Party for Dr. Sue Frumin!

Today, the Safi lab team joined in the celebrations in honor of Sue Frumin finishing her PhD!

Dr. Sue (not Dr. Seuss…) wrote an excellent PhD on the archaeobotanical remains of the Philistines, with a focus on the finds from Tell es-Safi/Gath. Parts of the PhD have already been published in articles (see for example here and here), and more will follow in the future.

Sue’s PhD is:

Frumin, S. 2017. Invasion Biology Analysis in Archaeobotany – Philistines Culture at Tell es-Safi/ Gath as a Case Study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan.

Here are some pictures from the party, which was held in Udi Weiss’ archaeobotany lab at BIU.

Great food, great friends and a lot of fun!

Soon to be flying over Tell es-Safi/Gath and other sites…

Here’s a sneak peak at the type of drone (VAPOR 55) that should be flying over Tell es-Safi/Gath and some other sites in the not-too-distant future. The order has gone out for this cool piece of equipment, along with a LiDAR sensor!

This was purchased jointly, courtesy of an ISF equipment grant, by three of us at BIU – Rafi Kent, Boaz Zissu and Aren Maeir.

In addition to this, sometime in the near future, another, smaller drone is in the process of being purchased for use in the project!

The bronze bowl from Area J is back from the conservation lab!

The bronze bowl that Jill and her team found in Area J last summer (see here) has returned from the conservation lab – and it looks really nice. We still have a lot of study to conduct on this (both a bowl and an interesting bronze disk found next to it), but to get a rough idea (not too detailed…) on what it looks like, see the picture below.

Very cool!!

Sad news: the passing of Prof. Larry Stager

The sad news of the passing of Prof. Larry Stager has arrived. Larry was one of the more important archaeologists dealing with the Levant in recent decades. In particular, his excavations at Ashkelon, a sister city of Philistine Gath are of note.

May he rest in peace and may his memory be blessed.


Hebrew article on the importance of the donkey in the EB in light of the finds at Safi

A new paper of the Safi team just appeared in the Hebrew journal Qadmoniot, discussing the importance of the donkey in the Early Bronze Age in light of the finds from the Tell es-Safi/Gath Excavations. See a PDF here.

The full title is:

Shai, I., Greenfield, H. G., Greenfield, T., Arnold, E., Albaz, S., and Maeir, A.
2017 The Importance of the Donkey in the Early Bronze Age in Light of the Excavations at Tel Zafit (In Hebrew). Qadmoniot 154: 88–91.

And in Hebrew:

י. שי, ה. גרינפילד, ט. גרינפילד, א. ארנולד, ש. אלבז וא. מאיר. 2017. חשיבותו של החמור בתקופת הברונזה הקדומה לאור ממצאי החפירה בתל צפית. קדמוניות 154: 191-188.

Houston – we have bedrock!

Woohoo! We managed to dig down to bedrock by the end of the 2nd day of our short mini-season! The small, but fantastic, team managed to go down about a meter, and reach bedrock at the bottom of the test pit! So now, we have a stratigraphic “window” of the EB levels in Area E, from top – to bottom. All told, the pit was about 4 meters deep, and very interestingly, there are several levels below the EB levels that we knew of in Area E. This includes a very substantial amount of architecture (we saw three walls) that are based on a thick white, plaster-like level.

Just shows what some hard work by a determined little team can do (thanks to: Shira, Nati, Chris, Ortal, Noga, Yaniv and Elad!!)

In addition to this, Shira and I managed to see quite a few details in the architecture of the area that we could not see in the summer, due to the dampness of the various mudbricks and sediments. Quite interesting!

Here are some pictures from this great day: