We have a small mystery in our dig square. Want to track it with us as we uncover the details?
After some work at leveling this part of the slope, this is what we had. There are a few revealed stones toward the top in this photo but nothing else other than pottery and some animal bones.
Steve Braman suddenly discovered a long, flat stone along the right side of the above photo. Our director Dr. Yossi Garfinkel was there at the time and personally helped to clear its top. This stone could be any number of things. A wall? A threshold or entrance to an ancient building? A fallen “standing stone” that used to represent a deity? Notice there is a small stone standing vertically just above Prof. Garfinkel’s brush. What relation, if any, does it have to the long, flat stone?
We continued to lower the section and encountered more stones. The small vertical stone now seems a bit random. Maybe it is part of a collapse? The first one Steve discovered (the big one) looks less like a fallen standing stone. Most of these new stones are also flat on top and all are smaller than the first one. Do we have a pavement? A collapse? A wall? Could this still be an entrance to something? Our imaginations kick into gear as we continue to remove dirt in an even, methodical fashion.
After a good bit of work we uncover a few more stones. This is a good point to clean everything and get some photos. What does the image below look like to you?
This collection is not a scattered pile of rocks. Most are flat on top and are laid out to create straight lines. Some are marked in the image below.
This is where we are at the time of this writing. We have numerous flat-topped stones laid out to form at least one corner and several straight lines. It is clear someone made this with a purpose. We must keep digging to find out what that purpose was. It could be an entrance, a cultic (religious) installation, a wall, or something else entirely.
Any guesses? Check back later for updates as we continue at the Tel Lachish excavation.