Week 2 was completed & most of the volunteers left to continue their travels in the middle east, then to return home. Two weeks of digging is a reasonable amount of time to dig & is probably the average for most volunteers. We await the arrival of additional groups for the 2nd session starting the beginning of the 3rd week.
There was a bee hive of media activitry. An independent Israeli company filming a documentary. A team for Fox news also filming. A reporter from NBC USA filming & interviewing for a potential broadcast.
Sarah Yoemans, an archaeologist from BAR magazine joined the excavation & assisted Aaron in area A. In area A the volunteers continued to move dirt & rocks from the hard packed road at the northern edge of the iron age cobblestoned main city street. It sometimes seems that the volunteers from the 1st session work hard preparing the area for the 2nd session! A iron Assyrian projectile point as seen in the pic below was uncovered.
Exciting things happened in area C. The narrow cobblestone lane that ran past the "clinic" was uncovered extending to the west (see pic below of the lane & happy volunteers). As seen in the pic it sloped slightly downward leading to possibly more exciting finds. This lane certainly dates back to the time of the apostles & possibly Jesus even trod on it. The lane has surely been covered up since the massive earthquake of 363 CE, or possible even earlier. This means that Elizabeth's volunteers were the 1st humans to walk on these cobblestones in ~ 1700 years. Mind boggling!
Work continued in area A west with Carl & group in the Hellenistic/Roman period. Along with moving lots of dirt & stones a number of interesting artifacts were found, including a beautiful Cleopatra VII coin (the 1st Cleopatra coin found at Bethsaida) minted in Acre between 38 - 31 BCE. The pics below of the coin are courtesy of our very professional photographer, Hanan Shafir. See the profile of the obverse on the left & on the reverse is also a profile with a branch. Since it was silver it had a fair value, possibly a days wages for a craftsman. What was it doing a Bethsaida?
An beautiful piece of Greek pottery was also found in A west. Its a black figure style with hat? This style ended in the middle of the 6th century BCE when the style converted to a red background. In addition, a bronze ring was found, shown on the right before cleaning.
In A south Kate & the volunteers continued to excavation lots of rocks & dirt, slowly approaching stratum VI. On Friday, with only Kate & Reggie working in this area they found a large portion of 9th century pavement between the outer & inner city walls. It was decided to call it Reggie's boulevard.
Note : Interesting archaeology blog - http://archaeologydigs.blogspot.com/
Human interest - http://www.communitycorrespondent.com/kptm/, search for Judith Schwartz