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.
Area S starts again …
Orthophoto of Area P prior to excavation
Building shadecloth in Area P
Building shadecloth in Area S
Pottery reading in the afternoon
Start of excavation in Area P
Late Bronze Age (?) remains in Area P
Bucket chain impressions
Bucket chain rescue
Excavation in Area P continues
Area S and S-2
S-3 wall in Area S
Photogrammetry of square in Area P
New friend of Kath
Almost complete bowl from Area S (thanks to Hadas for restoration)
Excavating S-2 layers in Area S
Mikolaj drowning in buckets
A well deserved rest
We are very much looking forward to our upcoming second excavation season at Tel Lachish. This year, we will continue to excavate in Area S in order to reach the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age. Additionally, we will open new squares in Area P, next to where the Tel Aviv University’s expedition under David Ussishkin uncovered the Middle Bronze Age palace.
The last weeks have been extremely busy for all of us. Our new (used) shipping container has been delivered to the Albright Institute, our current homebase for the project, Felix joined the Austrian delegation of the visit of the Austrian Chancellor Sebastan Kurz and the Minister of Education, Science and Research Heinz Faßmann to the State of Israel and met with a delegation of Hebrew University, among them Katharina Streit, Ilan Sharon and Katja Cytryn-Silverman.
Our core team arrived on 30 June and 1 July and while Katharina and Felix restocked tools and supplies, Lyndelle Webster, Ann-Kathrin Jeske and Vanessa Becker went for a brief visit to Tel Dan to check for potential radiocarbon dates with David Ilan and Aaron Burke. On 3rd of June, we welcomed our new square supervisors and prepared the site for excavation, rescued a chamaeleon, set up the excavation’s office in our accommodation in Sheqef and tested our new drone.
Besides preparing the excavation areas, on Thursday, Katharina and Felix joined a reception marking the beginning of the Austrian EU-Presidency in the Austrian Ambassador’s Residence hosted by Ambassador Martin Weiss and on Saturday the whole team joined the traditional 4th of July BBQ hosted by the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research.
We finished the preparations for an exciting excavation season. Tomorrow, on July 8th, volunteers from many different countries all over Europe and North America will join us on our second season of the Austro-Israeli Expedition to Lachish.
Meeting of the Austrian Minister of Education at Hebrew University with Ilan Sharon, Klement Tockner, Katja Cytrin-Silverman, Felix and Kat
Delivery of our new (old) shipping container
Lyndelle in search of radiocarbon samples
Tel Dan sampling session with Vanessa
Arrival at our accommodation
Preparation of Area P at Tel Lachish
Maciej testing the drone
Kat upgraded her means of transport between excavation areas
4th of July cake at the Albright
The (nearly complete) team with Matt
Lyndelle Webster is currently representing Tracing Transformations at the 23rd International Radiocarbon Conference in Trondheim (Norway). Lyndelle presents new radiocarbon results for Late Bronze Age Lachish and Azekah and we are very much looking forward to get new samples in our upcoming season!
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!
Don’t miss the talks by Felix Höflmayer, Lyndelle Webster, Vanessa Becker, Ann-Kathrin Jeske and Katharina Streit in the upcoming workshop on “Movement and Mobility between Egypt and the Levant in the Second Millennium BC” organized by Susan Cohen and Matthew Adams for the 11th ICAANE in Munich!
Saturday, 7th of April 2018, Room A119
Felix Höflmayer: Assessing the Egyptian Activity in the Southern Levant during the Early 18th Dynasty: A Minimalist View
Lyndelle Webster: Levantine Late Bronze Age Chronology and Egyptian Interactions from a Radiocarbon Perspective
Vanessa Becker: A Re-evaluation of Scarabs during the MB-LB Transition in the Levant: A New Approach
Ann-Kathrin Jeske: Can the Archeological Record Reveal the Nature of Egyptian Soldier and Official Activity?
Katharina Streit: Assessing the Egyptian Influence and the Potential of Egyptian Presence at Tel Lachish during the Late Bronze Age
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