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Day 3, Season 6 of the EAEP

El Araj (Bethsaida-Julias) Excavation Project Season 6 (2022) Day 3 This daily report will be brief. Visually progress seems to be minimal, but archaeology requires patience. There are some very interesting developments in our work. First, the students are working hard in their individual squares. A few coins were unearthed which is always important in dating the strata. I have included a late Roman coin and one probably from the Crusader period. We send these off to be examined by a coin expert. A lead fishing weight reminds us of the fishing industry that was important for Bethsaida in the New Testament period. What is most intriguing is a structure which we are excavating just to the east of the apse of the basilica. Unfortunately the picture does not do it justice. At first we thought it was round, but as the day went on, it now seems polygonal (multi-sided). It has only been partially uncovered and could be a variety of things, like a baptismal or martyrium, or perhaps something unique to this site. We will not know until we have it fully uncovered and excavated at more depth. There was no idea that it even existed until today. Archaeology is full of surprises. We are preparing for the arrival of our volunteers on Friday. On Sunday the pace of our work will pick up.

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