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Although the 2018 Shiloh excavations officially came to an end after week four, there was still more work to be done. Dig Director Dr. Scott Stripling inspected the newly excavated walls and, together with Conservation Team Leader Greg Gulbrandsen, identified and selected unstable walls in need of conservation. During week five, Greg led a team consisting of Dr. Charles Savelle, Durwin Kicker, Tim Lopez, Abigail Leavitt, and Charity Hebert.

The first step of the conservation process was to clean the walls. First, we used trowels to clean dirt from between the wall stones. Next, we employed stiff whisk brooms to remove any remaining dust. Finally, using a hose with a spray nozzle, we thoroughly washed the wall stones. After leaving the walls to dry overnight, we returned the next day and began the process of mortaring the wall stones. This involved mixing small batches of mortar, using a large caulk gun to insert the mortar between wall stones, and sealing the mortar against the stones with a paintbrush. The following day, after the mortar had dried overnight, we went over the walls once more, this time with a stiff brush, removing the rough edges from the mortar. In all, we conserved five Middle-Bronze Age storeroom walls and stabilized two other large wall stones.

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The conservation team also doubled as the clean-up team. We cleaned the wet-sifting station and removed the hoses for winter storage. We tidied up the site and put away the excavation equipment for next year. We also covered our excavation areas with felt to protect them from contamination through the winter. Back at the hotel, we packed up the office, storing our supplies in the hotel basement. We organized our finds, sending bones to, Lidar, our zooarchaeologist and flints to Dudu, our flint specialist. We sent our pottery to Peretz and Liora, our ceramic typologists, and made multiple visits to Orna, our conservator, taking our coins and special small finds for cleaning and conservation. We made several trips to KAMAT, the regional Israel Antiquities Authority, dropping off finds at their storage facility. Our team of Israeli specialists will work throughout the year processing our material. Meanwhile, back at home, our staff members will write reports and prepare publications documenting our findings.

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Between conserving, packing, and cleaning up, we also found time to visit archaeological sites. We visited two ancient altars near Shiloh and stopped at the Hizma stone vessel factory and Rachel’s Tomb. Finishing our work a day early, we took a road trip and visited Ekron, Gath, and Ashdod, three Philistine sites.

Meanwhile, Dr. Scott Stripling and Suzanne Lattimer led a tour for 65 people. They visited a variety of ancient sites in Israel including Joppa, Ashkelon, Masada, En Gedi, Qumran, Ceasarea, Megiddo, and Nazareth.

As we prepare to head home, we are already planning for next year’s excavation at Shiloh, and we hope that you will join us at Shiloh in 2019.

Dig Director’s Note:

In the final week, I also did a couple of final media interviews, and the piece aired on Jerusalem Dateline. (Off site link)

One tour highlight was the baptism of 12 people in the Jordan River, including one person who was watching our group being baptized and she chose to commit her life to Christ. I am extremely grateful for all who prayed, volunteered, and donated financially to make Season Two at Shiloh a huge success.

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As we process our finds, the final season expenses will accrue. Please make a final Season Two donation as you are able.

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Students from Lee University with Dr. Brian Peterson
(click on the image to view our Shiloh 2018 FaceBook Album).

We will be sharing more of our exciting discoveries in the coming weeks. Please continue to pray for the dig team. You might consider participating in the Shiloh Dig in the summer of 2019. If you wish to support the dig financially, simply follow this link, and specify in the “Instructions” section that you desire to fund the Shiloh Excavations.

As the dig came to an end, we looked around at what has been accomplished in 4 weeks. The result of people from 30 states and 4 countries is astounding! Even as we were shutting down, we continued to have a stream of visitors and dignitaries including Sondra Oster Baras from the Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, and …. We are grateful for the connections we’ve made with different archaeologists, specialists, groups, and universities.

