Week One at Khirbet el-Maqatir
The first half of the season is finished at a site that may be Ai of the Bible. This year’s team is the largest ever, and most of the work is focused on remains from the first century. Gary Byers reports on some of the discoveries:
From one of these squares a second scarab at KeM was found. Last year’s scarab was considered to be the top find of Biblical archaeology in 2013 by Christianity Today Magazine (off-site link). This year’s scarab, from soil 15 feet from the first, has already been taken to an expert at Hebrew University for cleaning, restoration and analysis.
Last season at KeM, we found a record total of 205 coins (See the report from 2013). This week, we found 112 coins – from every square but mine! Our numbers are impressive to archaeologists because they’re being found individually all over the site and not together in hordes.
Squares led by Dr. Gene Merrill, dig Administrative Director Henry Smith, Abigail Leavitt and Dr. Brian Peterson all have cisterns (plastered and holding water) or silos (not plastered and holding storage jars). Many of our coins come from soil in these subterranean structures.
A full report with photos is here.