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Season 7 - Week 1, Day 4


El Araj Archaeological Excavations Season 7 – Week 1 Day 4 – One of the lasting memories from today’s excavation was being joined by 6 volunteers from a group being led by Steve and Jackie Green. As one of our archaeological team noted, “Most visitors like to talk, but these folks came to work.” A number of them joined the team digging and sifting in Area D. Finding Roman period coins and pottery can be infectious, and soon the archaeological bug had taken hold of these volunteers for a day. Archaeology requires patience. Some days produce remarkable finds, while others only give you a sense of progress as you dig down, moving back in time to the earlier periods of a site. Something quite interesting is emerging in the squares along the northern wall of the church. There appears to be an earlier wall, not quite parallel to the northern wall, but perhaps more squared to the eastern wall with the apse. Is it an earlier northern wall of the Byzantine church that was eclipsed by later modification and renovation? More work will be needed to answer these questions. On the west side the Hong Kong team is making good, steady progress and beginning to reach earlier walls. Soon they will find their work within the Roman period and things should get very interesting. The work in the apse is taking some interesting turns. We are removing layers in the floor of the apse and finding that the lower sections have been intentionally and systematically sealed. What lies beneath these layers? And what were the builders attempting to conceal? We should discover the answers to our questions in the coming days. We finished our day this evening with a showing of the Expeditions Unknown episode on el Araj, complete with popcorn! A good way to end the day. Up again at 4:00AM tomorrow morning!

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Dec 14, 2023

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