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Season 7 - Week 1, Day 2 - EAEP

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

El Araj Excavations Season 7 - Week 1 Day 2 – The heat continued today but the humidity was not quite as bad. Each team has settled into its square and is working to make progress in uncovering the archaeological finds that can tell us something more about the history of the site. Area D continued its expansion into a new square in the early morning but then shifted back to dig deeper in some of their previous two squares. In the late morning they uncovered a magnificent Roman period vase. It was broken, but all of its pieces were present and collected. After restoration, it will be of museum quality. The Hong Kong team worked in the squares near the Roman bath house. In their square they found several Byzantine coins and by the end of the morning had extracted the large, decorated pilaster that likely belonged to a Roman period building. Work along the northern wall of the church continued in several squares, trying to help us understand better the history of this magnificent building. I continued to work with our small team in the apse. The morning was spent digging down through the hardened soil that is a result of the Crusader sugar production. Early in the morning one of our team dug up an intact Crusader “beehive” lamp. One of the important discoveries from the day for our team was identifying two facing walls indicating that we are excavating the entrance to a plastered room that existed below the apse. In the coming days we hope to gain a better understanding of its date and function. In the late afternoon the volunteers gathered on the lawn of Beit Haccerem to "wash pottery." This entails soaking and scrubbing the collected pottery and drying them in preparation for our session "reading the pottery" tomorrow with Motti Aviam.

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