In the meantime, visitors can marvel at the Middle Bronze Age triple-arched mudbrick gate (“Abraham’s gate”) and the massive Iron Age fortification and gate system with its mysterious standing stones.In Area T1, partially excavated by Avraham Biran and his team during the 1980s, our renewed excavations there are aimed at exposing the meeting point between the two areas and to clarify some questions concerning the nature of settlement at Dan during the Neo-Assyrian and the Roman periods.With its focus on the ancient past, archaeology somewhat resembles paleontologythe study of fossils of long-extinct animals, such as dinosaurs.However, archaeology is distinct from paleontology and studies only past human life.any method of determining the age of earth materials or objects of organic origin based on measurement of either short-lived radioactive elements or the amount of a long-lived radioactive element plus its decay product.A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it.We are excavating in two areas this season: Area B, which is just inside and east of the upper city gate of the Iron Age, and Area T1, which is at the southwestern end of the High Place, next to the upper spring, Ein Leshem. The first of these is to carefully excavate and document the dense stratigraphy of our Stratum IVA, a 10th–9th century B. One of us, Jonathan Greer, is overseeing the cataloging and study of the larger animal bones.
This time, our consortium partners are Grand Rapids Theological Seminary & Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids, MI) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY). We are carrying out wet-sieving to recover microfauna (fish, small rodents, etc.) and microflora. And we are also retrieving samples via flotation—pouring the soil from floors and pits into containers of water and skimming off the botanical remains that float to the surface—to help us reconstruct the vegetation at and around Tel Dan in the Iron Age.Our fourth goal is to make progress in the restoration and reconstruction of the Iron Age I neighborhood in Area B, so that visitors who pass through the Iron Age gate on their way to the High Place can see the houses the early Iron Age Danites lived and worked in, a small Aegean-style shrine, and the remains of recycling metallurgy that we found in the 1980s.We plan to work together with the Israel Nature Reserves and Parks Authority to produce one more evocative illustration of Biblical Dan, with a touch of revisionist scholarship, of course.These remains include the fossils (preserved bones) of humans, food remains, the ruins of buildings, and human artifactsitems such as tools, pottery, and jewelry.From their studies, archaeologists attempt to reconstruct past ways of life.