Posted by: ochesnut | July 16, 2010

Dig Season Recap

Apologies for not recapping the season earlier, but life (and dissertation) happens.  The short season was quite successful as we were able to trace the water channel through Field G into the newly created Field W, until it came to a premature end.  The channel was either robbed out in antiquity or destroyed by natural forces.  It is hoped that next season new squares will be opened in Field W to see if the channel continues further to the north.

The water channel dates to the 7th century BCE (based on pottery in the foundation of the channel) and went out of use during the 6th century BCE (based on pottery found on the floor of the channel amidst collapse) and is likely associated somehow with a large depression in the middle of the tell, which appears to be an ancient water source.  The plastered channel is slightly less than 1 meter wide and is preserved with plaster over 1 m high  in some places.  This season the channel was traced through G11, W1, W3, and W4, making the total length uncovered this season around 18m.  The channel slopes from the interior of the tell out, ending just outside of the city wall in Field G.  This slope is unusual and means that instead of being for runoff, leading into a catchment basin of some type, the channel was likely used for overflow from a cartesian well or spring sending water outside of the city for use in agriculture.

Not much was found in the other squares excavated around the channel.  In the last few days, Dr. Denis Fortin, dean of the seminary at Andrews University, found part of a wall and a floor made up of compact dirt and pebbles in W2.  He also found pottery from several different time periods including the Late Bronze Age, Iron Age I, and Iron Age II.

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