table to take pictures.

3 of the 11 crates of pot shards from the small chamber.

3 of the 11 crates of Iron Age II (8th cent) pot shards from the small chamber. (Photo: Justin Singleton)

One of my profs once commented, “Are you sure you want to go into archaeology? I mean it is ninety percent sand in your teeth and only ten percent finding things.” For my first dig, I think we have done quite well!

Photos & captions by C. Gane unless otherwise indicated.


  1. And to think that the season before, we made it just inches from this!! Well done on the find! Mark Ziese told me about it! Wish I could go back with you all – other than the dust, it was a blast!

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