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El Araj Season 4: Day Four (Week 3)

Updated: Jul 8, 2019

Spout of a knife-pared Herodian lamp made only in Jerusalem pre-70 CE.

In Square A5 (of the main excavation) today was spent articulating and sharpening the edges of each stone in preparation for photographing and recording the square (usually before we dismantle the floor and dig down through it). Every period of history must be recorded. Important finds are documented regarding the location at which they were found and at what level. This assists to understand the history and development of the site. Square A5 is still producing some nice finds. Kathryn found 5 coins this morning, and the base of a glass goblet was also unearthed. Its green color is striking. In Area C they found another spout from a Herodian lamp, the second this season. These are important because they were only made in Jerusalem before the year 70 CE. Their presence at el Araj means that someone in the first century visited Jerusalem and brought it home. It is further evidence that we are excavating the Jewish settlement of Bethsaida-Julias. Back in the main excavation area and under the Byzantine paved streets, they continue to find evidence of life in the Roman period. A column base is imbedded in the walls of a later period. Particularly intriguing is a line of what appears to be flagstone. Did these cover a water channel bringing water to the Roman bath? Only further investigation will clarify their purpose. I am beginning to realize that as we answer our questions, still more questions arise.

Kathryn found 5 coins in one morning.

The finishing team for A5. Note the excellent articulation.

Roman glass base for a goblet.

The floor and walls in Area C.

Great progress in the second square of Area C.

Roman flagstone channel under the Byzantine street.

Column base imbedded in wall.

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