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A view from the square working from West to East

Dr. Mark Hassler opened AD29 adjacent to his previous squares to help with the tall balks. The antiquities authority sends out a safety inspector out to check out the condition of our site and make recommendations. While it can be frustrating to us because all we want to do is dig, it is necessary to take such precautions. Once AD28 had been brought down some, they were able to continue cleaning the face of the Middle Bronze city wall in AD29, which was dug last year. They did uncover yet another denticulation (an off-set), which better lines up with known parts of the city wall.

The next set of squares over, AE29 was dug in previous weeks by my crew. It had the top portion of the city wall, the inside face with Middle Bronze storerooms attaching, but not the outside face of the city wall. The wall was just too big to contain it all! We however still lose a portion of the city wall on the west side of the square, and are looking next year to contect this portion with what Dr. Hassler found this year. This week we moved back to AE30, which had been open last year. We continued down within our Middle Bronze storerooms, Room P2 (Danish), Room AA, and Room BB. We found an almost complete Middle Bronze juglet and wet sift found a scarab in our material. Once again, our wet sift earning its keep!

Moving west, Dr. Don McNeeley in AF29 shares a portion of storeroom Room BB, and has Room CC and a portion of Room DD. Washing lots and lots of pottery is what this team has been doing. The storeroom here were filled with broken pithoi storage jars. Also, they have identified a nice Iron I (time Israelites) silo. They did also find an impressively large scarab while they were dry sifting. Their storeroom walls connect beautifully with the city wall. Having identified the storeroom floor, they believe they’re nearing bedrock, but that is a question that must be answered next year.

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Next to AF29 is, Dr. Boyd Seevers in AG29. This square was newly opened just last week, but has made huge progress. They had the top of the city wall poking through the dirt, along with another storeroom wall. A mechanical engineer in the square did some calculations and figured that in two weeks they moved approximately 94 tons of dirt!

Just to the north, Dr. Kevin Larson opened AG30. It was the quintessential archaeological square with a beautiful Roman Age wall with corner, and every loci neat and tidy. As they proceeded lower, their Roman wall sat on an earlier Iron age wall. They had a Roman Age bag storage jar (named after the way they look) that was broken in-situ, but restorable, and a complete Iron I Age lamp.

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East of Drs. Seevers & Larson was Tim Lopez in AH29 & 30. This was the second year these square were excavated. They have the most walls of any other square with 11! One wonders where they have room to dig. In AH30 a wide Iron Age wall goes into the balk and comes out a skinny Roman wall in Dr. Larson’s square. The magic that happens in a balk! While they found a scarab, the most potentially significant find of the season came out of AH30 - a ceramic pomegranate. The pomegranate represents fertility in the ancient world and is a common tabernacle/temple motif.

South of Tim Lopez, Dr. Brian Peterson opened up AG27 and finished AG28 from last season. He began tracing the outside of the city wall from the East side of our field, H1. They came down upon the glacis, a sloping, hard-pack clay against the city wall for defensive purposes. After Dr. Peterson left, Ruth Vanderford picked up the reigns, and finished removing all the mudbrick fill that had fallen on glacis, affectionally named Gladis the Gorgeous Glacis.

Moving west, Henry Smith finished AF27 from last year revealing a Middle Bronze wall moving perpendicular to the city wall. Since the glacis had been found in the adjacent square, Ruth Vanderford also inherited this square, took down the pesky balk, and connected the glacis against this Middle Bronze wall. What that means is a question for next year.

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Just to the north, in AF28, our Objects Registrar, Abigail Leavitt, stepped in for ailing Matt Glassman. With only one week, they were to find the face of the city wall, connect it to AG28, find the top of the glacis, and connect the curious Middle Bronze wall to the city wall. It was a tall order, that they achieved with flying colors.

Closing Down

The last day of the dig is slightly different that the close of any other dig day. The morning is spent finishing up last minute loci, and making sure that things are level. After our 10:30am lunch break, all digging and sifting ceases, and the great dust storm begins. Everything has to be brushed cleaned for final pictures, including the dirt! We want to be able to see the dirt, and not footprints. A meter stick for reference is laid in each square. Final measurements are taken for walls to be sent to our architect for a top plan drawing. All the tools and tents are packed back into their bags and taken to the container for off season storage. The pottery from the day is washed and taken back to the hotel for reading the following day. Since we stopped dry sifting at lunch, wet sift is able to catch up and finish all the mesh bags. Some tools are left out for the restoration team next week.

