Shiloh Sifting

At Shiloh we used the normal excavation method of working in 5 meter squares. We “drain the bathtub,” taking down the level of the square in a uniform fashion, unearthing pottery pieces and other objects inside the square.

In addition, they have a full-time metal detectorress, Ellen Jackson. She usually finds several coins per day around the site. When she comes to your square, you remove all the metal tools and vacate the area. Usually it’s time for a water break.

One of the unique features here is the emphasis on sifting. All of the dirt, minus the rocks, from the square is sifted. The team on dry sifting finds additional bones, flint, pottery, etc. The small pieces left in the sifter screen are then bagged in mesh bags.

The bags from dry sifting are then wet sifted. Additional small objects, including coins and scarabs, are found using this method. Julia and I first learned about wet sifting at the Temple Mount Sifting Project back in 2019.

We had a great week if digging and sifting. We’ll stay in the land for a couple days of exploring.

By Andrew Zimmerman

Excited about travel in the Bible lands!