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:

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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…


Safi at the Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest, San Diego, Nov. 2014

The schedule for the 17th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest of the Biblical Archaeology Society, held each year in parallel to the ASOR and SBL meetings (which this year are in San Diego), is now online (see here).

I’ll be there as well – and will be giving a talk entitled: “From the Iron Age to the Iron Dome: News from the 2014 Season at Tell es-Safi/Gath”, on Sunday morning, the 24th of November.

Hope to see you all in San Diego!


Jeff Chadwick sings the “Tell es-Safi blues”

Jeff Chadwick (aka Achish Melekh Gath), field supervisor extraordinaire of Area F, is also a talented musician (and a stand up comedian…).

See below a clip of Jeff performing the “Tell es-Safi Blues” – sung to the melody of Folsom Prison Blues, by Johnny Cash.

And here are the lyrics:

I hear the wind a blowin’, it’s comin’ round again,

And I ain’t seen the balk line, since I don’t know when,

‘Cause I’m stuck at Tell es-Safi, and time keeps draggin’ on,

And I’m fillin’ up these buckets until this dirt is gone.


When I was just a baby, my Mama said one thing,

Always be a good boy, don’t ever touch a sling,

But I took a wadi pebble, and then I let it fly,

When it hit that giant’s forehead, I saw him fall and die.


I bet there’s some folks eatin’ breakfast down at Revadim,

They’re prob’ly drinkin’ coffee, then have a little swim,

Now I know that Aren’s comin’, he’s down in P or D,

But this balk line keeps a movin’, and that’s what tortures me.


Well when this season is concluded, when I bid this dig goodbye,

I’m getting on an airplane, and then I’m gonna fly

Far from Tell es-Safi, that’s where I ought to stay,

But I know I’m comin’ back here, I just can’t keep away.