(Guest post by Troy Nowak)
The goals of the work in L2 for 2013 include determining the dates of construction and use of the harbor, understanding the stratigraphy of the harbor basin and its depth during its period of use, and recording key architectural details such as the foundation and method of construction of the harbor walls.
Work in L2 began on July 23 with the establishment of a 4 x 4 m block of excavation units [L2 T4 A-D] set against the inner face of the west harbor wall approximately 8 m east of its tower. This location was chosen because of the fine preservation of the wall at this point and the relative paucity of large stones on the modern harbor floor that would have to be removed in order to begin excavation.
Over the past ten days, archaeologists have worked in teams systematically excavating and removing more than 8 m3 of overburden. The vast majority of finds they have uncovered were found in the uppermost 50 cm of each unit and date from the Late Classical and Hellenistic Periods. They include fragments of coarse ware vessels and Knidian transport amphoras. All were recovered from mixed contexts as evidenced by a few Late Roman transport amphora sherds, fragments of an Efes beer can and other modern debris.
No significant stratigraphic changes have been identified to date; however, a layer of large stones similar to the rough blocks that compose the wall was identified at a depth of approximately 1 m below the modern harbor floor. The team working in L2 looks forward to continuing its work to determine if this layer represents wall collapse, construction debris, or the wall’s foundation.