Jan 15, 2010

Moving Herodian Size Stones

Yesterday was a very exciting day on our dig. We discovered a small bronze coin in the Roman building. In addition we were able to right the cornerstone of the Roman building which had fallen out of its location likely due to an earthquake given its size. We figure it was well over two tons. We wanted it restored to its rightful place in the corner and off the wall where we were digging. With the help of Abu Akhmeds antiquated jack were able to prop it into place. Four of us worked for most of the morning but finally it fell into place and was a prefect fit. Leen Ritmeyer (Temple mount expert and archaeological architect) also arrived and had a look at our site. With his good eye we determined that there was a smaller building on this site that was added onto with 1.5 metre walls. A drainage hole was also located in the eastern corner of the building at floor level of the plaster/water proof finished bath area. This confirms that the corner where we are working was used for water collection such as a bath. The bathhouse may have been added to the earlier structure that has smaller walls. The large masonry construction and type of material would be consistent with a bathhouse and large volume’s of water. Large amount of water pipe are also being collected torn out by the night diggers. I hope they leave some for us to excavate in situ.
Dr. Collins also took us to a special location where they had excavated an early unexcavated Dolman (burial site). They worked quickly to carefully remove 12 whole vessels that may date to EB. This is only the second complete sealed Dolman to be excavated in Jordan and we were very excited. Perhaps photo’s will follow but for now we will give Dr. Collins the privilege of publishing this remarkable find.

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