Conference on Khirbet Qeiyafa at Bern

If already mentioning an interesting meeting that will be held in Heidelberg (previous post), another fascinating meeting will be held at the University of Bern, Switzerland, on September 6th – “Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Shephelah” – in which a very nice group of scholars (including yours truly) will get together to discuss and debate the importance, significance and meaning of the finds from Khirbet Qeiyafa. See here the program of the meeting, which looks very interesting – and I’m definitely looking forward to participating in it!


Interesting meeting in Heidelberg

A very interesting meeting will be held in Heidelberg from Sept. 1 to Sept. 4, 2014. The meeting, entitled “Heidelberg Colloquium on the Subject of Aram and Israel: Cultural Interaction, Political Borders and Construction of Identity during the Early Iron Age (12th–8th centuries bce)” will be held at the University of Heidelberg. A series of very interesting lectures (including one by yours truly) will be presented.  I will be talking about issues relating to identifying Aramaean presence in the Iron Age southern Levant, touching upon both the finds from Tell es-Safi/Gath, as well as other sites and finds in the region.

Here is the poster and the schedule of the lectures:

Ara.Isr-Program.Final      poster-final

Should be very interesting – I’m definitely looking forward to this!


Thanks to all for the 2014 season!

As the last of the 2014 team at Tell es-Safi/Gath will be leaving Kibbutz Revadim this morning, I once again wanted to thank all the team members – and others who contributed and helped with its success – for all the hard work which enabled us to have such a successful season. Despite all the ups and downs and tensions around, we had some excellent results during the season – both important discoveries on their own as well as insights that indicate high potential for additional discoveries in future seasons!

In particular, I’d like to thank the team members who stayed on for the final week of the dig – which is the hardest and most demanding time in the excavation season. There’s a lot of hard and back breaking work, at a rather crazy schedule – but without the work done this week – we could not finish the dig – and be prepared to have another excavation season next year!

Last night we had a great final party. Our friend Yehuda came with a portable pizza oven and we made – and ate – a ton of very tasty homemade pizzas. Great way to end a great season!

I will post a general summary of the 2014 season in the near future, along with some additional photos – including the very nice photo of the team taken yesterday during the aerial photography!

See you all next year!


Nasty comments will not be accepted…

Just deleted a rather nasty comment (in fact two from the same person).

Comments that display poor taste and lack of respect will not be answered – and will be deleted immediately.

For any one out there who is stupid enough to write a vicious comment on this blog – do keep in mind that this is not an open forum and inappropriate garbage will be dumped…

The 2014 season about to end – and we did not let terror win!

We are about to finish the 2014 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath and thankfully, we have managed to continue the season despite the missiles being shot daily at us from the Gaza Strip. Although I fully understand those that were afraid to stay and decided to leave – you can’t tell someone not to be afraid – I’m grateful that most of the team did stay for most of the season and we accomplished a lot – including some very interesting new finds!

At the end of the day – along with the brave soldiers of IDF who are out there fighting the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists – the best thing that we civilians can do – is continue our daily life – and not let the cowardly murderers who shoot missiles at us stop us from living our lives!


Bona Fide metallurgy location in Area D!

Today we seem to have uncovered in Area D what looks like a bona fide metallurgical location! This includes quantities of slag, “hammer scale”, “tuyeres” and a crucible, with apparent evidence of both iron and copper related work! As the full scale of this was discovered only today (last day of excavation…), we will have some interesting stuff to look forward next year!

In other areas we were finishing up last minutes things, such as the possible donkey burial in E and some really nice Iron I levels (including Philistine I/very early Iron Age) in F.

Last day of digging – and tomorrow we brush away.

In the afternoon, we went for a field trip to Azekah, and while Yuval Gadot was guiding us on site – the air raid siren went off! So now we know that the Hamas does not have something personal only about the Safi excavation – they also are trying to stop the Azekah excavation as well! :-)



Update for Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday the 18th of July was the final day of the 3rd week of the 2014 season. We had some great finds from various areas on the site, as well as visits from several groups.

In Area A, Louise and her team worked on the Iron I – especially the section around where the ivory bowl was found last year. Yotam from the WIS came to take various samples from this area.

In Area D, they continued working in the area of the metallurgy, on some of the 9th cent. destruction level and in various places in the pre-9th cent. BCE level. Of particular interest were fragments of a “notched scapula” which was found in this early level. Several such notched scapulae have been previously published from the 9th cent. destruction in Area A (as well as from other Philistine sites).

In Area E, they continue working on EB and LB materials. The possible donkey burial was worked on – although it is still not clear whether or not it is in fact another such burial.

In Area F they have some great finds. The earlier EB fortifications are becoming more and more impressive. They have also exposed some interesting levels dating to the Iron I – including several almost complete vessels! The LB is also coming along – and it looks that by next year we should have some substantial LB remains from F!

Area P was popping as well. with interesting finds from the LB levels, as well as from the early EB fortification stage.

All told, a great day to close the 3rd week – in preparation for the final week of the season!

Here are some photos from the day.


photo 2 (15) photo 1 (18) photo 3 (14) photo 2 (14) photo 1 (17)