Today, to mark the opening of the academic year at BIU (and at other academic institutions in Israel), the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Reuven (Rubi) Rivlin visited BIU. As part of the visit, three flagship projects were demonstrated to him – and one of them was the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project!
We (the Safi staff) set up a nice display of finds and technological applications used in the project, including drones (including the new meg-drone with the LIDAR on it), LIDAR, hXRF, 3D models, etc., along with various finds. I talked to him about the various High Tech applications that we use in the project, and how, to a large extent, archaeology in Israel is very much part of the “Startup Nation” atmosphere (and that we do so many really cool, cutting edge things in the study of the past). To demonstrate this, I showed the president several applications and finds, including one of the beer vessels from which we managed to isolate ancient yeast. We even prepared a bottle of ancient mead, but were told that he would not be able to taste it.
Here, I’m (to the right) explaining to President Rivlin (forefront left) about the beer jug from Safi, with (in the background) Prof. Arieh Zaban (president of BIU; next to me) and Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, Chairman of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Israel Council for Higher Education (in the middle) and Mr. Shlomo Zohar, Chairman of the Council of Trustees of BIU (next to President Rivlin).