…And that’s a wrap! Thursday marked the end of our 2019 season at Tel Lachish with our excellent volunteers leaving us on Friday morning to either begin their journey home, to start a tour of the country, or even head straight to another project! We made sure they were busy in their final week though with a lecture given by Jared and Lyndelle on Tuesday night about our digital documentation system. Meanwhile Katharina gave a presentation about our current excavation at Moshav Lachish. Wednesday was our Open Day which was very successful with a large turnout from many colleagues within academia as well as friends from throughout the country including the Austrian Ambassador Martin Weiss, who after three years will not be returning to Tel Lachish as he moves on to Washington D.C. at the end of this year, as well as Consul Johannes Korherr and Cultural Attaché Arno Mitterdorfer. On Thursday night, after our last day of excavating, we held our traditional end of season barbeque which was enjoyed by all.
In addition to our open day we had a lot of visitors to site during our last week. These included Angelika Berlejung from the University of Leipzig, Gunnar Lehmann from Ben Gurion University, Manfred Oeming who is from the University of Heidelberg and is the co-director of the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition, Tsvika Tsuk who is the head archaeologist of the Israel Nature and Park Authority, Eliezer Oren professor emeritus of Ben Gurion University, Aren Maeir from Bar-Ilan University and the excavation director of Tell es-Safi/Gath, and Omri Barzilay from the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Despite how busy our week was socially we managed to have a very productive and exciting week of archaeology. We reached floor levels in the Middle Bronze Age palace in Area P and in the early Late Bronze Age in Area S. In typical excavation style Area S also had some great small finds in the last few days of digging. They found not one but two scarabs and as if that was not enough they also found a hieratic inscribed bowl fragment. Perhaps less glamorous but just as interesting, over in Area P the Iron Age retaining wall is getting bigger – we stopped excavating for the season at c. 2.20 m!
This season was a success and lots of fun but now it’s time to begin our staff week, finish documentation, take last aerial pictures, prepare walls and features for conservation and finally start planning next year!