Second Week of the Austro-Israeli Expedition to Lachish 2018

The second week of our 2018 season saw some great results both in Area S and Area P. In Area S, we continued to go down from the Late Bronze Age IIA levels of the Tel Aviv University’s expedition at the westernmost squares (C/12 and D/12), and in Area P, we reached Middle Bronze Age layers in squares F/10 and G/10. We already see mud-brick walls coated with plaster in the soil of these squares which we can identify as the continuation of David Ussishkin’s Middle Bronze Age palace, and found a new entrance to the easternmost flight of rooms. Further, we continued to explore the later structures of presumably Late Bronze Age date.

Last week was rich not only in architectural features, but also in small finds. Our very first scarab was found in a context from the end of the Late Bronze Age, and in Area P, we unearthed a completely preserved Late Bronze Age chalice. Further, on the plastered floor of the Middle Bronze Age palace we found the charred remains of a wooden beam, carefully retrieved by Lyndelle for further analysis. Other complete vessel shapes, mostly from Area P include bowls and lamps, we continue to uncover substantial amounts of Cypriot White Slip and Base Ring imports, and, for the first time, fragments of Red Lustrous Wheel-Made Ware spindle bottles.

Our afternoons are busy with pottery reading, marking and drawing and special thanks go to Miroslav Pleska for his awesome drawings of our best pieces. In the evening, staff members give lectures about their current work in the project.

We are very much looking forward to our next week and hope for nice finds, especially when we start to excavate the continuation of the Middle Bronze Age palace rooms in Area P!

Images by Jared Dye, Vanessa Becker, and Felix Höflmayer

 

First week of the Austro-Israeli Expedition to Lachish 2018

Our team has arrived and we have concluded our first week in the field. We are happy to work with a highly motivated international group from thirteen different countries, including Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The excavation in Area S continues and we opened four new squares east of Area P, north-east of the Judean palace-fort. In the first days we set up shadecloths in both areas, removed the topsoil and the erosion from the last year and went straight down on archaeological remains.

In Area P, square F/10, we already excavated some walls of presumably Late Bronze Age date (Stratum P-2?), which were documented photogrammetrically. In Area S, excavation of Strata S-2 and S-3 continued, the finely laminated ashy layers of S-2 being rich in pottery finds including Cypriot imports such as White Slip Ware and Base Ring Ware and also an almoste complete Late Bronze Age bowl and S-3 yielding the continuation of previously excavated walls.

In the afternoons, we worked in our camp in Sheqef and set up an efficient process for pottery reading, marking and drawing. Square and area supervisors worked at the same time on 3d-models and photogrammetry and we experiment with daily digital top plans.

We were also happy to welcome Prof. Michael Hasel from the Southern Adventist University and former co-director of the Fourth Expedition to Lachish, to show him our current work and discuss Middle and Late Bronze Age chronology.

We are very much looking forward to our second week and will keep you updated on our progress and finds.

Drones over Tel Lachish

 

Last week, Matthew J. Adams of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research helped us to conduct a drone survey of Tel Lachish. The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum drone took over 1000 high-resolution aerial pictures, and using Agisoft PhotoScan, a detailed, geo-referenced 3D-model of the site was created. This model helps connecting past, current and future excavations.

Check out the 3d-model and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Tel Lachish (be sure to turn on the sound!).

 

We are most grateful to Matt Adams, the Albright Institute, and the Jezreel Valley Regional Project for sharing their technical knowhow and equipment!

 

 

Call for volunteers for Tel Lachish 2018

Call

We are looking for volunteers to join us for our second season on Tel Lachish this summer!

Dates: 8 July 2018 – 3 August 2018

Application due: 1 March 2017

Accommodation and board will be provided by the project.

Looking forward working with you this summer!

Tel Lachish 2018 Application

Tel Lachish 2018 General Information