Toast in the lab for the New Year

Yesterday, Tuesday morning, a group of Safi team members and friends got together in the lab to raise a toast in honor of the Jewish New Year (which is celebrated on Thursday and Friday). We used the opportunity to be thankful for all the nice things that happened this year, and to hope that the coming year will be even better – and most of all, to express appreciation for the close friendship and camaraderie that our community has created.

And just in time for the new year, I hope that next week I will be able to post about some ASTOUNDING NEWS for the Safi project. Right now I have to keep quiet about it – but when I can – it will be a very nice way to start the new year!!! :-)

Here’s the apple and honey and honey cake (traditional foods eaten on the New Year so that one has a sweet year) for the event, and here Oren and I are trying to open bottles without a corkscrew…

photo 3 photo 2 photo 1











Shana Tova U-metuka (Happy and Sweet New Year)!


The “Other” Gath wins it bigtime!

Our distant neighbor, the city of Qiryat Gat (which was mistakenly named Gat/Gath when in the early 1950s the common opinion that Gath of the Philistine was located at Tel Erani), has just had some great news.

Intel (yes, that Intel…) will be investing $6 billion (!!!) in upgrading the current computer chip plant in this town. This will be largest foreign investment in Israeli Hi Tech to date!

Cool! Now all we have to hope is perhaps some of that money will seep northwards towards Tell es-Safi/Gath….


Shana Tova!


Amazing find! A green balloon inside of an Iron IIA jug! :-)

See there this amazing photo of a green balloon that Elisheva, our new pottery restorer, found inside an Iron IIA Late Philistine Decorated War jug from Safi!

I think this can be a great title for a children’s book: “Elisheva and the Green Balloon”…

elisheva and the green balloon












Now seriously folks – this is a method to restore a pottery vessel which is very fragmented – the balloon serves as a basis for the slowly reconstructed sherds….




Safi Archaeology at the 2014 “Night of the Scientists” at BIU

This evening (Sept. 18, 2014) is the annual “Night of the Scientists” at various academic research institutions throughout Israel, aimed at exposing the public, from kids to seniors, to the fascinating worlds of science.

Needless to say, BIU will take part in this fascinating – and very important – event, and more importantly for us, a team from the Tell es-Safi/Gath lab, including Maria, Dina, and Natalie, led by the new Dr. Amit Dagan (who is still waiting for patients to contact him… :-)), will present various finds from the Safi excavations and run a workshop on ancient writing.

Below is a clip of last year’s events at BIU and if you look closely – you can see the 2-3 seconds in which they show the archaeological finds from Safi.


Grand Valley State University Group at Safi 2015!

Prof. Liz Arnold, from Grand Valley State University (GVSU), who has been on the Safi team for the last two years, will, as of the 2015 season, be officially leading a group from GVSU that will participate in the excavations.

We are all looking forward to welcoming the GVSU team!

See below the flyer for application to the program at GVSU.

GVSU Safi 2015 flyer