The digging is done. However, the work is not over. Over the next year staff members will be crunching data, writing reports, analyzing finds, and coming up with better ideas for the coming year. We hope to welcome you during the Orientation meeting next year, next year in Jerusalem!

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Students from Lee University with Dr. Brian Peterson
(click on the image to view our Shiloh 2018 FaceBook Album).

We will be sharing more of our exciting discoveries in the coming weeks. Please continue to pray for the dig team. You might consider participating in the Shiloh Dig in the summer of 2019. If you wish to support the dig financially, simply follow this link, and specify in the “Instructions” section that you desire to fund the Shiloh Excavations.

Week 2 of the second season of the Shiloh dig is now complete and included the making of many memories and discoveries. Dr. Scott Stripling conducted a number of tours and interviews on the site, two of which are noteworthy.

Early in the week, the 700 Club did an extensive on-site interview with Scott and the dig team in preparation for an upcoming program on their network (add photo of team). Scott also did a radio interview with a local radio station. On Friday, over 40 students from Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and The Masters Seminary joined our team for a day of intensive digging.

In the squares, various dig teams continued to uncover more evidence of the occupational levels at Shiloh and possible evidence for the tabernacle. Kevin Larsen’s square unearthed not only an intact Iron Age saucer oil lamp, but continue to expose a mendable bag jar from the Roman era, as well as a number of small finds like a bronze arrow head. While Tim Lopez and his team worked to expose the inner face of the MB III wall, they found what appears to be a decorative ceramic pomegranate. This may prove to be very important due to the fact that the pomegranate was a common decoration in the tabernacle and temple (1 Kgs 7:18, 20, 42; 2 Kgs 25:17; 2 Chron 3:16; 4:13; Jer 52:22–23).) and on the priestly garments (Exod 28:33–34; 39:24–26).

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Pastor Brent Hoefling shows off an Iron II oil lamp (Brent Hoefling).

To the west, in Square AF29, Don McNeeley and Gary Byer’s team continued to uncover a hundreds of sherds related to several Middle Bronze Age storage jars and pithoi, many of which may be mendable. While some of the sherds extend into the next square, the central room they are excavating in their square appears to be a storage room, which also included a number of small kitchen vessels such as grinding stones. In Suzanne Lattimer’s square, which is adjacent and to the west of McNeeley’s and Byer’s square, they also found a number of pithoi fragments along with sling stones and other small finds.

To the north, Henry Smith excavated to bedrock multiple rows of a MB III wall, which appears to abut the main perimeter wall at right angles. This wall may prove to be vital in identifying the main entrance to the city on the northern approach. More excavation is going to be needed in the coming seasons in order to clarify this theory. At the lowest levels of his excavations, Smith and his team found the remnants of two MBII storage jars.

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Mendable bag jar from the Roman period (Brent Hoefling).

Further west, Mark Hassler continued excavating an area just outside of the perimeter wall in Square AC28. Apart from a number of unearthed coins, their work yielded dividends when he discovered the first scarab of the 2018 season at the end of the day on Friday afternoon (this is now the third scarab found to date). The scarab was found in the dry sift by one of the visiting DTS students.

Finally, Brian Peterson and his team of Lee University students excavated a fully intact glacis/rampart to the city in Square AG27 as well as the remnants of the fallen mud brick wall just east of Smith’s square. A number of MB pottery sherds embedded in the glacis helped date the wall to that period.

Ellen Jackson, our metal detectorist, concluded this week with 30 coins, which included 10 coins from the Danish/Finkelstein dump. Our grand total for two weeks is 53. Other metal finds include a bronze chisel, a sword or dagger point, an iron ring, and an assortment of sandal tacks.

