Dr. Yigal Levin (who served as the director of the academic programs during the summer excavation season at Tell es-Safi/Gath) showed me today that the new volume which he edited (A Time of Change: Judah and Its Neighbors in the Persian and Early Hellenistic Periods, ed. Y. Levin. London: T&T Clark International.) has just appeared.
One of the interesting finds of the last few seasons is the Early Bronze Age levels at Tell es-Safi/Gath. These levels, which have been uncovered in Area E (directed by Dr. Itzik Shai), on the eastern ridge of the tell, just below Area A, have opened up a very nice window on this very important phase in the history of the site.
In the excavations in Area F (just to the NW of the summit of the tell), during the 2006 and 2007 seasons we had some very interesting finds. Amoung them are the remains dating to the Middle Bronze Age II (ca. 2000-1500 BCE), which were found in the western part of Area F, in “Lower Area F” (The overall director of Area F was J. Chadwick and the supervisors of the actual work in lower F were E. Levine and Y. Baruchi).
aerial-view-of-f-with-mbii-wall.jpg (click to see picture)
Components of what seems to be a very impressive section of an MB II fortification were found, including a ca. 12 m section of a well-built stone wall over 2 m thick to which a glacis of earthen layers is attached.
This find has several interesting implications:
Now that international orders are coming in for dig shirts and hats, and the orders are being filled and sent out (our dedicated staff is working around the clock), don’t complain when these unique, collector items run out and are unavailable on the market.
Thus, this is the opportunity to order your own! Be the first on your block (yes, even if it is your prison block …) to have a shirt and hat.
For details on the shirts and hats, and how to order them, see: http://gath.wordpress.com/2007/07/24/dig-shirts-and-hats-for-the-2007-season/
Chris (aka Eric) Welch, has pointed out a short clip/preview of a forthcoming movie dealing with Bible and archaeology. The crew was on site for a day during the season and some brief can be seen. Take a look – all I did was talk a little – I am not responsible for other things …
P.S. This imposter, Steve, is following me all around nowadays … :-)
Today, I received copies of the new Qadmoniot, which has an article (in Hebrew) on the excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath, with emphasis on the Iron Age finds. The article is a semi-popular summary of the excavations, and those of you who read Hebrew can get a nice general summary of the Iron Age finds up until the end of the 2006 season.
Today, I received my copy of the new issue of ZDPV, which has an article by Stefan Wimmer and yours truly (Wimmer, S., and Maeir, A. 2007. The Prince of Safit: A Late Bronze Age Hieratic Inscription from Tell es-Sâfi/Gath. Zeitschrift Des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 123(1): 37–48). The article discusses a small Egyptian Hieratic inscription that was found in the 2006 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath in the excavations in Area F. The inscription is similar to other Hieratic inscriptions from Southern Canaan dating to the Late Bronze Age (in fact, Stefan, Mario Martin and myself have already published an earlier one from Safi, published several years ago in Egypt and the Levant [Maeir, A., Martin, M., and Wimmer, S. 2005. An Incised Hieratic Inscription from Tell es-Safi, Israel. Egypt and the Levant 14: 125–34]). These inscriptions are part of the evidence for the intense involvment of the Egypt in Canaan during the latter part of the Late Bronze Age.
The sherd itself is dated to the end of the Late Bronze Age and the suggested reading is:
“PN (“personal name”), the prince of Sa-Pa-[...].”
Today, in the lab meeting (even though it was not in the lab, since we are still not recovered from the deluvial event a couple of weeks ago …), Dr. Jeff Chadwick spoke about his preliminary analysis of the stratigraphy of Area F, the area which he supervises. He discussed with us the stratigraphy and related finds, and suggested several very interesting preliminary interpretations.