|בית ציידה Bethsaida 2008 Season|
On May 18 some 30 volunteer diggers arrived at Kibbutz Ginosarís Pundak (Inn) to begin the 2008 excavation season at Bethsaida, Israel. Led by UNO Professor and Archeologist Dr. Rami Arav, this yearís six-week season will concentrate on excavating the 3000 year old marketplace outside the city gate. In the Biblical period, it was customary to locate the market extramural to the main gate, where visitors would pass through it as they entered the city. Bethsaida in this period was part of the Kingdom of Geshur and has one of the finest examples of this type of city gate in the middle east.
Dr. Elizabeth McNamer from Rocky Mountain College & Dr. Aaron Gale from the University of West Virginia also brought students & other interested volunteers. Other university affiliates will be bringing groups later in the season, so look at the individual week links on the left for further information. Some 100 volunteers, many of them students, are expected to participate in the dig during the 2008 season, arriving from locations throughout the United States, as well as other countries. A large percentage of the volunteers are returning for their second, third or tenth season of digging, the excitement of discovering what has lain hidden for 2000-3000 years being highly addictive!
In addition, Dr. Carl Savage will direct excavation in the inner city west of the city. Effort will be made to dig through the Roman/Byzantine layers to the iron age level (~3000 years ago) in order to connect this area with other iron age levels previously uncovered. Excavation will continue from last season in chamber 3, just inside the city gate, directed by Steve Reynolds.
Dr. McNamer will continue her work from previous seasons in the residential area of the Roman, upper area of the site. She & her group will concentrate on the residences across from the clinic (where medical implements were found) to ascertain how this area connects with the surrounding city. Dr. Gale will commence the work on the marketplace by removing a level of modern compacted earth. Exciting finds wait for his team as they dig lower & lower through the ages.
See the pages for the individual weeks for additional arrivals as the excavation continues.
Link to all the pictures I took this season - CLICK HERE
Webmaster - Shai Schwartz, Kibbutz Ginosar, Israel, contact - firstname.lastname@example.org
Chat group - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Bethsaida/
Human interest - http://www.communitycorrespondent.com/kptm/, search for Judith Schwartz