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EAEP — Summer 2021 — Day 5

Kinneret College student finds 1st century BCE coin in area C2.

Day 5 - [A technical glitch with the wifi where I was staying and the need to transition from Galilee to Jerusalem yesterday led to a delay in this post.] Today was the final day of our shortened one-week summer dig with the Kinneret College students. In Motti Aviam's estimation we achieved our aims for this week.

Motti Aviam measures the elevation of the walls of another first-century house in C2. The elevation corresponds to the elevation of houses excavated in C1 in 2019. Together they indicate a significant settlement in the early Roman period.
Measuring the elevation of the walls of another first-century house in C2.

We have brought more clarity to the outlines of the Byzantine Church of the Apostle in preparation for our October excavation, and we have added to the evidence of first-century settlement about 100 meters north of the main excavation area. This latter point strengthens the results from Area C two years ago. Once again there were some particularly interesting finds. Early in the morning one of the students unearthed a portion of a small column likely belonging to the Byzantine Church. Later in the day another student found a fired mud brick. Even though it was found among Byzantine remains, it belonged to the first-century Roman bath that was found in 2017. In Area C2 students continued to dig and soon encountered mud and water b/c they were excavating at a lower level. Still they were able to identify the walls of three more first-century houses, which corresponds to the houses nearby found in 2019. Together they argue that the settlement of Bethsaida-Julias covered a relatively large area and invites more extensive excavation. Among the finds from C2 were a coin that Achiya CohnTavor suggests may date to the first-century BCE. Later in the day Motti Aviam and Ayelet Tachter did the tedious and necessary work of sorting the pottery and finds to keep the most significant pieces for later research and reports. We were also visited by Haim Ben David from Kinneret College who is an expert on ancient synagogues in the Golan Heights. I conclude with a few pictures of walls after they were cleaned and prepared for photographical records. The site is now ready for further excavation in October. If you would like to be a part of history, consider joining us October 1-15. Applications are due today Friday July 30:

Byzantine column.
Kinneret College student who unearthed the column.
Small Byzantine column.

First-century BCE coin from area C2.

Mud brick from Roman bath house.

Mud brick that belonged to the Roman bath house unearthed in 2017.

Cleaning the walls in preparation for photography.

Motti and Ayelet sorting pottery and finds.

Kinneret College student who found the bud brick.

Internal wall in the Byzantine church with a doorway and threshold.

Partly uncovered northern wall of the Byzantine church.

Western wall of the Byzantine church with a pillar base in the foreground.

Students working in one of the squares of C2 at a lower level encounter water and mud from the rising water table. However, both of the two students are sitting on the stones of first-century houses which are dated by coins and pottery. The stone pavement in the background and to the right side of the picture at the higher level may be from an Ottoman period road. More work will be needed to clarify the dating.
Students working in one of the squares of C2.

Haim Ben David speaks to his students from Kinneret College.

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