Sad news: Uri Reiss passed away

I was so sorry to hear that our friend, Uri Reiss, who was a core team member of the Safi project for over a decade, and served for many years as the project “Major Domo”, passed away this last Friday.

Uri was truly a great person, kind and friendly, caring and motivated, and with endless energy – and always with a smile on his face. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends. The “Safi family” has lost an important member.

May his memory be blessed – יהי זכרו ברוך!

Here is a picture of Uri working in the field – as many of the Safi old-timers most probably remember him.


Two new publications (not directly related to Safi…)

Two new publications have just appeared, and although they are not directly connected to the Safi excavations, they might be of interest. Check them out!

Maeir, A. M. 2017. Assessing Jerusalem in the Middle Bronze Age: A 2017 Perspective. Pp. 64*-74* in New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and Its Region: Collected Papers, Volume XI, eds. Y. Gadot, Y. Zelinger, K. Cytryn-Silverman and J. Uziel. (see here a link to the paper)

Maeir, A. M. 2017. “There Is Nothing So Whole as a Broken Heart”: Reflections on “The Practice of Repairing Vessels in Ancient Egypt” (NEA 79.4 [2016]) by Julia Hsieh. Near Eastern Archaeology 80(3): 202–03. (see here a link to a corrected proof of the paper)


2nd day of mini-season

Today we had the 2nd (and last) day of the mini-season. Work continued in the metallurgy area in Area D, and Dr. Michael Toffolo (from the Univ. of Bordeaux) came to the site to sample a very interesting context that was found in Area F this season, apparently related to the production of a plaster.

It was a great day again! See here some pictures:

Mini-season at the tell!

Today (Oct. 17) we conducted a small mini-season at the tell. A small group of the team, came down to the site to do some work in Area D, in the metallurgy area and in the gate area. Tomorrow, we’ll be back to finish up.

Excavating with a small group, and in the fall, is quite different from what we usually do in the summer. The weather was great, the finds were nice, and we had a great time.

I also checked on Areas K and K2 – and they are doing just fine! :-)

Here are some pictures:

New article – Climate changes in the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods in the Levant

A new article, authored by D. Fuks et al., dealing with climate change during the late Byzantine and early Islamic periods has just appeared. The study was in the making for quite a few years, and was initially kick started on the basis of insights that Oren Ackermann and I had from research on the environment around Tell es-Safi/Gath.

Here is the full quote:

Fuks, D., Ackermann, O., Ayalon, A., Bar-Matthews, M., Bar-Oz, G., Levi, Y., Maeir, A. M., Weiss, E., Zilberman, T., and Safrai, Z.Fuks, D., Ackermann, O., Ayalon, A., Bar-Matthews, M., Bar-Oz, G., Levi, Y., Maeir, A. M., Weiss, E., Zilberman, T., and Safrai, Z. 2017. Dust Clouds, Climate Change and Coins: Consiliences of Paleoclimate and Economic History in the Late Antique Southern Levant. Levant 49(2). DOI: