The annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) was held in Denver on Nov. 14-17, 2018.
As in previous years, there was quite a lot of Safi related things going on at the meeting, including various presentations, posters, and special session in honor of the Festschrift for Aren’s 60th birthday, and an event in which, among other things, the P. E. MacAllister Field Archaeology Award, for outstanding contributions to ancient Near Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean archaeology, was given to Aren. Some of Safi crew got together for a very nice supper, and in addition, Jeff, Aren and Amanda popped over to visit the Colorado Christian University campus, and were hosted by Dr. David Kotter, Dr. Seth Rodriquez, Dr. and Mrs. Usrey, Melissa Johnson and Josephine Geisler
The following Safi related presentations were given:
Aren presented an update on the 2018 season of excavations at Safi – “The 2018 Excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath: Overview of the Results.”
Debi Cassuto presented two papers – one on the connection between cult and weaving at Safi (“Tying Up Loose Ends: Weaving and Cult in the Southern Levant”), and one, jointly with Margaret Cohen, on the connection between cult and weaving at Safi and Megiddo.
Andy Creekmore gave a paper on the magnetometric remote sensing at Tell es-Safi/Gath, and how it helped identify sub-surface features – some of them then excavated in the 2018 season – “A Magnetometry Study of the Philistine City of Gath”.
Liz Arnold et al. gave a great paper on isotopic analyses of additional sacrificial donkeys from the EB levels at Safi – showing that 4 donkeys were imported from Egypt – “Isotopic Analyses of Donkey Burials under the EB III House Floors in the Early Bronze Age City of Tell es-Safi”.
Haskel Greenfield et al. gave a talk on household archaeology in the EB levels at Tell es-Safi/Gath – “Houses and Households in the Early Bronze Age of the Southern Levant: Recent Research at Tell es-Safi/Gath”.
Eric Welch gave an interesting talk about the ideology behind Bliss and Macalister’s reporting at Tell es-Safi/Gath – “Ignorance is Bliss or Was Bliss Ignorant? Contextualizing the Culturally Biased Conclusions of the 1899 Palestine Exploration Fund Expedition to Tell es-Safi.”
Will Krieger gave a talk: “The Evolution of Theory and Methods in Philistine Archaeology,” comparing the work at Miqne-Ekron and Tell es-Safi/Gath.
Maddi Harris-Schober gave a talk on cultic architecture in the Levant, with a focus on finds from Safi – “They Practice Divination Like the Philistines! A Re-Analysis of Cultic and Ritual Architecture of the Southern Levant.”
The following posters were presented:
Jeremy Beller et al. presented “Stones in Homes: The Spatial Distribution and Use of Ground Stone Objects at EB III Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel”
Annie Brown et al. presented “Spatial Representation of Heavy Fraction Collection and Analysis from Tell esSafi/Gath, Israel”
Tiffany Okaluk et al. presented “Urban vs. Rural Butchery Practices in the Early Bronze Age: A Comparison of Butchering Technology between Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel, and Göltepe, Turkey”
Sarah Richardson et al. presented “Who? What? Where? Understanding the Population, Their Household Organization, and Activities through Bone Tool Use at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel”
Here are some pictures of the various events, lectures and activities! It was really great seeing all the Safi team! And if I may add, it was nice to see former Safiites who moved on to conduct research at other sites as well!