The new “Journal of Ancient History” which is put out by de Gruyter has put online the first issue of what appears to be an excellent journal. As of now (and I doubt this will last for long…), the articles in the first issue can be accessed for free online!
This first issue includes an excellent paper by Mark Van de Mieroop (Columbia), in which he surveys his understanding of the current state of Ancient Near Eastern historical studies (“Recent Trends in the Study of Ancient Near Eastern History: Some Reflections”) - with a particular emphasis on the study of Mesopotamian history.
Well worth reading – check it out!
Since there have been some complaints from the blog readers that I have not given enough prior notifications on lectures that I’m giving, please find here information on a lecture at Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah (just outside of Salt Lake City) on Friday, May 17, 2013, at 11am.
The lectured is entitled: ”New Light on the Biblical Philistines in Light of the Excavations at Philistine Gath (Tell es-Safi, Israel)”.
See here the flyer:
Hope to see you there!
Today (and in fact yesterday as well), I had the pleasure of hearing Prof. James Kugel, of Bar-Ilan University, who gave the Burke Lecture on Religion and Society. Jim lectured on trends in the interpretation of the Bible in the 2nd Temple Period, with particular emphasis on how interpreters very often completely changed the “original” meaning of the text by adding and supplementing “new” understandings. Jim has written about this topic extensively in his books, but as always, his lectures are both chock-full of insight, learning and his great sense of humor!
And to think that I had to travel all the way to San Diego to hear someone who sits in an office down the hall from me back home… :-)
Here he is giving the lecture tonight:
Today, May 1st, is a very important day! Besides the ancient, mainly pagan-originating traditions of May Day that are celebrated in many cultures and countries, and in addition to this, the relatively more recent International Workers Day, that is also marked throughout the world in this day, there is a very important thing happening today:
Today, May 1st, is the official deadline for signing up for the 2013 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath!
If you wish to join the team this summer – NOW is the time to do this – otherwise – you may lose out on this opportunity!
Be there – or be square!
Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure to give a lecture on Tell es-Safi/Gath and the Philistines at La Sierra University in Riverside, CA, hosted by Doug Clark, Larry Geraty and Kent Bramlett from La Sierra, and the chairman of the Riverside chapter of the AIA, Denver Graninger (of UC Riverside).
This was a great chance to visit the area of Riverside, which has a very “Mediterranean” look to it (the countryside – not the architecture…). La Sierra U has a very beautiful campus and there is a very nice Center for Near Eastern Archaeology on campus, with a great collection of Near Eastern finds, including materials from the Madeba Plains Project in Jordan. I saw some finds from the excavations at Tall al- Umayri, including some very interesting Iron Age cultic “shrine models” (some decorated with figures) and we had some time to have some very interesting discussions on some of these finds.
Thanks to all those who hosted the visit, and to Matt and Monique Vincent who provided the transportation from and back to San Diego!
Richard Wiskin, the team photographer for many years, just sent me a simply stunning photograph with a view of Tell es-Safi/Gath during the spring. In the photograph, looking SE towards the upper tell (from the western side of the “lower city”) there is a nice view of the white chalk cliffs (on the NW side of the upper tell) and the archaeological deposits above the cliffs, and the extraordinarily beautiful flowers and green vegetation all around.
As any of you who have been there during the summer know all so well – it looks quite different once the dry summer months arrive…
Thank you Richard!
As mentioned previously, two weeks ago, I gave a lecture at William Jessup University. The lecture dealt with the excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath, with a particular emphasis on the Iron Age and Philistine culture. This more than an hour-long lecture is now online and can be watched in its entirety!
Check it out – lots of information about the site, the finds, and our excavations!
Thanks to Cynthia for making sure that the lecture was put online!
UPDATE: Due to public demand, I’ve posted here a pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation that I presented with the lecture above. Do note that you will have to figure out what slide I’m talking about as the lecture moves along. Enjoy!
Searching for Goliath etc_William Jessup U_April 18_13
Just came back from a whirlwind visit (left Sunday morning and came back to San Diego Monday night) to Winnipeg, Canada, to visit Haskel Greenfield, his family, the Safi Manitoba team, and the University of Manitoba in general.
We had a very enjoyable and productive two days of meetings and having a good time. I even managed to bring some warm California weather with me up there – so we actually could walk outside and see some of the sights around town as well!
In addition to talking about all kinds of things relating to the large joint grant which we received from the Canadian SSHRC for the study of the EB at Tell es-Safi/Gath, we had a meeting with all the students from Manitoba who will be joining the excavation team this summer.
In general – it was a great visit.
Here’s a picture of Haskel and I by the Assiniboine River, just near the point where it meets the Red River, in downtown Winnipeg.
Haskel Greenfield has passed on to me a link in which he gives details on that he is offering MA and PhD fellowships in Near Eastern archaeology at the University of Manitoba, in connection with the SSHRC grant that we jointly received for the study of the EB remains at Tell es-Safi/Gath.
If you are interested in checking this out – see further details here. As I’m sure many of you know – there are not many such fellowships in Near Eastern archaeology “out there” – and this is a great offer – which also will enable those who receive it to participate in the Tell es-Safi/Gath excavations in the coming years!
In the last 24 hours, there have been over 1000 hits on the site – almost all from the UK – and most of them having to do with the Crusader period Blanche Garde fortress which is situated at the top of the tell – and which parts of its fortifications have been revealed over the last few years (with particularly nice sections discovered in the 2012 season).
Due to this interest, for those of you who would like to see all the entries on the blog on Blanche Garde – here is a link.