2 lecture series (in Hebrew) on the archaeology and history of the Land of Israel, by faculty members of the Dept. of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, BIU

Two series of lectures (in Hebrew) on topics relating to the archaeology and history of the Land of Israel, but the faculty members of the Dept. of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, at Bar-Ilan University. Check out the links!
שתי סדרות של הרצאות (בעברית) על נושאים הקשורים לארכיאולוגיה והיסטוריה של א”י, בידי סגל המחלקה ללימודי א”י וארכיאולוגיה באונ’ בר-אילן. בדקו את הלינקים בהודעה למטה

כלואים בבית? ארץ ישראל מגיעה אליכם, בזום


החל מיום ראשון הבא (12.4), בימי חול המועד בשעה 11, נתחיל, חברי סגל המחלקה ללימודי א”י וארכיאולוגיה בבר-אילן, בשידור הרצאות קצרות (חצי שעה) בזום לקהל הרחב, בשתי סדרות

הסדרה הראשונה מנהרת הזמן
על ציר כרונולוגי של תולדות ארץ ישראל בתקופות שונות

הסדרה השנייה דרך האתרים: פה ושם בארץ ישראל
אתרים בארץ

פרטים נוספים באתר: https://lisa.biu.ac.il/node/20397

וכן בקבוצת הוואצפ המיוחדת להרצאות הזום:

Zoom lecture (in Hebrew) on the “Passover letter” from Elephantine – Sunday, April 12, 2020, 10 am (Israel time)

On Sunday, April 12, at 10:00 am, I will be giving a zoom lecture (in Hebrew), which will be open to the general public, on the “Passover letter from Elephantine,” the earliest extra-biblical evidence for the observance of Passover (ca. 420 BCE).
The lecture will be open at https://zoom.us/j/3696964081, from 9:45 am.
Please feel free to pass this on to friends and family.
The lecture title in Hebrew is:
‘איגרת הפסח’ מיב, מצרים, מהתקופה הפרסית (סוף המאה ה-5 לפנה”ס): העדות החוץ מקראית הקדומה ביותר לקיום חג הפסח

Chag sameach,

A toast for Passover and Easter (on Zoom…)

This evening, the Safi lab team conducted an online (ZOOM) toast in honor of upcoming Passover and Easter.

To keep us connected to upcoming Passover, I suggested that just as each year, Jews contemplate on how they can come out of their current day slavery, into freedom, so this year, we have a new and quite frightening “slavery” threatening us, and we can all hope and pray that we will be free of this, in the not-too-distant future!

I also mentioned the “Passover letter” from Elephantine., the earliest extra-biblical evidence of Pessach, and how long Jews have been celebrating this holiday.

Finally, I suggested an innovative solution for the COVID-19 crisis! Since beer is not kosher for Passover, I suggested that everyone finish all the their Corona beer by Passover, and after that, it will all be over…:-)

Here’s a picture of the party!

May you all have a happy, safe, healthy and meaningful holidays!

New method for provenancing ancient Iron! (and Safi connected…)

Check out the just published article on a new method to provenance ancient Iron objects, based on isotopic analysis of the element Osmium.

The article, put out by a team of scientists, including Adi Eliyahu-Behar (Ariel; part of the Safi team for quite a few years) and Naaman Yahalom-Mack (HU; who also worked at Safi for a few years), was just published in PLOS One.

And needless to say, Safi finds are mentioned as well…:-)

Brauns, M., Yahalom-Mack, N., Stepanov, I., Sauder, L., Keen, J., and Eliyahu-Behar, A. 2020. Osmium Isotope Analysis as an Innovative Tool for Provenancing Ancient Iron: A Systematic Approach. PLOS One 15(3): e0229623.

Here is the abstract:

The innovation of iron production is often considered one of the greatest technological advances in human history. A reliable provenancing method for iron is instrumental for the reconstruction of economic, social and geo-political aspects of iron production and use in antiquity. Although the potential of osmium isotopes analysis for this purpose has been previously suggested, here we present for the first time the results of osmium isotope analysis of ores, bloom and metal obtained from a set of systematic, bloomery iron-smelting experiments, utilizing selected ores from the Southern Levant. The results show that the 187Os/188Os ratio is preserved from ore to metal, with no isotopic fractionation. In addition, enrichment/depletion of osmium content was observed in the transition from ore to metal and from ore to slag. This observation has potential significance for our ability to differentiate between the various processes and sheds light on the suitability of various production remains for this method, which emerges as a robust and promising tool for the provenancing of archaeological ferrous metals.

Check Louise’s podcast on the Bronze Age collapse in comparison to today

If you’re looking how to not go stir crazy, sitting at home (WHERE YOU SHOULD BE, WASHING YOUR HANDS OFTEN!), and want some historical perspective on what’s going on, check out Louise Hitchcock’s very interesting podcast on the Bronze Age collapse and its parallels with what’s going on today:

Update on the upcoming summer season (June/July 2020)

Dear all,

I hope you and yours are all healthy, and that you are managing in these crazy and scary times.
Here is a short update on what’s happening regarding the 2020 summer season at  Tell es-Safi/Gath.
I was just in contact with my dean and my department chair, and they both recommended that a final decision about the season be taken after Passover (which ends on April 16th), as all the decisions on activities relating to Bar-Ilan University, at this point, are up until that date.
That being said, I’m not very optimistic about the possibility of conducting the season – whether with all participants who can come (from Israel and abroad), and even if only with BIU participation. From what I understand, there are very good chances that the official limitations on university and general public activities in Israel (as in my countries) will continue for many months more.
Already, several of the foreign teams have announced that their home institutions have cancelled all summer programs, including participation in the dig.
So what does this all mean?
1) I will notify as soon as there is a decision – whether the dig is cancelled or not, or perhaps to be conducted in a small format.
2) If it is cancelled, all those who have paid their participation fees will be reimbursed (save for the registration fee).
3) If, in the end, we do have a season, if any of you would like to come on their own, not as part of a team whose institution has cancelled the official participation, we will be able to discuss this when it is relevant.
In the meantime, may I wish you all health, safety and calmness, and may we soon see the light at the end of this ominous tunnel – and come out of it stronger!
And finally, make sure you follow the health and safety instructions, to keep you, and your family and friends, safe!
All the best,
Aren Maeir