The 2019 season is about to start!

The 2019 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath starts in just 10 days – on Sunday, June 23rd. The team members will be converging on the site in the next week or so, and meanwhile preparations are in full swing!

We have quite a nice sized team this year, with about 100 team members in weeks 1-2, about 80 in week 3, and just under 50 in week 4.

The team will be comprised of archaeologists, students and volunteers from various institutions (including: BIU, HU, BYU, YU, Ariel, Kentucky, Melbourne, CCU, URI, GVSU) and countries (including: Israel, USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Korea, China, Australia). Quite a diverse group of people!

On Tuesday, a small group of the core staff (Maria, Vanessa, Yaniv and Aren) were on site to mark off new squares in Areas M, K, K2 and Y. While the areas themselves are not covered to badly in thorns, a lot of the spaces in between have “mega thorns”! In fact, it may very well be that for the first few days, we will all experience a “game of thorns”!

See here a short video that will give you an idea.

Next week, on Wednesday, we’ll be out in the field with a tractor, for further preparations. This will include fixing up some of the dumps, trampling some of the thorns, and getting rid of some nasty “sabra” (prickly pear) cacti near Area K.

Then, on Thursday, some of the staff will be at BIU and Kfar Menahem, to pack and send various equipment for the season.

This are already moving along for what’s going to be a great season.

Looking forward to the people, the finds and the fun!