Photos of our Spring 2011 Excavation have been added. More will be added at a later date
We completed a very successful Fall 2010 excavation season on November 13th. Our goal this season was to complete excavation of the Large Columbarium and to provided stair access for visitors. Both were accomplished by the end of the season. You can view the Large Columbarium on our Photos page or by going to the Site Panorama link. We will be adding pictures of the stairs ascending into the Columbarium shortly.
We also completed the excavation in Michal’s area above the Large Columbarium. In addition, we continued to excavate at The Village in Pablo’s area. Oren will be preparing a 2010 Excavation Report by the end of the year and we will put the Report on the website as soon as it is available. The report will bring you up to date on what was accomplished during 2010 in all the areas.
Next Spring we will excavate a well known area on the site but one not previously excavated by Oren. We will bring you details of our Spring excavation plans early next year.
Thank you for your interest in Beit Lehi and please stay in touch.
As reported in my last post, faculty and students from Utah Valley University were on the site October 16 through October 22 doing site surveying and mapping. As part of this project Paul Cheney, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Digital Media, Utah Valley University, took 360 degree digital photographs and prepared a panorama of the Beit Lehi site and some of its features and structures. Paul has made his hard work available to our website viewers. You can view the Panorama (Virtual Tour) by clicking on the “Site Panorama” link on our website. We thank Paul for his willingness to share this wonderful work product with us.
As editing is completed on other products developed by the University we will be adding them to the site.
We just completed our first 11 days of the Fall 2010 excavation season. Our emphasis was again on the Large Columbarium. We had hoped to get the Columbarium completely excavated in those 11 days but fell a few days short–but made great progress (See the new photos on the Photos Page). We still have 12 days left in the Fall excavation. Utah Valley University is sending 10 staff and students to the site next week (October 8-16) and will be doing digital mapping and 3D imaging of the site. We look forward to having them on the site and appreciate their interest in Beit Lehi. We will keep you updated.
During our excavation of the Large Columbarium, in April, we discovered a sealed tunnel and at the end of the tunnel a sealed chamber.
Watch the video of our excavation team accessing the sealed chamber.
Photos from the Spring (April 2010) excavation have been added. Included are the first ever photos of the new Columbarium found off the Large Columbarium. You can also see from the photos of the Large Columbarium that significant progress was made in its excavation. Our hope is that all the dirt in the Large Columbarium will be removed by this fall. Other Photos will be added as they become available.
S. Michael Wilcox has produced an audio commentary with his impressions of the Beit Lehi site. Please visit this page where you can listen to or read the commentary. We also have a link available off our main page.
Photos of the December 2009 excavation have been added. See Photos page.
We have completed two successful three-day weekend digs. Our primary focus was on the Large Columbarium. We have had from 12 to 20 people removing dirt from the site along with help from our 130 foot conveyor system and the Bobcat. While we have made good progress in clearing the site we believe it will take another 35 dig days to completely excavate the site. That is to let those coming to dig this spring know we will be leaving some of the fun and dirt for you.
This what our digging has discovered. We now believe what we thought was an unusable cistern was actually a quarry. Upon further excavation we have found areas where blocks of limestone being cut had not been removed.
In addition, in the area of the quarry/cistern we found a new hiding tunnel/cave. The archaeologists believe that this hiding cave will lead to an currently unknown underground chamber and is a very significant find. We have begun excavating the new cave and have gone about 60 feet into the cave. The cave is about 3 feet tall and wide and about 6 feet from the floor of the quarry.
During the second weekend we hired a front end loader to remove excavated dirt from the site. During the dirt removable a large part of the outer wall of the village site was uncovered. From first appearances the lowest portion of the wall will date to the Hellenistic Period. The wall is viewable from the road leading to the site and now makes the area look like an archaeological site.