Today, Mr. Yaakov Peri, the Israeli Minister of Science, Technology and Space, visited the Tell es-Safi/Gath lab, as part of a visit to BIU. During his half hour long visit, we showed him various finds from the excavations, and especially stressed aspects in which inter-disciplinary science is used to understand the past. Among other things, Udi Weiss showed him some archaeobotanical finds (from the City of David and the Chalcolithic cave near Masada), Adi showed him how the hXRF and FTIR work – and can be used both in the lab and in the field, and I showed him various finds and how various scientific perspectives have additional insights on understanding the finds – and the past in general.
We managed to impress Mr. Peri and his entourage and keep them interested and asking questions, and I was told that later on, they expressed deep interest in our work and how much they were impressed with it.
At the end of the visit I stressed to him how important it is to develop new joint scientific collaborations with other countries – and how archaeology can very easily fit into such programs. And of course, I invited him to visit the dig in the summer – and I hope this will work out.