This past week was restoration week at Shiloh. The team dwindled to a group of 11 people. At the site, we worked on several projects. Part of the group worked on wall conservation. As we remove the dirt during the excavation, we uncover ancient walls which are thousands of years old. Some of the walls are unstable, so during restoration week, we stabilize the walls by preparing mortar and filling in all the cracks between the wall stones.
Another project this week was to finish processing the pottery that we found during the excavation and decide which pieces will appear in the final publication.
We also had to pack all our tools and supplies. That was a big project. We have a storage container on site where we store our equipment during the year, but this year we added a particularly large piece of equipment: an ATV.
Thanks to a generous donation, we were able to purchase one. It was supposed to be delivered at the beginning of the dig season, but it got held up in customs and didn’t arrive until a few weeks later. We enjoyed using it for the last week of excavation. Then, we drove it into the storage container and piled our equipment all around it including inside and on top of it. I was pretty sure that we would not fit everything in, since in the past we have filled up the container without storing a vehicle in it. However, thanks to careful packing we were able to get almost everything in. We ended up putting our wheelbarrows on the roof of the container since they did not fit inside.
We worked quickly and efficiently and finished our work at the site by Wednesday. After that, it was time to start packing our office at the hotel in Jerusalem. That was a big project since we have a lot of supplies that we store in the hotel basement during the year.
After we packed up all the office supplies, we started sorting and packing our finds from this dig season. We boxed up various item types that will go to their respective specialists. Everything else will go into storage at the KAMAT offices. KAMAT is in charge of archaeological excavations in the region where Shiloh is located, so they take custody of all our finds.
It has been a great dig season at Shiloh. We had an exceptional team of staff and volunteers, we made good progress on the excavation of Shiloh, and we had some nice finds.
For those of you who were wondering, the hunt for the elusive corner will have to wait to resume next year.