El Araj Excavations Day 17 (Week 4/Day 3). Today was a day of many rich finds. Especially in Area B where the team from Hong Kong has taken the lead, they continue to unearth ancient oil lamps, tesserae, marble floor tiles, and coins. All of these date to the Roman period and indicate a wide urban setting, which is important for identifying Herod Philip's Bethsaida-Julias. Elsewhere a fascinating ceramic container was uncovered which the archaeologists have called "the pilgrimage flask" because it was apparently used by a Byzantine pilgrim to carry water. Another fascinating find was ceramic stopper for a Byzantine storage vessel. Only two days left as we begin to wind down our efforts and complete this season.
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