The 2016 season lasted for four weeks, with the participation of ca. 85 staff and team members. Four Areas were excavated –three existing ones (H, K and Q) and one new (Area X). The camp was located in Kibbutz MishmarHaEmek.
Four Areas were excavated –three existing ones (H, K and Q) and one new (Area X). The camp was located in Kibbutz MishmarHaEmek.
Stratigraphic excavation continued, with much of the effort devoted to the exposure of Level K-12, which dates to the Middle Bronze II.
Special attention was paid to the excavation of material for the study of ancient DNA, which enables research into the population of Megiddo in the Bronze Age (work is being carried out in a Harvard laboratory with exciting results for the 2014 samples)
The following photo is an aerial view at the end of the 2014 season, showing remains of Levels H-13 (Late Bronze II, 13thcentury BCE) to H-15 (Late Bronze I, 15thcentury BCE). Yellow box marks the sector where dramatic finds were unearthed in 2016.
Dramatic results in 2016: A royal tomb with a gabled roof dating to the 16th century BCE (Middle Bronze) and been excavated. A minimum of six skeletons, and rich finds were found in the tomb: bone and ivory inlays, gold, silver and bronze jewelry. We plan a variety of studies, such as ancient DNA, parasitology, detection of nutrition and molecular residues in the vessels to identify offerings brought to the tomb.
Excavation concentrated on the southern part of the area, with remains dating to the Late Bronze III and Iron I, mainly the late Iron I ca. 1000 BCE. Most of the remains belong to the late Iron I, including evidence for destruction in fierce conflagration in the first half of the 10th century BCE. Nature of the destruction was investigated by geo-archaeology.
A cult place with had been found with pieces of basalt stones incorporated in the flagstone floor represent broken masseboth. It was suggested that the cult place had been dismantled before the final phase of the Iron I.
Reasons to open this area:
1) to check the western side of the mound, which has not been investigated so far by our Expedition;
2) try to extract good assemblages of finds for Strata III-II (late Iron II), not represented so far in the renewed excavations.
Promising results: structures dating to the 8thand 7thcenturies BCE in excellent preservation; East Greek pottery, which may hint at the presence of Greek mercenaries at Megiddo during the Egyptian phase in its history, in the late 7thcentury BCE.
This evidence may shed light on the dramatic event that took place at Megiddo in 609 BCE –the execution of King Josiah of Judah by Pharaoh Necho(2 Kings 23: 29)