Mudbricks at sunset


The excavations at Khirbet Summeily are winding up for this season. We have uncovered more, found more riddles and some answers. Archaeology is a slow process. One of the reasons we can’t plow ahead at great pace at this site, is that so much of the architecture was built in mudbrick – mudbrick that often hardly looks any different from the soil surrounding it. To detect it, we have to dig slowly and cleanly. Every few centimetres we have to level an area to see whether we can differentiate different colors, different soil consistencies. We may be able to see clear lines. Sometimes we spray water on the area to possibly make the lines stand out more clearly. Sometimes the lines are more visible at certain times of the day.

Three days ago, I went to the site at sunset to help with taking pictures. One of the mudbrick walls stood out as clearlly as it had never before. Yes, it was discernible during the light of day. But now at night, in the last rays of the sun, it was just so obvious. We got it right earlier.

Even though the excavations are over, there’s still plenty of work to do. We’ll analyze the data, write papers, make suggestions. And here in this blog you’ll hear more about excavations at Khirbet Summeily, a small place at the ancient border of Judah and Philistia.

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