Abstracts of Papers at Next Week’s “Sea Peoples Workshop” in Vienna

As mentioned previously, next week I will be going to Vienna to participate in a workshop on the Sea Peoples and Philistines, organized by Prof. Peter Fischer under the auspices of the European Science Foundation and the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Peter has been kind enough to send out the abstracts of the talks that will be presented at this meeting – and clearly – this will be a truly fascinating workshop. Hopefully, a publication will result from this as well – and I believe this will be a major contribution to the study of the Late Bronze/Iron Age transition in general, and the study of the Philistines and Sea Peoples specifically!

Here are the abstracts: Vienna Sea Peoples meeting Nov 2014 Abstracts

I am definitely looking forward to the meeting!


Great meeting on the Arameans!

As noted previously, Esti Eshel, Yigal Levin and myself went to Leipzig to participate in a great workshop on the Arameans (“Wandering Arameans: Arameans outside Syria – Textual and Archaeological Perspective”) which was held at the University of Leipzig, organized by Prof. Angelika Berlejung and Prof. Andreas Schuele.

The meeting was very interesting and we heard a series of papers, yesterday and today, on a wide range of issues relating to the Armaeans and their culture, from the early Iron Age until the Roman Period, and from Mesopotamia in the east to Egypt in the west.

The meeting was both very informative and interesting – and also we had a great time with all the participants.

We do hope that this connection, between Bar-Ilan University and the University of Leipzig will continue.

This afternoon, I gave a paper in which I discussed whether evidence for Arameans can be identified at various sites in the Southern Levant Iron Age. In addition to discussing the Aramean siege at Gath, I discussed find from sites as Rehov, Dan, Hazor, Kinrot and Deir Alla. Bottom line – much harder to actually be sure if one can ID Arameans and Aramean remains than is often assumed…

As an additional plus to the meeting – Shira Gur Arie, former Safi staff member, who is doing her Post-Doc at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, came to the meeting and then joined us for supper!

Definitely – a very nice few days!

Party for the dig renaming!

Today in the lab we had a very nice party to celebrate and mark the naming of the dig as the “Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan University Expedition to Gath”.

Avery nice group of the Safi team – both regular “labbers” and others (including Jeff Chadwick who came for a visit!), along with Prof. Miri Faust, the BIU Rector, Dr. Meirav Galili, the director of BIU Global Resource Development, and Ms. Vera Muravitz, Chairman of the International Friends of BIU, and Prof. Boaz Zissu, dept. chair, all came to celebrate and raise in a toast in honor of the event, and talk about the important contribution that the Ackerman Family’s donation will provide – enabling close to two dozen students from all over the world to participate in the uncovering of the past of the Land of Israel – and to foster cutting edge archaeological research.

It was particularly nice to be able to get together with such nice people – friends and colleagues!

Here are some nice pictures that Maria took:

IMG_0018 IMG_0032 IMG_0037 IMG_0047 IMG_0054 IMG_0060 IMG_0062 IMG_0064 IMG_0065 IMG_0084 IMG_0093 IMG_0098

More info on the Aramaean Workshop in Leipzig, next week

As I already mentioned, next week I will participate in an interesting workshop on the Aramaeans, which will be held at the University of Leipzig.

Here is the updated poster and schedule of the meeting:



Looks like this will be a VERY interesting meeting! Hope it’s not too cold in Leipzig…