Can You Dig It?

Gezer 2013 – Update Ten

By Gary D. Myers

2013 Gezer Dig

Full Album of the 2013 Dig

The End is Near

Work has slowed considerably as the focus of the digging shifted to the three probes at the very bottom of the water system. Last Wednesday the team cut through what is believed to be a causeway of stone laid be R.A.S. Macalister more than 100 years ago which enabled him to cross the very muddy, watery spot at the bottom. These three probe areas, untouched by Macalister, have been fruitful in providing material that could help the team date the system. It will be some time before the dig leaders draw any conclusions from the material they have found. The pottery, seeds, charcoal and other items will all be studied and analyzed. Lab work is a very important part of any archaeological endeavor. So, as unfortunate as it is, it may be some time before the dig leaders can draw real conclusions about the site.

We want people here to know about this wonderful ancient water system and word is getting out. Today the site was visited by one of the Israeli television stations. A cameraman interviewed Tsvika Tsuk and shot video in the tunnel. We are hopeful that the Gezer dig will be featured on the news tonight or tomorrow.

Watching the Pros

For those of us on the dig who are amateur archaeologists, it has been a real treat to watch the professionals work (Tsvika Tsuk, Dan Warner, Jim Parker and Dennis Cole). Archaeology includes discipline, precision and creativity. It is both a science and an art. Archaeologists read the clues they are given like a detective, pulling out details from the evidence. They must have the ability to propose theories, hold those theories loosely, and revise them as needed. The goal is to let the material in the ground lead to the conclusions.

Work, Work, Work

Conservation work continued on the Bronze Age gate and the Canaanite wall today.  Both areas look remarkable. The work accomplished in the short time has been amazing. These areas, along with the Solomonic gate, the high place/standing stones and the water system, illustrate just how much potential there is at Gezer. This really is a great site with good exposure to multiple occupations from Canaanite to Israelite.

The most happening place on the entire dig site now is the shifting tent. For three days the shifting team has been busy finding objects dug from beneath the “causeway.” All these items are being carefully cataloged and will be analyzed as described above. Because the area is filled with mud, the team has to wet shift. It is a wet, muddy job.

The days are quickly ticking away. Everyone seemed tired today … not too tired to work, but some volunteers had a bit less spring in their steps. This seems to happen each year late in the dig as we all begin to feel the pull of home. Soon we will all be on our way back to our loved ones and all of our responsibilities back home. We have enjoyed our stay, but it will be good to be home. The majority of the group will be leaving this Friday and Saturday. Please pray for our safe returns.