Finally, the wet sifting work headed up by Greg Gulbrandsen and Frankie Snyder continues to yield a number of small finds such as Roman glass, beads, and stone vessel fragments. Steve Rudd and a number of the DTS students also dry sifted a sizeable portion of the Danish dig’s dump from the early 1900s. This material will also be wet sifted throughout the remainder of this season.

Apart from the dig, a number of ABR team members led or went on tours around Israel on the weekend. These day trips included visits to the Galilee, the Dead Sea, Jericho, the Valley of Elah and other biblical sites. Even though week 2 may be now in the proverbial “books,” the exciting discoveries and adventures continue as ABR “digs the Bible” in this 2018 season.

Shiloh2018Season2Week1 Team

Students from Lee University with Dr. Brian Peterson
(click on the image to view our Shiloh 2018 FaceBook Album).

We will be sharing more of our exciting discoveries in the coming weeks. Please continue to pray for the dig team. You might consider participating in the Shiloh Dig in the summer of 2019. If you wish to support the dig financially, simply follow this link, and specify in the “Instructions” section that you desire to fund the Shiloh Excavations.

This past week of the Shiloh Excavations we had nine squares open – each 5m x 5m and sitting on a north/south grid. Our goal is to expose the architecture within each square and be able to relate it to what’s found in the next square. Along with the floors and installations associated with these walls, we can know where ancient people lived. But the pottery and artifacts found in the dirt associated with this architecture and installations tells us about how they lived. And we learned a lot about the ancient people of Shiloh in Week Three.

While our dig team is mostly American, people come from around the world – we had folks from Canada, Spain, Ireland and Denmark on our team this year. Virtually every day we have volunteer diggers join us – both locals and visitors from other countries. We also have groups who stop and dig for a day. Just like the Dallas Theological Seminary group two weeks ago, we had a group of Wycliffe Bible translators join us last week.

We also have local specialists on our team: Frankie Synder of the Temple Mount Sifting Project who works with us daily, artifact conservator Orna Cohen stopped by for a visit and ceramic specialists Liora Feund and Perez Reuven who visit and review our pottery finds.

Other archaeological professionals also come to see what we’re doing. Well-known and respected archaeologist Ami Mazar visited two weeks ago, as well as Hillel Richmond – who joined our daily pottery “reading” (analysis). Last week, highly respected archaeologist Aren Maeir stopped to visit and also joined us for pottery reading that day. Every day we “read” the pottery dug and washed from the day before. Weekly, Liora and Perez come and review our reads. They both offer suggestions and will eventually do a final analysis with Scott for publication.

But the Shiloh Excavation team stays busy even when we’re not digging. Besides our weekend bus and van tours all over Israel, last week, a group did an evening tour of the Western Wall Tunnel in the Old City.

Another group visited Khirbet el-Maqatir, about ten miles south of Shiloh and on the road we take to and from Jerusalem every day. KeM is the location of what we believe are Old Testament Ai and New Testament Ephraim – where ABR sponsored and led an excavation for thirteen years under Dr. Bryant Wood and Dr. Scott Stripling.

Also, a small number of the Shiloh dig team joined director Scott Stripling in one of the conference rooms at the Knesset (Israel’s parliament building), where we participated in a Bible study with Christian and Jewish religious leaders. An ongoing effort led by Rabbi and Knesset member Yehuda Glick, the event was cosponsored by the Knesset Caucus for the Encouragement of Bible Study, the Schindler Society and Israel365. Designed to promote our common faith in the Old Testament Scriptures, focusing on what we share in common – not on differences – it was an interesting and meaningful experience.

Now, here’s what happened last week in our nine excavation squares.

In Squares AH29-30, Tim Lopez identified two more walls to add to his wall list – Roman, Iron Age (Israelite) and Middle Bronze Age (Canaanite) – he’s got them all! But on Friday his team (with a little help from the wet sift folks!), revealed an important discovery. The dirt they dug and then dry sifted, was then sent to our new wet sifting station. There, Richard from my square, wet sifted the dirt and recognized an ancient Egyptian scarab. It had a cartouche with an Egyptian pharaoh’s name – but we’re not certain what it said. I thought I could read it, but wasn’t sure. We’ve sent it to an expert…and I’ll let you know how good my knowledge of hieroglyphics really is!

