Updates on today’s work at the tell

As mentioned yesterday, today we are doing some work at the tell at a feature that might be water system. So far, the tractor is digging out a lot of modern fill in this depression, and it’s hard to tell what this is. It be a water system going deeper, but it also might be cave with a collapsed roof…

We will wait and see.

Here some pictures from today’s work:

IMG_3673 IMG_3674 IMG_3677 IMG_3679 IMG_3680

Water system at Tell es-Safi/Gath?

For many years now, an intriguing feature has piqued our interest at Tell es-Safi/Gath. Just to the south of Areas A and P, there is a round depression in the ground, in the small valley that is formed to the SE side of the upper tell (for those of you familiar with the site, on the way down to the bus parking). For many years, we have thought that this might represent a water system, but up till now, have not done anything concrete to check this out.

Well – all that will change as of tomorrow!

In collaboration with Zvika Zuk of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, who is a well-known expert on water systems (and is a co-director of the Tel Gezer Water System Project), we (Amit will be supervising the work in the field, I’ll come for a visit here and there…) are going to work with a tractor (yes, a tractor – I guess we will appear in BAR about this…), to clear the sediments that have accumulated at the top of this depression – and see if there is anything that can indicate that in fact this is a water system.

So, tomorrow and on Wednesday, we may have some interesting insights on what this interesting feature is.

And what can I say – I do hope it is some sort of water system (or the entrance to the unplundered tomb of Achish…) :-)

Updates will follow!


New article on the origins of the “Late Philistine Decorated Ware”

A new article, by Itzik Shai and myself, has just appeared in Tel Aviv. In this article, we reassert (as initially stated by us a few years ago in an article in BASOR), despite claims to the contrary, that there is a definite stylistic connection between the Iron IIA “Late Philistine Decorated Ware” and the decorative traditions of Iron I Philistine pottery.
The article is entitled:
Maeir, A. M., and Shai, I. 2015. The Origins of the “Late Philistine Decorated Ware”: A Note. Tel Aviv 42(1): 59–66.

Adi will give a lecture on “Microarchaeology” in the chemistry department at BIU (May 20, 2015)

Adi Eliyahu, the Safi archaeological science coordinator, will be giving a lecture next Wednesday (May 20, 2015) in departmental colloquium of the chemistry department at BIU. If you can – do come to the lecture – should be very interesting.

See details below:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 11am, Chemistry Building (# 211), Seminar room (#112)

SPEAKER: Adi Eliyahu Behar

TOPIC: Micro-archaeology: The crossroads of Science and Archaeology

The archaeological record is, for the most part, fragmentary in that only a limited part of the original materials are buried, what is buried undergoes change over time, and when excavated, not all is being retrieved.  Archaeological excavation is a destructive procedure. During excavation architecture is usually exposed, and macroscopic objects related to the material culture of the inhabitants are collected, such as ceramics, metals, bones etc. It has been recently acknowledged that microscopic aspects of these macroscopic finds as well as microscopic finds (traditionally ignored), contain invaluable information regarding human culture development. The micro-archaeology approach aims to this information, therefore enabling a more complete reconstruction of the archaeological record to be achieved.  Applying this approach means the utilization of various analytical methods that enable us to add in the levels of materials and atoms and to see what cannot be seen by the naked eye. In turn, this is then utilized in order to formulate and answer historical and archaeological questions. A great deal of this is done in the field during the act of excavation, the rest is continued later at the Lab.

Excavation at Tell es-Safi/Gath, provided a unique opportunity to develop micro-archaeological excavation methods. Field work was followed by further chemical and microstructure analysis of the artifacts using XRF and  SEM-EDS. Results enabled us to deal with some key issues in ancient technology: how, where and when iron became the dominant metal in use, replacing copper and its alloys?

Doctoral Stipends from the Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times (RIAB)

The website of the Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times (RIAB) is now officially opened, and our first item is a notification on doctoral fellowships that are offered as part of the center’s activities.

Check this out here.

In the near future, we will add more content on the website regarding the Center, its activities, its members and other things.