Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 9 Gezer Update

By Dr. Dan Warner

Well today was our last day of digging and for the first few hours we were able to penetrate the cavern another foot. So we are into the cavern about 17 ft. from its entrance. As mentioned the cavern is filled to the roof with silt. But the roofline is continuing upward which is great to see and the roof looks very solid. This of course was one of our big concerns that once we entered the cavern we would find the ceiling of the cavern collapsed that we could not precede, this of course was not the case.  As we moved ahead with the probe we did find a large amount of boulders on the southern side which seems to match well the description of what Macalister saw as he explored the cavern. These boulders were not fully exposed but they appear to rest on the interior southern wall.

Since the beginning of our dig this summer we have dug down 66 ft. moving over 1,100 bags of debris (each one averaging 3-400 pounds of dirt and stone), and we are thankful that no one was seriously hurt this season and all will return home healthy.  So next summer our task will be to widen the entrance and clear out the cavern and it explore it fully while at the same time look for the source of the water. Our deepest appreciation goes out to all who helped make this dig possible from the diggers to those who helped financially. This truly will go down in the history books as a tremendous accomplishment.  We have already had the dig mentioned in the Israeli news and different radio shows so we trust some of you will join us next summer in this project.


The Gezer Water System project is co-sponsored by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary under the direction of Tsvika Tsuk, chief archaeologist at INPA, and Dan Warner, co-director of the Center for Archaeological Research at NOBTS.

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