The celebrations continue!

Last night, at Ruti Shachak-Gross’ house, we celebrated a triple PhD dissertation event!

As you may recall, last week some of the Safi oldtimers got together to celebrate Shira’s submission of her PhD and her new post-doc position in Leipzig. But, that was not all! Last night, a bunch of people, mostly from the Kimmel Center at the WIS got together to celebrate three PhD dissertations that were just submitted by PhD students affiliated with the Kimmel Center:

* Johanna Regev, whose PhD deals with the new revolutionary high chronology of the EB, based on a whole new series of 14C analyses and sophisticated modelling. Johanna’s PhD was supervised by Elisabetta Boaretto and Aren Maeir.

* Shira Gur-Arieh, who PhD deals with Iron Age cooking installations in Philistia using archaeological, material science and ethnoarchaeological methods, and has opened up a whole new perspective on these and similar cooking installations, and developed a whole new set of methods for studying these and other installations. Shira’s PhD was supervised by Ruty Shachak-Gross, Elisabetta Boaretto and Aren Maeir.

* Larisa Goldenberg, who PhD deals with microscale distribution and concentration of preserved organic molecules in archaeological ceramics and its relevance to the field of residue analysis, and came up with some revolutionary insights relevant for 14C dating and residue analyses. Larisa’s PhD was supervised by Steve Weiner. This research is also connected to the Safi excavations, as some of the analyses were conducted on materials from the site.

Very fun party (and that is where I got the t-shirt mentioned previously, and several other very cool presents from Shira and Johanna…) – and I’m very honored and happy to have been able to have a part, and assisted when I could, in their excellent research – directly or indirectly…

Here’s a picture of the submitters and their supervisors:

PhD party_March 22 2014

New in press article in Quaternary International online!

The article (mentioned previously here) by Oren Ackermann et al. on “Palaeoenvironment and anthropogenic activity in the southeastern Mediterranean since the mid-Holocene: The case of Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel” can now be found online in the “in press” page of Quaternary International.

This is a very interesting, collaborative study, which summarizes a nice portion of the long-term paleo-environmental studies that we have conducted around Tell es-Safi/Gath in the last 15 years or so, and lays the groundwork for several other studies that are currently in process or planning!

If you can’t access the article and want a copy – drop me an email.


40th archaeological conference in Haifa – new poster out

As already mentioned, on April 10th, 2014, the 40th Annual Archaeological Conference in Israel will be held at the University of Haifa. The program includes some very interesting lectures, including one by Shira Kisos, Itzik Shai, Haskel Greenfield and I on the EB game boards from Tell es-Safi/Gath.

A new poster/invitation for the congress with a detailed list of the lectures has just been sent out - הזמנה קונגרס ארכיאולוגי 40

Do note that the lectures will be in Hebrew – so if you are planning to fly in specially for this – make sure you understand Hebrew! :-)



Australians finding things…

As the news is full of reports that the Australian govt. may have found the remains of the Malaysian Airlines plane, I don’t want to put any pressure on anyone, but I assume that the standards that Australia has now set – for finding hard-to-locate objects – will continue to be implemented this summer at Tell es-Safi/Gath.

Last year the Aussies did not too bad (complete ivory bowl…), but I think we have to demand that the standards be raised… :-)

And if any of the other nationalities feel a need to show that not only Aussies can find things – don’t hesitate to prove yourself as well!


Some of the Safi “Old Timers” to celebrate with Shira Gur-Arieh

Last night, a bunch of the Safi “Old Timers” got together at a restaurant in Tel Aviv to celebrate with Shira Gur-Arieh on the occasion of the submission of her PhD and her new Post-Doc position at the Max Planck Center for Evolutionary Biology in Leipzig.

Great evening, not bad food, fantastic memories, good friends – what more could one ask for! And best of luck to Shira for her new and exciting position!


New in press Article in JAS on line

The following article, which is part of Shira Gur-Arieh’s PhD dissertation (which she has just submitted!) is in press at the Journal of Archaeological Science, and it now can be found online in its pre-press form.

Gur-Arieh, S., Shahack-Gross, R., Maeir, A.M., Lehmann, G., Hitchcock, L.A., Boaretto, E., In press. The Taphonomy and Preservation of Wood and Dung Ashes Found in Archaeological Cooking Installations: Case Studies from Iron Age Israel, Journal of Archaeological Science (2014), doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.03.011.

Check it out!


Very interesting conference on the Pentateuch this May in Jerusalem

A very interesting conference on the Pentateuch will be held in Jerusalem May 25-29, 2014, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. From the very impressive list of speakers (see below), many of the most important voices in Pentateuchal studies will be there.

I definitely plan to attend as many sessions as possible!

Conference Program Pentateuch within Biblical Literature May 2014 Jerusalem