Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gezer Dig 2012 – June 5 Update

Sorting Pottery Shards

By Gary D. Myers

Today was a great day at the Tel Gezer water system. The team removed 84 bags of material today – the highest bag total of this year. The workflow seemed smoother today than some other days and by lunch the team had removed 46 bags. Given the length of time it takes for the winch hook to travel up and down the tunnel that is no small feat. It is doubtful the team could remove much more than that in a single day.


The sifting and washing of pottery shards is now in full swing. Before dumping each bag, samples are taken, washed/screened and pottery is collected in tagged buckets to be sorted by Dan Warner and Tsvika Tsuk. And the screening is producing a number of pot shards. Near the end of the day Tsuk and Warner collected three large bags of material to be screened – not just samples but whole bags. Screening these three bags will be the first item on the agenda when the team reaches Gezer June 6.

The small group digging inside the cave removed another two meters deeper into the cave. We are appreciate of their hard work in this tight, confined area.

Something Old
Questions remain about the surface the team encountered two days ago. Is this part of the floor or something else? Only time will tell.

After recalculating the presumed distance to the bottom step of the tunnel that search was abandoned. Uncovering the bottom step would be helpful, but based on these calculation doing so might weaken the remaining dirt that covers the floor all the way up the tunnel. The directors decided the risk was not worth the reward and move on to another program.

Something New
Early in the dig the team had encountered larger, chalky rocks near the mouth of the cave on the north side of the tunnel. The directors decided to attack that area today. As the team dug, they discovered that this area does not have the soft limestone surface encounter on the other side of the tunnel. They were about to dig down much deeper. Could this side hold the water source? More questions. But the team is comfortable with questions and will work hard again tomorrow seeking to understand more about this amazing water system.


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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