Tracing Transformation at the 2017 ASOR Annual Meeting

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Don’t miss papers presented by our people at the 2017 ASOR Annual Meeting at the Westin Boston Waterfront!

Thursday, 16 November

2:50pm: Felix Höflmayer & Katharina Streit, Tracing Transformations in the Southern Levant at the Transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age (Otis)

3:15pm: Katharina Streit, Fluctuating Connectivity of the Levant and Mesopotamia—A
Longue Durée View of Long Distance Ties from the Pottery Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age (Otis)

3:25pm: Ann-Kathrin Jeske, Reassessment of Seals and Scarabs to Reconstruct Egyptian Engagement in the Southern and Central Levant (Griffin)

Friday, 17 November

11:25am: Lyndelle Webster, A Radiocarbon-Based Chronology for Late Bronze Age Tel Azekah (Hancock)

Thank you for a great first season!

We finished our fourth and last week of the Austro-Israeli Expedition to Lachish. We continued our deep section next to our massive Late Bronze Age Phase S-3 building in Square C/9, uncovering more courses of the foundation, currently standing approximately 1.7 m high. Further, we were able to uncover wall remains of an even earlier phase, currently termed S-4. Pottery retrieved from baskets next to our new S-4 wall contained predominantly Late Bronze Age I pottery, but also occasional Middle Cypriot White Painted imports, Middle Bronze Age cooking pots and double handles, substantiating our expectation for Middle/Late Bronze Age transitional levels below. A younger pit in the C/9-C/8 baulk contained a broken capital similar to those found in the Egyptian Acropolis Temple. Lyndelle took last short-lived samples for radiocarbon analysis, which will be analyzed in September in Groningen in cooperation with Michael Dee.

We are thankful for four exciting weeks excavating at Tel Lachish. We are grateful to the Israel Antiquities Authority and its director Israel Hasson as well as to the Nature and Parks Authority and its chief archaeologist Tsvika Tsuk for their support and advice. We would also like to thank the former excavator of Tel Lachish David Ussishkin for his encouragement and company. Further, we felt honored by the interest and support of the Embassy of Israel to Austria and its Deputy Head of Mission Hadas Wittenberg Silverstein and the Austrian Embassy in Israel and its Ambassador Martin Weiss.

Special thanks go to Ilan Sharon from Hebrew University of Jerusalem for his advice and support of this project.

Further, we would like to acknowledge the hard work of all our staff and volunteers who stayed with us for our first season, we very much enjoyed having you around and we very much hope to welcome you back in the future.

Photos by Jellie to whom we are most grateful for his work and commitment!

Tel Lachish Open Dig Day 2017

Yesterday we had the honor to host the first open dig day of the Austro-Israeli Expedition to Lachish. For the past 3 weeks, we excavated Late Bronze Age remains in David Ussishkin’s Area S and we were honored to welcome many friends and colleagues to the site to show them our progress. We were especially happy to welcome the Austrian ambassador Martin Weiss, the director of the Israel, the chief archaeologist of the Nature and Parks Authority Tsvika Tsuk, Ilan Sharon, Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and, most importantly, David Ussishkin, Professor emeritus of Tel Aviv University, former incumbent of the Austria Chair for Archaeology of the Land of Israel in the Biblical Period and excavator of Tel Lachish from 1973 to 1994. Also other colleagues who were involved in the expedition of Tel Aviv University and published in the five volume end report followed our invitation, such as Eli Yannai, Yehuda Dagan, and Lily Singer-Avitz, and we used the opportunity to discuss with them future excavation strategies and had fruitful discussions about the local and imported pottery excavated during the season. We would also thank Dothan Traubman for his invaluable logistical support and are looking forward to a next open dig day in the coming season 2018.

Third week of the Austro-Israeli Expedition to Lachish

The third week of excavation has been successfully completed. We went down in several squares next to the substantial Phase S-3 building and started a deep probe in C/9 to reach the earlier levels. Fragments of Late Bronze Age I cooking pots have already been uncovered and we hope to get more early Late Bronze Age material this coming week. In the westernmost Square C/11, a smashed Late Bronze storage jar in a corner of the building complex next to the substantial Phase S-3 building has been uncovered and north of some enigmatic wall remains in C/8, we uncovered a thick plastered floor. Finds included more Cypriot White Slip and Base Ring material and our first Mycenaean import from a stratified context. Continuing her work focusing on radiocarbon sampling, Lyndelle took in situ Phase S-2 sediment blocks from the southern section of D/11 for micromorphological analysis. We are very much looking forward to our fourth and final week of excavation and will keep you updated on our progress!

Photos by Jellie.