Archaeology is a Destructive Science

It is fascinating to uncover things that have not been seen or touched for thousands of years. Uncovered objects face hazards, though, especially when they lie on top of other things waiting to be discovered.

Take, for example, the paved floor in the video below. We encountered this 2,300 year-old (more or less) floor at the beginning of this week. It was beautiful! Most floor levels at Qeiyafa consist of compressed dirt. Stone floors tend to indicate something special about the building. The pottery we collected indicated the floor was built sometime around the Hellenistic period, maybe some 3 centuries B.C. However, other floors nearby dated to the Iron Age, some 7 centuries earlier. There was almost certainly an Iron Age level buried underneath this beautiful floor. What to do?

Here is our solution, along with its curious results:

Qeiyafa is a fairly simple site for stratigraphy. It has one site wide Iron Age level plus a few later periods that only covered portions of the site. Sites such as Megiddo, Jerusalem or Lachish have many, many levels of civilization stacked on top of one another, often just inches apart. What we found in this room was a little unusual for Qeiyafa, but it is part of the story here. Once we remove something like a floor, it’s gone forever. We therefore record everything before removing anything.

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About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister in English and Spanish with the North Terrace Church of Christ and participates annually in archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke also leads tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
This entry was posted in 2012 Khirbet Qeiyafa excavation, Ancient Architecture, General Archaeology, Khirbet Qeiyafa, New Discoveries, Short videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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