Shiloh Week Two was a lot of fun. I think that most of us settled into the routine of the excavation, and it seemed less hectic than Week One was. Some team members left after Week One, but new ones arrived, making our Week Two team larger than our Week One team. We expect the Week Three team to be even larger.
I focused my attention this week on the southern part of my excavation area. This is where we have been trying to find an elusive corner of an Iron Age structure. Last week, I had excavated far enough to discover that, in the Roman period, the inhabitants of the site had removed part of the corner and built a wall over it, placing a threshold directly over the corner for which I was searching.
This week, I planned to finish excavating the Roman stratum and get below it, to the Iron Age stratum. However, as my team continued excavating, we kept finding Roman period pottery. Then, we lifted a large stone and found a Roman storage jar crushed beneath it. As we continued lifting stones, we kept finding more crushed jars. Clearly, a wall had fallen on a storage area. At first, I speculated that an earthquake had destroyed the building, but then we found a coin on the floor. Although it needs to be cleaned, it looks like it probably dates to the first Jewish revolt. Because of this, I am now theorizing that the Roman army destroyed this structure in AD 69.
We excavated through the destruction layer and continued below the Roman floor level. I thought that we would finally reach the corner of the Iron Age building, but we continued to find Roman era pottery. Finally, we reached another floor level with Roman era pottery sherds sitting on it. We reached this floor late in the day on Friday, and we did not have time to excavate through it before the dig day ended.
Next week, another team will take over my squares, freeing me up to focus on other responsibilities. I think that the incoming team will appreciate the fact that I left the discovery of the elusive corner for them!
On Saturday, I went adventuring with a few of the dig team members. We visited Herodion, Tekoa, Kathisma, and Ramat Rachel. Here are a few photos from my adventures.