Quick visit to Safi and Area D – and a Chukar

Today, I popped over for a quick visit to Tell es-Safi/Gath, to take a sediment sample from Area D, for an ongoing (and very interesting) research project we are now conducting (and when I can, I’ll provide more details about the results).

As I got the site, I noticed a couple of Chukars (Alectoris chukar; חוגלת סלעים) hanging around, a caught a not-that-great picture of one of them:


And by the way, from what I saw, the site was, so far, in relatively good condition – no significant signs of bad weathering!


Detailed schedule for Finkelstein/Na’aman Honorary Meeting – “From Nomadism to Monarchy?” – March 15-16, 2017

The detailed schedule of the very interesting meeting that will be held at TAU on March 15-16, 2017, had been posted. The meeting, which is in honor of Israel Finkelstein and Nadav Na’aman, in retrospect of the volumes “The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement” and “From Nomadism to Monarchy”.

All told there are fantastic bunch of lectures, covering a broad range of related topics in the two day meeting (including a lecture by yours truly on group identity in Philistia and surrounding regions during the early Iron Age).

Check out the schedule – and do try to make it. It should be VERY interesting!!!



New Miqne-Ekron report

Today I received a copy of the new report on the excavations at Tel Miqne-Ekron (Dothan, T., Garfinkel, Y., and Gitin, S. 2016. Tel Miqne-Ekron Field IV Lower: The Elite Zone, The Iron Age I and IIC, The Early and Late Philistine Cities. Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Semitic Museum). Much thanks for Sy Gitin to sending me this very important publication!

While I will have to read through this carefully, it is clear that this is an extremely important archaeological publication, which will provide excellent basic data, and very interesting discussions, on the main area of Iron I and early Iron IIA excavations at this important site!

Definitely a very important development in the study of Philistia and the Philistines!


Trip to Sicily

At the end of this coming week, I will be traveling to Sicily, as a representative of Bar-Ilan University, for a visit organized by the Sicilian Jewish Community.

During the visit, I will be presenting a few lectures. This will include a lecture on the archaeology of Jerusalem (in Noto, on Monday, Feb. 13th, 2017; see notice below), and a lecture at the University of Catania on the excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath (on Tuesday, Feb. 14th, 2017).

So, if you happen to be in the neighborhood – it would be great to see you!



Hazael destructions workshop – Jan. 19, 2017

As mentioned previously, on Thursday, Jan. 19th, 2017, the first workshop of 2017 for of the RIAB Minerva Center, was held at BIU, and the topic was discussions of sites with possible remains of a Hazael-related destruction, and sites of similar chronological/regional sequences. This included papers on Tell es-Safi/Gath, Gezer, Tel Hamid, Aphek and Jerusalem.

In the 2nd part of the day, a workshop in which pottery from Tell es-Safi/Gath and Gezer were displayed and discussed.

One the things that clearly could be seen from the discussions is that very distinct “micro-regionality” can be seen at sites from the 9th and early 8th cent. BCE in the Shephelah, Philistia and the southern parts of the Israelite (northern) Kingdom, and it may very well be that pottery types that are often seen as indicative of this or that chronological phase, may appear at earlier or later phases at different sites. Similarly, sites which are very close to one another, have very distinct differences in more or less the same chronological horizon.

What is clear from this day was that more research and joint discussions and workshops are needed. We have to have additional ones in the future.

The lectures in the first part were filmed live, using “Facebook Live” – which turns out is an excellent method to live stream an entire series of lectures and discussions, for those who could not be at the workshop.

And here are some pictures from the pottery workshop, with discussions on the Gezer and Tell es-Safi/Gath materials.