Bethsaida 2014 – Day Six

Today the energy levels were high and the winds were less blustery, so we were set for a good day on the tools at Area T.

Even before we were joined by the visitors from Sabeel Nazareth (see below), we had made some exciting new finds:

Julien found that the spot he had been clearing was actually a pit used by Bedouin to burn limestone recovered from the ancient ruins at the top of the hill to create fertiliser. He is one happy camper, and would happily stay back after the bus leaves at 12.30 to continue working:

Area-T-Kiln-Pit

 

Meanwhile, in the opposite corner we have found the top of last year’s Mamluk wall over which a later level of occupation has laid our new set of stone walls.  (Nicole is standing on a large stone that seems to be part of wall W1202 from 2013.) Happy campers all around today:

Walls-R-Us

 

While all this was happening our guests from Nazareth arrived to share the day with us:

Sabeel-Ladies

With their help we cleared more of Area T than would otherwise have been possible.

It seems we have at least three phases of occupation at Area T: (1) an initial Mamluk settlement prior to the earthquake of 1202, which re-used some older materials including the 1C grinding stone included in W1202, (2) the occupation phase represented by W1204, and (3) the Bedouin who destroyed part of W1204 to create the pit in which they burned limestone (and maybe some timber materials from the Roman period, judging by the nails found in the pit).

Meanwhile, exciting finds have been turning up in other parts of the site as well. Around 11.30am we began a series of “show and tell” visits to each other’s areas so that we could learn about the highlights of the week. It was fascinating to see the materials being exposed in Area A West and Area A South. I wonder what the next week of digging will reveal.

About gregoryjenks

Anglican priest and religion scholar. Senior Lecturer in the School of Theology at Charles Sturt University. Dean-elect, Cathedral Church of Christ the King, Grafton. Formerly Dean at St George's College, Jerusalem. Currently serving as the locum priest at Byron Bay Anglican Parish.
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