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El Araj Season 4: Day Three (Week 4)

The finer portion of mosaic with smaller tesserae and colors.

Today's post will be abbreviated. This is because I spent most of the day with others digging feverishly in our square (B6) to reach the mosaic floor adjoining the square (B5) where Sunya and Kathryn have been working. I get so enthralled with swinging a pick for 5 hours I forget to take pictures. On Sunday I posted a "before" picture of our square, and I will post the concluding picture tomorrow with the floor uncovered. In the meantime, we have lowered the entire square almost 2 meters (6 feet) in three days. That is a lot of dirt and rock. We are just above the floor and there is already evidence of some unexpected anomalies. More on this tomorrow when the floor is finally uncovered. Today Kathryn got the privilege to work alongside Yeshu Drey, our conservator, completing the final cleaning and preserving the mosaic floor she has been working on. He is considered something of a savant in the archaeological world, and he was good to educate Kathryn on the techniques of mosaic preservation. Elsewhere in the dig, Area A is witnessing a furious pace of digging as we try to unearth all of the information we can about our site. In Area C, Marc has dug down through the Roman period plastered floor in C1 to see if there is evidence of settlement in the Hellenistic period. Walls in C2 have been taken down opening up the work space to dig down. Two interesting finds in Area C were two rims from a large Roman vessel, and a portion of fine glass that had been formed by blowing the glass into a mold. The Kinneret College students are working in Area A and C in new squares opened this week. Tomorrow will be the last full day of excavation with things wrapping up on Thursday.

The mosaic cleaned in B5.

Kathryn working with Yeshu Drey.

Achiya Cohen-Tavor examines the floor of B6.

Tom Blackwell.

Working together to dig A6.

C2 opened up after the removal of the walls.

Tom Guilliams with two rim portions of a large Roman vessel.

Molded blown glass from the Roman period.

Kinneret College students excavating in Area C.

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