Tell es-Safi/Gath in the storm!

As you may know, Israel is experiencing quite an unusual winter storm, with extraordinary quantities of rain, which among other things is blocking up many roads throughout Israel. Today, on the spur of the moment, Debi Cassuto and I decided that instead of driving home to Jerusalem directly, we would take a detour and see what it looks like around Tell es-Safi/Gath on such a rainy day. So, we drove down to the tell, managed to get all the way to the base of the site, and took some great pictures and video clips of the completely green tell and the absolutely unbelievable full river bed of the Elah Valley at the bottom of the tell, which as many of you know, during most of the year, and particularly in the summer months, is completely dry.

So check out the pics and clips:


Here is Debi standing on the northern bank of the river bed, just next to the concrete riverbed crossing, which as you know, most of the time is dry!


And this is a view towards the east, with the eastern side of the tell in the background


And here is another view towards the east, of even a wider section of the water running in the river bed (and northeastern side of the tell in the right background).

This is one clip of the river bed (with a rather congested me narrating…)

And here is another one!

Quite something!


8 thoughts on “Tell es-Safi/Gath in the storm!

  1. arenmaeir

    Louise – not only sherds! If you recall, two winters ago the rains caused the balks to collapse in Area D and we subsequently found the two-horned altar! Who knows what will be discovered this season!!! Philistine cemetery? Archive of Amarna period tablets? Cache of bilingual early Philistine/Canaanite inscriptions? Early Philistine cultic building? Hazael’s Aramaic stele commemorating the conquest of Gath?


  2. ruth

    Wow – thanks for sharing – what would you say about how the ancients wouldve been affected by this kind of weather in their day, on the Tel? it must’ve happened once in awhile… Interesting…


  3. Ilka Knuppel Gray

    Wow! Looking forward to seeing it in person in June. Weather is weird all over…the Washington DC area will be close to 70 degrees this weekend! (30 degrees F more than average!)


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