El Araj Season 4: Day Four (Week 4)
Today was the last full day of excavations. There was a flurry of activity as everyone tried to finish up their square. By midday we began to realize the results of our labor. Digging down for days, suddenly there were mosaic floors uncovered in almost every square. We can now understand the size and scale of this Byzantine basilica. The Church of the Apostles (as we have begun to call it), built over the house of Peter and Andrew, must have been a magnificent structure. It will take another season to fully uncover it. One of the real surprises midmorning was discovering a small hoard of Ottoman period coins, including some gold French ones. These were slowly and carefully removed. In Area C things are also winding up. Another surprise on the last day was finding a large Roman period taboon (oven). Finally, the results of the ground penetrating imaging are beginning to come back. It seems that the nearby field is full of houses from the ancient past. As we begin to wind up our activities from Season Four, we have begun to strategize about next year.