Conference: Archaeology and Text: Toward Establishing a Meaningful Dialogue between Written Sources and Material Finds

On Sunday-Monday, May 10th-11th, 2015, a very interesting international meeting will be held in Jerusalem and Ariel, organized by Drs. Itzik Shai and Yonatan Adler of Ariel University.

The conference “Archaeology and Text: Toward Establishing a Meaningful Dialogue between Written Sources and Material Finds”, will deal with the interface between text and archaeology from various perspectives, dealing with methodological and practical issues relating to various periods, cultures and examples.

See here the details of the very interesting program: Archaeology and Text meeting – Schedule

I will be giving a paper on some thoughts on the interface between archaeological and the Bible (The Interface between Text and Artifact: Back to Basics? Some thoughts on “Bible and Spade”), and there are quite a few lectures which I am very much looking forward to hearing. I assume that the discussions will be very interesting as well!


Reminder – “Young Scholars’ Conference” – this Thursday, April 30th, 2015

As I mentioned previously, this Thursday (April 30th, 2015), there will be a “Young Scholars’ Conference” of the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at BIU, at which graduate and doctoral students will briefly present on various aspects of their research.

From the Safi team, Shira will be talking about the research on the faience beads from the EB layers, and Nahshon will be talking about his work on Iron IIA pottery from Safi. In addition, there will be quite a few interesting papers on other topics. Note – all will be in Hebrew.

Here is a link to the program – looks like this will be a very interesting day meeting. I’m the session chair for the first session, so I get there from the very beginning… :-)


Microarchaeology and the Philistine Household

A new article in which I discuss the use of micro-archaeological methods and analyses at Tell es-Safi/Gath, and how this can be used to understand more about the Philistine household during the Iron Age has just appeared.

It appeared as part of a very interesting volume on various approaches to household archaeology (note – the entire volume can be downloaded for free here).

The article is:

Maeir, A. M. 2015. Micro-Archaeological Perspectives on the Philistine Household Throughout the Iron Age and Their Implications. Pp. 307–19 in Household Studies in Complex Societies. (Micro) Archaeological and Textual Approaches, ed. M. Muller. Oriental Institute Series 10. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Check it out!


Pictures from the Ackerman Family Workshop in Biblical Archaeology

As promised, here are some pictures from the 1st Annual Ackerman Family Workshop in Biblical Archaeology, which was held on April 15th-16th, 2015. As you may recall, the first day was a full day of lectures at BIU (see the great picture of all the participants during the lunch break), while the 2nd day was a field trip by some of those who presented lectures on the 1st day, to sites in the Shephelah.

It was a great workshop!

Philipp stockhammer at workshop Aren Maeir lecturing at workshop Aren Maeir at Tel Burna Ackerman field trip at Tel Burna Ackerman workshop participants

Mini-season on the tell today

As mentioned yesterday, today, a group of us (Steve, Amit, Yotam, Shira, Erin, Maria, Jeff, Dina and yours truly) went to the tell for a “mini-season” to do some sampling and check for potential places to carry out 14C dating of the LB/Iron I transition. We worked in Areas A and F, and actually do seem to have found a couple of places which may serve us during the coming season for possibly finding good sequences of 14C dates for this transition. The reason why we are so interested in this is that we now have two sets of dates (one published and one about to be published) which indicate that this transition (and in particular the earliest appearance of early Philistine pottery), at Tell es-Safi/Gath, may have already commenced in the late 13th cent. BCE – somewhat earlier than seen at most sites.

See here some pictures of the work in Area A, and fragments of a very nice Philistine Bichrome “stirrup jar” (if you look closely you can see a bird decoration!) – which I found sticking out of a freshly washed-away section of the cliff just below Area F – where we often find interesting “goodies”.

In addition, we could not get over the thorns that have grown all over the tell. They are like a jungle – with some of the more than 7 feet high, making some parts of the tell, simply inaccessible! In all the twenty years of work on the site, I don’t remember any year in which the overgrowth, and especially of these really nasty thorns, was so high!


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