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).
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.
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.
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.