Thank You for a Great Season

That's a wrap. The first season of Tel Shimron is in the books. Fair to say right now, the supervisors are in the books too. Deep, deep in the books linking top plans, finishing notes and finalizing stratigraphic relationships.

We learned a great deal this first season. In Grid 92, we excavated MB domestic contexts. In Grid 94, we excavated a Late Hellenistic/Early Roman mixed use domestic-industrial courtyard. And in Grid 23/24, we excavated a Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic neighborhood.

Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who made the 2017 Tel Shimron field season such a successful one. See you next time!

Thank you Valerie Tewell for this drone shot of the volunteers during their final tour of the tel! 

Thank you Valerie Tewell for this drone shot of the volunteers during their final tour of the tel! 

Finds Display

Yesterday evening volunteers and staff had an opportunity to view some of the season's best artifacts at Tel Shimron's first ever Finds Display. Afterwards, members of the expedition and the local community enjoyed a lecture by Co-Directors Daniel Master and Mario Martin summarizing the results of our first season of excavation.

We still have work to do, however. We aren't finished yet! Grid 94 had their final photos today. Grids 92 and 23/24 have their photos tomorrow. We have also started our inventory of the artifacts and, believe it or not, our tear-down of the pottery compound.

We have one more day and a few more pictures to post so check back this weekend as we say goodbye to our volunteers and officially conclude the first season of excavation.

Visit by Israeli photographer, Tal Gluck

Earlier in the season we were visited by Israeli photographer Tal Gluck.  He photographs for geographical magazines worldwide and has had exhibitions in Japan, Germany and Israel. You can see more of his work on his Facebook page

The pictures below were taken by Tal when he visited Tel Shimron.

Test Trenches on the Tel

As we near the end of the 2017 field season, our thoughts turn to future seasons and where we might want to dig next. One way to answer that question is to consult the results of the walking survey and/or the GPR survey conducted in 2016. Another way to answer that question is to dig a test trench. This is a probe, usually measuring 2 x 2 meters, in which excavators dig down, recording as they go, to see what they find. If excavation produces "clean" pottery readings, meaning all Persian or all Iron Age for instance, or architecture, chances are, it's a promising area for excavation. 

In the pictures above, a team headed by Josh Walton investigates the summit of the tel in a hunt for Iron Age deposits.

GIS Team

Post from RICOH THETA. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

The last week of the season is always a crazy busy one for our GIS team. In addition to their regular responsibilities producing daily top plans, surveying the site, and other assorted tasks, they have to produce grid phase plans and prepare images/models to be used in the end of season lecture. 

What do we mean by grid phase plans? These are plans that show all the architecture from each occupational horizon within a given grid. They are, in other words, a key tool in our reconstruction of each phase of settlement at Tel Shimron. Once the phase plans are done, models, some of which might be 3D, will be created to better illustrate (or animate) what we see in the phase plans. 

A shout out to our stellar GIS team for all their hard work! 

The Staff at Work

It's the last week of the excavation!

Above, the registrars discuss some artifacts. Co-Director Mario Martin excavates in the field (a rare privilege since he is often too busy). What's a zooarchaeologist to do when she wants to start a comparative collection? Why get someone to dig a hole for her, of course. Professor Kate Birney explains pottery to a student. Co-Director Daniel Master also finds some time to excavate in the field.

Even as we keep excavating, supervisors are writing their reports, preparing to draw sections, and double checking that all their books are up to date. In the pottery compound, the registrars are preparing the end of season Finds Display which will give everyone an opportunity to see some of the season's most interesting finds. (We'll definitely share pictures.) The volunteers leave on Saturday and then it is on to staff week when we will finish all our materials processing, put everything into storage and prepare to head home ourselves.

A Day in Grid 94 AND We Survived Week Five

Wow! What a week. In Grid 94, they continued their excavation of a mixed domestic and industrial courtyard with sunken jars and plaster installations. 

In Grid 92, they worked on exposing more of the Middle Bronze Age and in Grid 23/24, the team began dismantling the latest phase of the street and the buildings fronting it. 

It's a short weekend for us, we are back at work on Sunday, and then it is on to our last week. There is still a great deal to do. We'll be excavating three or four more days before we start sweeping for photos. At the same time, we will start organizing the storage of artifacts, prepare for the final party, and get ready to say goodbye to new friends. 

We have one more week to make memories and uncover another chapter in the history of Tel Shimron. 

 

A Day in Grid 92