Bethsaida 2014 – Day Nine

We were back on the dig today, and at least in Area T there was a significant amount of dirt being moved. Everyone is keen to uncover as much of the hidden history of this small part of the site as we can before the end of this week. As the soil is removed and the fallen stones taken away, we are beginning to see the walls with much greater clarity.

We began by preparing our limestone kiln pit for its official photograph. First the rocks and bare dirt needed to be swept to provide a good surface, and then the official labels were added:

dusting-dusting

 

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It may be that the discovery of this pit will unlock several puzzles for us. It has not only given us a sense of how the ancient limestone was quarried to be burnt for the production of fertilizer, but the presence of significant numbers of Roman nails in the out and the adjacent areas dug in 2013/2013—as well as the presence of numerous Ottoman smoking pipes—suggests the pit was used in the Ottoman period, with timber materials from the Roman period being used as fuel for the destruction of the limestone vessels.

Here is the latest of our Ottoman smoking pipes:

ottoman-smoking-pipe

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Director, Centre for Coins, Culture & Religious History at St John's Cathedral, Brisbane.

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