Day 4 - Sorry for the delay. It was a very full day. I woke at 3:45. Since the alarm is set to go off at 4:45, it didn't make much since to try and go back to sleep.
We eat at 5:00, start for el Araj at 5:30, and are on site by 6:00. Today we had many visitors to the site including the senior editor of an Israeli newspaper. There continues to be interest in our work. The squares within the Byzantine church continue to become more defined as we lower the layers. A couple of interesting items were found within the church beyond the abundance of pottery and coins. There was the sculpted bottom of a beautiful Ottoman bowl and the cornerstone of an arch that probably belonged to the Byzantine church. There was also a lot of activity in the northern two squares of C2 where we are looking for evidence of life from the Roman period. The archaeologists are still trying to define the two levels unearthed, which may date to a later time, but there is also a lot of pottery from the Roman period, including Kfar Hananya ware - a typical pottery style from the Galilee dating to the 3rd century CE, and imported first-century CE Terra sigillata pottery which may have been in the possession of a more affluent home. In the area of C2 there are also many fishing weights and even a small bell shedding light on everyday life along the Sea of Galilee. If you have been on the el Araj excavation before, you know it is not just about stones and pots. It is an opportunity to work alongside and learn from archaeologists in the land. I have included today some pictures of the el Araj team you will recognize if you have been with us previously. Finally, at the end of the day, our friend Nati Bergman who is a geomorphologist and who has worked at el Araj took me on a trek into the canyon through which the Jordan River cuts before emptying into the Sea of Galilee.
I can tell you that wading in the Jordan River at the end of a long, hot day is a perfect ending. Don't forget that if you want to join us at el Araj October 1-15 applications are due this Friday, July 30: https://www.emmausjourneys.com/2021elarajexcavation