During June–July 2015, the fifth excavation season of the Lahav Research Project: Phase IV was conducted at Tel Halif (License No. G-42/2015; map ref. 187600-50/587800-50). The excavation was directed by O. Borowski of Emory University, with the assistance of T. Frank (University of Bern; area supervision) and C. Shafer-Elliott (William Jessup University; area supervision), R. Kania (William Jessup University; area supervision in training), S.H. Bang (Baylor University; laboratory management-registration, photography) and D. Karges (Cobb Institute; technical drawing). Additional analysis was provided by L. Sapir-Hen (Tel Aviv University; faunal finds), P. Warnock (Missouri Valley College; organic finds), J. Ebeling (University of Evansville; ground stones), I. Ktalav (shells) and J. Hardin (Mississippi State University; ceramics). Students from Emory University and William Jessup University, as well as volunteers, participated in a very successful season.
Additional support was provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, the Joe Alon Center at Kibbutz Lahav and individual donors. Special thanks are due to Kibbutz Lahav for its hospitality, providing accommodations and other services, and to A. Navon, who served as liaison with the kibbutz.
Excavation in Areas A7 and A8 exposed additional elements of pillared-house type domestic architecture, dated to the eighth century BCE (Fig. 2), initially discovered in the summer of 2014, including walls, floors, related occupation debris and destruction, and other domestic features. This stratum was overlaid by later fills and floors, most likely from the Roman period. An intrusive pit, possibly from the Byzantine period, reached almost to the depth of the Iron Age II floors. Later materials were retrieved, including Persian/Hellenistic figurine fragments (Fig. 3) very similar to those discovered in previous seasons in Field IV (Jacobs 2015)
and Field V, and the Byzantine period.
The removal of balks and further exposure in the central part of Field V (Areas D6, D7, E6), where a textile workshop with an adjacent food preparation area were previously discovered, revealed additional occupation accumulations, floors and walls and installations, all dating to Stratum VIB—the late eighth century BCE. Further exploration in this part of Field V uncovered architectural elements such as walls and their occupation accumulation, all belonging to earlier strata—possibly the late ninth and/or early eighth centuries BCE. Much smashed pottery was recovered from the floors, intermingled with beads, a fragment—the cover—of a carved ivory box (Fig. 4) and fragments of pillared figurines (Fig. 5).
Jacobs P. 2015. Lahav IV: The Figurines of Tell Halif. Winona Lake.