After three years we are back in the field! After a great season back in 2019 we returned with a highly motivated team to Tel Lachish and our new accommodation is in a wonderful 18th century AD Ottoman building in Kibbutz Bet Guvrin. First, the most important thing. The dig house is next door to this:
Rubbing occurs. In great quantity. Doggie heaven ensues.
After several days filled with logistics which included retrieving tools (and a wooden box of a Sacher cake for small finds) from our shipping container at the W.F. Albright Institute in Jerusalem, we started our fourth season at Lachish on 17 August 2022.
The season began, as such seasons tend to do, with gardening. By which I mean that twenty-or-so highly educated people with MAs and PhDs spent a day clearing weeds. It’s been three years since the last season at Lachish (bloody virus!) and so the area of work this time – Area P – was covered with a veritable forest of what we assume is carnivorous grass.
The squares that the team worked in 2019 had suffered a predictable degree of deterioration due to weathering, and this too had to be cleared, including the removal of vegetation and the eviction of wildlife, which included scorpions, snakes, praying mantises, crickets, ants, centipedes, and spiders. But we also made new friends, especially with a tortoise we named Herbert.
By now Area P looks like an archaeological site again, and in the coming weeks will come to resemble a series of artfully constructed ditches. The plan is to dig stuff, find stuff, identify connections between stuff, and hopefully not put pick-axes through too much stuff. There’s an Iron Age feature to examine, connections between Bronze Age walls to clarify, and dirt to shift via bucket chains in 35° heat.
And a dog to rub.