Marj Rabba in December, 2008
First, we were confronted with a field that looked very different from the lush green grass when we visited the site back in December. That was then. When we returned in July, we were confronted with thistles and weeds, taller than Yo or Mo in places. Bad conditions for laying out squares. The solution? Cows and goats! They did an admirable job, those hungry quadrapeds, but they don't exactly rush, so we also resorted to a weedeater. That, however, lasted only a little more than an hour before it was kaput.
With our squares laid out in two areas (west is the large rock pile, east is the field), we discovered walls and other architecture in all three squares of the east section (where the tall grass was). The remains of the stone walls indicate well-built walls, and the other stone features were inside, presumably inside a room. In the photo below, you can make out the wall running acroos the top of the picture; on the right side is a curvilinear structure that presumably continues into the unexcavated area on the right (east). We aren't sure what the curving structure is, but its intriguing and we're looking forward to complete excavations in that area next year.
In the square to the west, still inside of the room, this intriguing structure initially looked like this:
But once we finished excavating the interior, it turned out to be a well built stone pit, perhaps a silo. Here, it is in the top of the picture below, built up against the bedrock, just below the wall (and near the corner of the two walls).
Here's a close-up view.
Sometimes when you need shadow for photography, you can just line up some archaeologists to get the job done.
Other times, you might have to bribe them with suckers!
Of course it isn't all architecture. We found buckets of pottery, flint debris and tools, and well-preserved animal bone. Here is a photo of some possible "Hula ware" pottery, with the tell-tale wave incisions; whether or not this pottery really comes from the Hula valley, or merely is a style, is something we must determine. We even found things we didn't expect! No, those aren't Mentos.
Mo and students SS and BJ debating how to tackle the west rock pile. The trench was about 2 meters by 10 meters, cutting across the rock pile east-west, and thus both sides of the wall.