Dear Friends and Supporters of TFAHR:

As we enter the sixth week of our excavation season at Bylazora, we have been joined by the last of our new TFAHR International Field School members, from the USA, France and Spain. As we dig deeper in some of the trenches which we had opened in the 2008 season, we are delving into the earliest strata in the history of Bylazora. After removing a pebble and plaster floor of the Classical period, we uncovered a massive destruction layer consisting of the remains of clay walls, wattle and daub buildings, and small hearths. But immediately adjacent to these buildings, which had all been destroyed by fire, was an unburnt solid clay wall (originally at least 1.75 meters tall) which had fallen and collapsed onto its side. Friday we decided to cut a section through this collapsed wall to see what lay beneath. The stratigraphy in this sector of the acropolis is now becoming very complicated and interesting, and we are beginning to map out how the various historical strata lay upon one another.

Due to some unexpected late donations, we were able hire a bulldozer to remove about 85 cubic meters of topsoil and prepare an area for further excavation just south of our old trenches in Sector 3 of the acropolis. Already, we have begun uncovering walls dating to the 2nd century BC. On Friday, just before quitting time, we discovered a thick pavement made of pebbles and river stones. Alongside one of the walls, the top of a large pithos (underground storage jar) was unearthed. In this area we also found a number of pieces of pottery dating to the late Hellenistic or perhaps the early Roman period.

Our weekly lecture series continued with a presentation by one of the TFAHR International Field School members concerning burials in ancient China. This weekend we are currently at Lake Ohrid for the last TFAHR sponsored field trip of the season.

We look forward to an exciting three more weeks of digging, and we thank you for your continuing support. Please feel free to forward this update to any interested parties.

Best regards,

Eulah Matthews and Bill Neidinger