This was the third time I’ve had the opportunity to dig with Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (1982, 1999, 2019). This was the first time we got to dig at a Khirbet (ruins) instead of a Tell (mound). So, we began to find artifacts right away on the first day.
There were shards of iron age pottery – the quarter-inch-thick kind that sounds metallic when struck. Imagine the ringing sounds Gideon’s 300 men made smashing pitchers! Who wouldn’t jump out of bed in the middle of the night, grab his sword, and rush outside to meet the attack?
Many of our shards were indicator pieces – parts of handles, bases, even a fully intact 6-inch ring from the top of a jar. We also found plenty of bone fragments, but in our section nothing metal – no nails – no coins – no weapon tips.
But our section did have a couple of very interesting finds 🙂 One was an 8-inch cube of stone – the top center was hollowed out. The perfect size for two scoops of ice cream, but more likely used for crushing things – like the nuts you’d sprinkle on top.
The other especially interesting find in our section was its three rounded stones found on three separate days. The first was as big as a softball – that right size for crushing through the forehead of a giant from Gath. The second and third were smaller – baseball size then racket ball size.
Now you might be thinking, “Pastor Putz, you were digging through the Khirbet’s sporting goods store. Complete with softballs, baseballs, racket balls, even a putting cup for the miniature golf course.”
Well, that would make for an interesting article in an archaeological magazine. But I have to admit that my mind drifter more in the direction of four stones David didn’t sling at Goliath.
Anyway, the Indiana Jones in our square was Pastor Scott Mosher from Ohio. He found artifacts everywhere. He was like a power sifter – nothing missed his energetic searches. In fact, we hauled away so much excavated soil from our section that by the end of the week, one guy even started calling me “Bucket Man.”