Dr. Boyd Seevers just opened new Square AG29 this week and his team dug almost 2m of fill – before finding a wall-line on Friday afternoon. Still, in all that dirt, his team uncovered a large number of wonderful finds – including seven coins, fragments of nine oil lamps, two slingstones and one stone mortar. Then on Friday his team discovered a ceramic object which no one knew for sure what it was- even our conservator said she had never seen one before! Best guess at the moment…an inkwell.

In Square AF29, Don McNeeley and I had to take down the dirt balks around two sides of our square in order to continue digging deeper in the square. That was unfortunate, because there were multiple broken sherds to a number of vessels broken-in-place that had to be covered up until the take-down was complete. But, in the process, we were able to find two more stones in the interior face of the Canaanite perimeter wall that runs the full width of our square. In the bulk take-down, we did find a number of interesting pottery sherds and small objects – including one coin – which were kept for further study. And, by the end of the week, we were back to uncovering more vessel fragments in the square!

Dr. Mark Hassler and his team, in AC28-89 and AD29, have been excavating a long stretch of the outer face of the 5m-wide Canaanite perimeter wall – and by the end of the week, they found a hole in the wall! Well, not exactly a hole, the wall was just stopped – from top to bottom! Yet it does not appear to be a gateway and neither does it appear to be part of the original Canaanite wall construction. Next week, Mark will have some answers!

In AF27 and AG27, Ruth Vanderford supervised the final clearing of the glacis – a 35-degree sloping earthen rampart constructed around the outside of the ancient perimeter wall. It was designed in antiquity to hinder attacking armies from reaching the wall and to protect the wall’s foundation from being undermined. Directly above the glacis, they found a large amount of disintegrated red mudbrick, apparently the fallen mudbrick superstructure which once sat above the perimeter wall's stone foundation.

In Square AG30, Kevin Larsen and his team have four walls from a Roman house. It includes what looks like a circular stone column drum deliberately set in the corner of one room. In the next room was a restorable whole New Testament era storage jar along with an unusual stone mortar found in situ. While the base was flat, the bowl of the mortar sat at a 30-degree angle, seemingly tilted especially for someone’s convenience while sitting on the floor. Finally, one of the corners in this house is created with well-cut stones – maybe the finest Roman room corner in all Israel – probably not…but it was still really well-constructed!

Suzanne Lattimer’s square AE29, sits next to mine and her team has also uncovered the inner face of the city wall – giving us about 10m of continuous exposure. They have also cleared the wall’s top – almost to the outer face. And, in the process, they found a large dump of Roman pottery – the largest pile of broken pottery we’ve found on the site.

Our wet sift team, led by Greg Gulbrandsen, has already been mentioned a couple of times. They are much appreciated by the rest of us – because they found the stuff in our dirt that we missed in the square and in our dry sift. This week “that stuff” included a clay impression made from an ancient seal, a flint blade, a carnelian bead, an “eye” bead (see below) and the scarab (mentioned above). These folks spend their day making the rest of us look pretty good. For details about our wet sift station, see: Go Now To Shiloh: The 2018 Excavations Week One

In recent years, archaeologists have considered sifting the dump piles left by earlier excavations – because today, building on what they had done, we have better technologies and protocols to identify more efficiently what they couldn’t. With the Danish/Finkelstein dump very close to our new wet sifting station, this week Steve Rudd started the wet sifting process for the first few pails of that dump. Among a number of interesting finds, they found a small “eye” bead – a bead with what appear to be four eyes around it.

And a final shout-out to Ellen Jackson, our metal detectorist, who found most of the fifty-plus coins from the dirt in our squares as well as another ten coins from the Danish/Finkelstein dump. Last year, Ellen found coins everywhere on Tel Shiloh when she turned on her machine. But this year, Scott said only in our squares and the dump. Too many coins from outside our dig area to record, clean, restore and process! Oh, to have such problems!

