Well, we finished week 1 in fine shape , as usual. Dr. Aaron Gale from the U. of West Virginia brought 8 students. This is Aaron's 8th season. They worked at the northern extreme end of the iron age cobble stone road which leads from the main city gate northward. They moved a lot of hard packed dirt & rocks. A beautiful stone fishing weight was found the last hours of the Friday session- see the pic below.
Dr. Mark Appold from Truman State University, for his 14th season at Bethsaida, brought 12 students who are on a 5 week middle east study course. They are all taking the course for credit, so they will have to present papers to the university when they get home. Mark worked under the watchful eye of Dr. Carl Savage from Drew University. Carl has been at the dig so many years that he is just as much a fixture as Rami (Dr. Arav). Carl continued his fine work in the Hellenic/Roman area in the inner city, just to the west of the main city gate. An interesting clay scarab (pic below) was found containing an eye (Ra), a flying beetle & a snake; possibly used as a seal. A bronze coin of type Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Augustus, nicknamed Caracalla because of the type of tunic he wore. After cleaning (see pic below) the Cesar's head with wreath can be seen on the observe. On the reverse is an architectural image. Its value was probably equivalent to a days wages for a craftsman.
Dr. Elizabeth McNamer from Rocky Mountain College brought 8 students for either credit or course audit. She was ably assisted by Gloria Epps. Elizabeth & Gloria continued their interesting work just outside the "clinic" (excavated during the 90's) on the Roman period of Bethsaida area "C". It appears that the cobblestone paved lane leading from east to west continues westward with a slight downward slope. It's hoped that the next weeks will uncover more of this lane.
Dr. Kate Rafael, back for her 4th season, was site site supervisor in area "A south". As the name implies this area is inside the city gate just to the south of the chambers & the iron age store rooms. Much dirt & rocks were removed, which it is hoped will be the surfacing of hints of the 10th century gate.
Barney Trams was a "jack of all trades", setting up the sifters, netting, the breakfast area, pottery washing etc. He has also been busy doing pottery restoration in the Bethsaida offices at the kibbutz. As a treat for the volunteers he took them to his workshop & showed them the technique he uses for restoration. In the pic below he's giving them a chance to see how pottery pieces need to fit together.
Link to all the pictures I took this season - CLICK HERE
Note : Interesting archaeology blog - http://archaeologydigs.blogspot.com
Human interest - http://www.communitycorrespondent.com/kptm/, search for Judith Schwartz