We made some incredible finds this year, according to the experts. A small Canaanite goddess left her legs in the cistern, and we found them. We found lots of shells, Cypriot pottery shards (beautiful), flint, and pieces of jars and chalices. We also found LOTS of bones, more than expected.
The biggest find is how big the cistern is. It is around six by 15 feet, much bigger than we thought. That discovery lead us to the decision to come back to Gezer and finish what we started. The word is that it may take two more years to do the job well. We might even find the water source. So much for moving on to a new challenge!
From a personal viewpoint, one of the greatest finds were the friends we made. There were quite a few of us back this year, so there were many hugs. The Lord gave us some funny people as "rookies", and we quickly grew to love them. Most of us are planning on coming back to finish what we started. Another seminary may join us next year, which will be a new dynamic. They are getting their archaeology department going and want to be partners with us to get some first-hand experience. This is looking like it would be a good thing for both of us.
As we were getting set up at the beginning of the dig, a man in an "ultralight" took some pictures of our site. I put ultralight in quotes because it is one of those large curved parachutes with an engine attached. Anyway, he sent the pictures to us, which gives a totally new view of what we were doing.
This shows the opening to the cistern and the big crane that lifts the bags out of it. You should be able to see the Canaanite gate near the little bridge; beyond it is the Solomonic gate.
This gives a better view of the two gates and some of the surface excavation being done. The surface people from Southwestern Seminary will be back next week to continue and expand their field of operations.
What a blessing this experience has been! I'll be back next year, the Lord willing, with more blogging. I have had so much fun doing this and hope you have enjoyed reading it.