1999 Excavation Report for Khirbet Nisya -- By: David P. Livingston

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 12:3 (Summer 1999)
Article: 1999 Excavation Report for Khirbet Nisya
Author: David P. Livingston

1999 Excavation Report for Khirbet Nisya

David P. Livingston

1999 represented the 18th season of excavation at Khirbet Nisya under the direction of ABR founder David Livingston. While the site’s Old Testament city is the focus of the excavation, this year’s dig uncovered artifacts mostly from the Late Hellenistic (Hasmonean) period of Palestine (152-65 BC).

April 11-16, 1999, eight men from the USA and Wolf Schleicher, surveyor and draftsman from Jerusalem, worked together for the spring 1999 Associates for Biblical Research Ai Excavation at Khirbet Nisya. This season was short, with only five days of excavation. Housing was provided at Pesagot, the Orthodox Jewish settlement above the site.

Trench 102 at Khirbet Nisya excavated this year. Within the fill of the trench, ten complete cooking pots from the second and first centuries BC were discovered. Interestingly, all were sitting flat at different levels, but none were sitting on a floor or surface.

Our chief objective was to enlarge and dig to bedrock a trench designated Area 102. This area was begun, but not finished, in 1998. First we widened the trench from 3 to 6 ft and made sloping sides to prevent collapse. The length of this portion of the trench was about 16 ft. The final depth to bedrock was about 12 ft below the original surface. All the debris in the balks (sides) of the trench was fill from elsewhere on the site.

At a depth of almost 8 ft, a Late Hellenistic (second-first century BC) cooking pot appeared in the balk, sitting perfectly level. This had been true also, at approximately the same depth, of two Late Hellenistic cooking pots in the 1998 excavation of this trench. As cleaning and excavating continued, still more cooking pots appeared in both balks and in the trench itself. By careful excavation, a total of ten Late Hellenistic cooking pots

Five of the ten Late Hellenistic cooking pots found at Khirbet Nisya. All had the characteristic two-rim handles and rounded base. Most were still intact; all are restorable.

One of the Hellenistic cooking pots found sitting perfectly level in Trench 102. Full of soil and large pottery sherds, it had the broken base of a jug turned upside down as a lid. Evidence of some sacred rite or unique fill? Excavator Davi...

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