Of course, the coins don’t belong to us, they are the property of the Israel Antiquities Authority – who gives us our dig permit. So…in order to finance all the good work we’re doing, we still need and appreciate your prayers, help, support... and any coins you would like to send! Thanks for being part of the Shiloh Excavations!

Shiloh2018Season2Week1 Team

Students from Lee University with Dr. Brian Peterson
(click on the image to view our Shiloh 2018 FaceBook Album).

We will be sharing more of our exciting discoveries in the coming weeks. Please continue to pray for the dig team. You might consider participating in the Shiloh Dig in the summer of 2019. If you wish to support the dig financially, simply follow this link, and specify in the “Instructions” section that you desire to fund the Shiloh Excavations.

Week One of the 2018 Excavations at Biblical Shiloh, operated and sponsored by the Associates for Biblical Research, is now in the books.

Participation

This year’s expedition to Shiloh consists of our largest group ever assembled. In all, over 140 volunteers and staff registered for our excavation. When we add day volunteers and students from IBEX (The Master’s University Bible Extension, including students from Dallas Seminary), the total number of people on site during the 2018 season will exceed two hundred! Participants include pastors, students, professors, business professionals, day volunteers, retirees... and anyone in between! A number of institutions are represented by groups and/or individuals, including:

Lee University – Cleveland, TN
University of Pikeville – Pikeville, KY
Southwest Baptist University – Bolivar, MO
The Bible Seminary – Katy, TX
Yale University – New Haven, CT
University of Northwestern – St. Paul, MN
Emmaus Bible College – Dubuque, IA
The Crown College of the Bible – Powell, TN
Mid-Atlantic Christian University – Elizabeth City, NC
Virginia Beach Theological Seminary – Virginia Beach, VA
Danish Society for Biblical Archaeology

The planning for each dig season at Shiloh begins more than a year before it actually commences. Twelve months a year our team, led by Dr. Scott Stripling, continuously works on all of the variegated dimensions of the dig: reports, fundraising, budgeting, logistics, public relations, advertising, hotel arrangements, tour itineraries, technological improvements, peer-review, article publication, and so on. It is a year-round process in which we continuously improve all aspects of our operation.

State-of-the-art Wet Sifting

The reader may recall that last year we implemented wet-sifting protocols at Shiloh, utilizing the existing wet-sifting station previously built on the site. Shiloh is the first excavation outside of the Temple Mount Sifting Project in Jerusalem to utilize wet sifting. This process uses water to sift through excavated materials that have already been carefully removed from excavation squares and dry sifted. By using this process, we are able to discover critical objects that would otherwise have been lost forever in dump piles. While the existing station was useful, it was not conveniently located and was set up inefficiently.

One of our Shiloh Dig staff members, Steve Rudd, brilliantly designed a state-of-the-art wet-sifting facility, which we affectionately call the WASSI. Steve arrived three weeks in advance of the dig in order to supervise and construct the WASSI. Steve worked many, many hours to bring the project to fruition, staying in an apartment in Shiloh and making many sacrifices to be away from his family and church. He was able to complete the construction by the time we arrived at Shiloh to start digging on Monday, May 21st. If we had hired a company to design and build this station it would have cost tens of thousands of dollars, an expense we simply could not afford. Steve’s tireless work ethic and voluntary commitment to the Shiloh Dig and the ABR ministry is both admirable and humbling. We are most grateful for his unwavering commitment to the ABR ministry and excavations in the Holy Land.

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The WASSI, designed by Steve Rudd and drawn up by Leen Ritmeyer.

Technology

Beyond the WASSI, we are now entering our second season using iPads to enter our field data. After a learning curve last season, the supervisors have become much more comfortable with using the iPads, and we now cannot even imagine going back to using paper.

This year Jacob Moody, PhD candidate at Andrews University, is taking three-dimensional photographic images of our excavation squares. This new technology provides state-of-the-art, high-resolution 3D images of each square. These pictures will eliminate the need for top plans (hand drawings on graph paper), as they reveal details not seen by the naked eye. Frankly, the photos and software are incredible!

