|Photographic image of D23 taken from the|
south baulk, looking north
Our main task for the day was to lower and level the south baulk. These baulks, of which we essentially have three, are the strips of land or side walls that separate us from neighbouring squares. They also assist with stratigraphic analysis of the square. The north side of our square is open as the adjacent square in that direction has already been excavated to a lower level. Indeed, immediately to our north and about six feet lower are remains of what is understood to have been a Late Bronze Age palace. The lower we are able to dig in our square, the closer we will get to whatever lies immediately to the south of what has already been uncovered.
|The sickle blade showing clearly where it has been worked|
However, in the process of lowering, levelling and shoring we did discover a sickle blade - a flint tool from around 3000 years ago though with little sign of use. These were made locally and would have been used in the harvesting of crops in the valley, reminiscent of the time when the Philistines returned the ark to Israel:
Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. And when they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, they rejoiced to see it. (1 Samuel 6:13)
|Enjoying my pot of tea, courtesy of Zvi|
|Enjoying a glass of Bedouin tea, with the Iron Age|
temple in the background
The remainder of the working day at the tel went well. I was amused on our return to the kibbutz for lunch by a sign's translation which read: "Pleas move to the back of the bus" - particularly as I not noticed any get on board. Following another sumptuous luncheon we returned to our main living compound to wash pottery.
Our six o'clock lecture, Canaanites, Philistines and Judahites: Cultural dynamics in Iron Age I Shephelah, was given by Zvi and focused on the people who occupied the area in the late second and early first millennium B.C. This is proving to be a most educational experience.