Week 2 was exciting for Elizabeth's group in area C. Good work volunteers. Structures of walls became more apparent allowing a clearer concept of the residences. Many interesting finds were discovered, each fascinating in their own right. A group of 12 loom weight were unearthed near the corner of 1 of the residences. Shown below is a group of 4 of them as well as the scale of 1 of the average weights. The warp-weighted loom uses a system of holding the warp threads parallel under tension by tying them in small bunches to weights made of stone, pottery or metal. From the beginning of Western history until the Middle Ages, the main weaving tool was this type of loom. Loom weights have been found in Catal Huyuk, an ancient city in Anatolia that dates to 7000 BCE, and use of the warp-weighted loom persists to the present day in native weaving. Although its particular form has varied through the ages and by locality, its essential parts remained the same. Look below for a typical loom configuration. Will Rami call this the weaver's house?
Embedded with the loom weights was a spindle whorl ~ 2cm. thick made of stone (see below). A spindle (sometimes called a drop spindle) is a wooden spike weighted at one end with a circular whorl; it may have an optional hook at either end of the spike. It is used for spinning wool and other fibers into thread. Since spindles or parts of them have been found in archaeological sites; they may represent one of the earliest pieces of technology available to humankind. The spindle whorl is essentially a flywheel which is a rotating disc used as a storage device for kinetic energy. Flywheels resist changes in their rotational speed, which helps steady the rotation of the shaft when a fluctuating torque is exerted on it by its power source, in this case the weavers hand.
The 3rd interesting find was a small figurine of the Egyptian god Bes (bottom left). Bes (also spelt as Bisu) was an Egyptian deity worshipped in the later periods of dynastic history as a protector of households and in particular mothers and children. In time he would be regarded as the defender of everything good and the enemy of all that is bad. While past studies identified Bes as a Middle Kingdom import from Nubia, some more recent research believes him to be an Egyptian native. Mentions of Bes can be traced to the southern lands of the Old Kingdom; however his cult did not become widespread until well into the New Kingdom. Bes was 1 of a number of Egyptian dwarf gods. The Egyptians revered dwarfs, thus depicted some gods as dwarfs. Its not possible to date this find as it could have come from Egypt any time from hundreds of years before the C. E. or hundreds of years after.
Work continued in the cramped inner area of chamber 3, essentially only allowing 1 person to work at a time. The top of a small east/west wall was uncovered which will be continued to be worked on during the coming weeks.
Carl's team in A west excavated lots of dirt & rocks exposing more of the Roman/Byzantine structures. A bronze coin was found & even though it has not been cleaned it appears to have the image of a Roman emperor, most likely from the 1st century C.E. After cleaning we may be able to determine which emperor it is.
Aaron's squad eagerly took out masses of rocks & dirt from the area just east of the main city street. Since its just north of a monumental wall & has a gap of ~3 meters (~13 feet) , Rami is thinking that this might be the water gate passage leading out of the city to the spring lying southeast of the city, somewhat down from the city main gate. They've removed about 6 feet (~2 meters) of debris; a massive job for a fairly large area over 9 days of digging. Super work!!!! This area will probably be closed until the start of the 2nd session on 15 June.
During one of the afternoon sessions Yuval (Yuvi who found the "Jesus" boat) Lufon told the volunteers about petroglyphs (rock carvings) that he found in the Ginosar fields. Hanan Shafir took a series of wonderful pictures showing the various figures of animals, a hunter with spear?, a mosque?. These pictures can be seen at - http://picasaweb.google.com/judyshai/PetroglyphsPicturesByHananShafir.
Note : Interesting archaeology blog - http://archaeologydigs.blogspot.com/
Human interest - http://www.communitycorrespondent.com/kptm/, search for Judith Schwartz