BAR mention of Safi study on remote sensing

A short article in “Bible History Daily” by N. Steinmeyer mentions the recently published article in “Levant” by Andy Creekmore and me, on a magnetometric study of Tell es-Safi/Gath (see here), and what we can learn from this on the urban planning in Iron Age Philistia and the Levant.

Check it out!

Here’s a short clip of the remote sensing work at Safi, during the 2017 season:

Get ready for the 5th run of my MOOC on Biblical Archaeology

The MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Biblical Archaeology will soon start its fifth run! Join the thousands of students from all over the world who have already taken this course, which gives you an in-depth introduction to archaeology in general, to biblical archaeology in particular, and enables you to get a feeling – and behind the scenes views – about what goes on in the field of biblical archaeology. Visit sites throughout Israel, and see how research is conducted in the field, in the labs, as we explore, study and understand the tangible past of Israel and Judah during the Iron Age.

Sign up now! The course re-opens on Nov. 1st, 2021!

Here’s the course trailer:

New article on sacred and profane donkeys at EB Safi

Glad to announce a new publication on the ritual and daily use of donkeys at EB Tell es-Safi/Gath.

The title of the paper is:

Greenfield, H. J., Ross, J., Greenfield, T. L., and Maeir, A. M. 2021. Sacred and the Profane: Donkey Burial and Consumption at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath. Pp. 269–78 in Fierce Lions, Angry Mice and Fat-Tailed Sheep: Animal Encounters in the Ancient Near East, eds. L. Recht and C. Tsouparopoulou. McDonald Institute Monographs and Conversations 16. Cambridge: McDonald Institute.

Do note that the entire volume (including this chapter) can be downloaded for free.

Interactive video tour of BIU – with a visit to the Safi lab!

Check out this very nice interactive video tour of the BIU campus, with visits to various faculties, research centers and projects, including a visit to the Tell es-Safi/Gath Project lab.

Follow Dr. Sharon Goldman, BIU VP for Global Resources as she tours the campus and shows a nice mélange of the fascinating things going on at BIU! As she visits the campus, you can choose what places to visit!

Really nice. Check it out!

New article on defining ancient Israel

I’m happy to report that a new article of mine has just appeared.  

In this article, which I believe is one of the more important articles I have written, I grapple with the theoretical and practical criteria for archaeologically defining ancient Israel. 

The full title is:

Maeir, A. M. 2021. On Defining Israel: Or, let’s do the kulturkreislehre again! Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 10(2): 106-48.

Here is the abstract:

Most study of the definition of early Israel, from an archaeological perspective, is based on outdated views on the relationship between material culture and group identity, ignoring recent social theory on the relationship between the archaeological finds and group identity. This has led to simplistic assumptions on defining and identifying the materials correlates – and the group identities – relevant for understanding the formation and development of early Israel. While critical of much of the research, and aware of the limitations of the ability to interpret the archaeological remains, I suggest some paths how to move forward in defining – what is and what is not – early Israel, stressing the need to focus on a bottom-up approach, commencing with the study of small-scale communities of practice.

And for those of you who have not seen the “Gath Jerusalema Challenge” (which I find hard to believe…) – do check out the link below!

All the best and shana tova!


P.S. If you don’t have access to the article, and wish to receive a PDF, do send me an email and I’ll be happy to share it!