The Tel Dor Archaeological Expedition

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Area G : 1989

We opened seven squares, two in the pit and the rest around the periphery. In the pit, we continued digging our Iron Age houses, turning up not only earlier phases of the architecture that we had discovered in 1987-88, but also destruction debris and stratified sequences of pottery. When analyzed, these will make an important contribution to our knowledge of the Iron Age pottery chronology and typology. As before, the Persian pits that dotted the area yielded a rich array of small finds: red- and black-figured pottery, coins, and lamps.

On the periphery, one continuing square almost reached the Iron Age strata of the pit. In addition, more of the Roman basements discovered in 1988 were dug: one locus here was so productive of coins that team members named it the "Bank"! Pursuing the wall of the Roman forum ("Baby Blob") to the E, and attempting to find its connection with the road (decumanus) that runs eastward from area B, we also sank four new squares in a line to the west of the area. Much to our annoyance, not only was the area badly disturbed, but "Baby Blob" ended abruptly. So the puzzle of the decumanus and its link with the forum remains.

Sadder but wiser, we shifted our focus to the west side of the area, along the line of a previously discovered wall. These squares immediately began to pay handsome dividends: a deposit of Persian storage jars in one square, and a huge ashlar-pier wall in another. This and the previously discovered wall evidently belong to the same complex. Given that the contents of a pit below it date it to the early Hellenistic period, not to the Persian as we previously believed, it may have supported a porch to a large public building. If so, and if the Hellenistic crushed kurkar floors we found in 1986 prove to correlate with it, we may have found the Hellenistic predecessor to the Roman forum.

Yearly reports for Area G:
1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991 , 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997

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