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An example of the 3D imaging of square AF 27 (Credit: Jacob Moody).

Teams and Brief Notes on Finds

During Week 1, our teams opened or continued working in eleven squares:

Team One (AC28-29) – Supervisor: Dr. Mark Hassler. This area is located immediately outside the Bronze Age fortification wall in the northwest sector of the tell. The discoveries include coins, glass sherds, two serrated flint blades, bichrome ware, and a green sealing impression which possibly contains the image of a human face. More analysis will reveal whether this is the case.

Team Two (AF29) – Supervisors: Senior Archaeologist Gary Byers and IT Director Don McNeeley. The team cleaned up tumble and debris from the off-season. Two Iron Age loom weights made of clay were discovered. Part of the MB wall was falling apart, so the team conserved it to maintain its integrity. The bottom of a silo was exposed, and a set of possible pithoi were also found, along with large chunks of MB pottery. Further work in Week 2 will explore this further.

Team Three (AG 27-28) – Supervisor: Field Archaeologist Dr. Brian Peterson. Lee University's dig team of 16 students led by Dr. Brian Peterson was tasked with working on two squares, AG27 and 28. Their work on AG28 was completed by Thursday and they continue to work on AG27. After excavating about 0.5 meters from AG27, their team found what appears to be a destruction level and perhaps a floor line. More excavation this coming week will help determine this. A number of small finds were made including sling stones, a partial ballista, a bead, three pieces of a Roman-era glass bracelet, glass fragments, and a few coins. We hope to reveal the Middle Bronze Age glacis/rampart by mid-week.

Team Five (AE 29-30) – Supervisor: Assistant Dig Director Suzanne Lattimer. AE-29 is a new square. The MB fortification wall of the Amorite city runs through the entire square. There are two MB storage rooms that partially enter this square from AE-30. The team cleaned the top of the MB wall, the top course and the face. A couple of sling stones were also found.

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The 2018 Shiloh Excavation Grid

Team Six (AF 26-27) – Supervisor: Administrative Director Henry Smith. In 2017, we found a Middle Bronze wall outside the main Amorite city fortifications on the north. This wall has been exposed to three courses and extends into square AF 26. Remnants of a large storage vessel, copious amounts of animal bones, and early period pottery have also been discovered.

Team Seven (AH 29-30) – Supervisor: Tim Lopez. Tim’s team worked mainly in the north part of the square, clearing the MB storage wall which is probably connected to the large MB fortification wall surrounding the city. The team was able to find a possible Iron Age floor in this area, and they are now coming down to Middle Bronze strata, indicated by the pottery found there. A jar stopper and Roman glass base were also discovered.

Team Eight (Wet-Sifting Operation) – Supervisor: Greg Gulbrandsen. Each day, usually five of the sifting stations are manned and operational. At times seven or eight are manned and functioning, depending upon personnel available. The first week uncovered some valuable finds, including a carnelian biconical bead, a green bullae, some metal objects, and a variety of ancient ceramic and glass sherds. After the shofar blast at 1PM, we finalize any in-process wet-sifting and prepare for pottery washing operations. The pottery to be washed is brought down to the station and washed for reading the next day. The new station facilitates this very well. We have ample water for washing operations as well as drying rack space. In the morning, the pottery to be read is moved over to the reading tables, and wet-sifting operations start anew.

Objects – Object Registrar Abigail Leavitt reports the following discoveries: 22 coins, 5 sling stones, 2 beads and 1 seal, a total of 81 objects in all for Week 1.

Shiloh2018Season2Week1 Team

Students from Lee University with Dr. Brian Peterson
(click on the image to view our Shiloh 2018 FaceBook Album).

We will be sharing more of our exciting discoveries in the coming weeks. Please continue to pray for the dig team. You might consider participating in the Shiloh Dig in the summer of 2019. If you wish to support the dig financially, simply follow this link, and specify in the “Instructions” section that you desire to fund the Shiloh Excavations.

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ABRT 24 | 4/13/2019