Week two of the Shiloh Excavations continued the positive trajectory that was established in week one. Our efforts flourished under the leadership of Dr. Scott Stripling, the Director of Excavations. The excavation team is uncovering the city wall and nearby structures in the north and northwestern sectors of the tell. The city wall dates to the MB III period.
Although the dig is only two weeks old, we have already accomplished one of our primary goals for the 2017 season. Namely, we connected our work to the work of the prior excavators. In the north, Abigail Leavitt’s crew extended the work of the Danes and Israelis. To the northwest, my team exposed the outer face of MB III city wall, thus extending the work of the Danes. The same wall traverses the excavation squares of Drs. Brian Peterson and David Graves.
Archaeological remnants emerge daily. The remnants include ostraca (inscribed potsherds), coins (one hundred fifty and counting), plaster flooring, and a beautifully-preserved bronze spearhead. Suzanne Lattimer’s crew uncovered a cluster of sling stones, while the team of Dr. Boyd Seevers discovered domestic grinders and an Iron Age pithos (large storage jar). Henry Smith’s crew found what appears to be a Middle Bronze Age wall underneath a large Byzantine terrace wall. Multiple teams unearthed mudbrick debris, most likely the remains of a Bronze Age defensive superstructure that fortified the city. A large number of bones continue to come to light. The bones will be analyzed by a bone specialist at the end of the dig season. The previous Israeli excavator found a large bone deposit in the northeast section of the tell (Area D).
Steven Rudd used his ingenuity to build sifting stations from scratch. The sifting stations will increase our efficiency and effectiveness in the discovery of small artifacts when earthen material is removed from the excavation squares.
The ABR excavation team has been blessed with enthusiastic volunteers, healthy relationships with the locals, and a lack of significant logistical obstacles, despite the newness of the dig. Tourist groups frequent the site, and temporary workers supplement the workforce daily. On Friday, a staggering one hundred and thirty people worked at the site. The extra laborers included groups from Dallas Theological Seminary, The Master’s Seminary, and Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Please continue to pray for the dig team and our success. You might even consider participating in the dig in the summer of 2018. 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.
View Photos of the Shiloh Excavation on the ABR FaceBook Page: Shiloh Excavations Photo Album 2017