Dear Friends and Supporters of TFAHR:

As June ends, we have reached the half-way point in our excavation season. We were at full strength this past week, with teachers, students, archaeologists and volunteers from the USA, Australia, China, England, France, Poland, and Scotland; next week we will be joined by team members from the USA, France and Spain. We continue to work alongside staff from the People’s Museum of Sveti Nikole and workers from Knezje and Sveti Nikole.

We finished excavating Sector 7 on the acropolis, in which we found an array of 14 pithoi (underground storage jars). We are still perplexed as to why pithoi are located here, instead of a section of acropolis defensive wall which we had expected to find. The pithoi are set into the virgin earth, which constitutes the subsoil of Bylazora; hence, we have no expectation of finding the wall below them. And any structure of which they were a part has completely disappeared.

At the end of the paving stones of our ramp, we sunk a deep probe (more than two meters deep) through a thick clay stratum, beneath which we found a deposit of stones and pottery, providing tantalizing evidence of some very early structures on the site.

Elsewhere on the acropolis, we had discovered traces of the Iron Age (7th-6th century BC): walls, pottery, and slag probably from metal working. The discovery of the Iron Age stratum was in a small probe alongside the walls of the Classical era (5th-4th century BC). This week we decided to expand that probe into a 5 x 15 meter trench. As we dug down into this new trench, we uncovered a large packed pebble surface, burnt mud brick and a hard packed clay floor. The interpretation of all these finds awaits further exploration next week.

In a trench opened in 2009, we dug deeper to uncover the fragile remains of a series of structures consisting of clay walls, post holes, and terracotta hearths, which pre-date the Classical period. Again, further investigation awaits us next week.

This cold, rainy weekend we have said good-bye to a number of team members from the USA and France. We are looking forward to one more month of intriguing and confusing finds at Bylazora.

We thank you for your interest and support. Please feel free to forward this update to any interested parties.

Best regards,

Eulah Matthews and Bill Neidinger

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