Printing a LMLK handle!

Today, Noam and Yaniv printed a small scale model of a LMLK handle with the new 3D printer!

See below a clip of the printer in action, and photos of the handle right after printing was finished (and you can see the stamp if you look closely) and the handle being washed in a pottery bucket (to take off the extra plastic used by the printer in the process of “building” the object)!

This is totally cool!

Visit to Tel Hadid excavations

Today I had the opportunity to visit the excavations at Tel Hadid, directed by Dr. Ido Koch of Tel Aviv University. This is the 2nd season of excavations at this very complex and multi-period site, and they already have some very interesting finds (mainly from the late Iron Age, Hellenistic and Byzantine periods so far).

This excavation is one of the few excavations in the field this summer, along with the Tell Abu Shusha (directed by Avner Ecker of BIU) and Tel Azekah (directed by Oded Lipschits and Yuval Gadot of TAU) excavations that start in a few weeks.

Here’s two photos of the visit (with visitors wearing masks and keeping social distance), courtesy of Debi Cassuto, with Ido (right foreground) explaining about the site:

First of video of a series of video interviews on the Philistines with Nick Barksdale

See below the first video interview on a series of 12 videos on the Philistines that I did with Nick Barksdale (thanks Nick!), who has this super interesting YouTube channel on various historical topics (“The Study of Antiquity and the Middle Ages“).

In the first video, I talk about the origins of the Philistines, and how our understanding of this topic has changed in the last few decades. I’ll be sure to post when additional ones in this series appear!

Check it out!

Meetings with Remarkable Safi Sherds #1

Klaus Wagensonner has started a very nice series, on Facebook, entitled “Meetings with Remarkable Tablets” (check it out, very interesting!).

So, I decided to try out something like that, but about sherds from Tell es-Safi/Gath.

So, here is “Meeting with Remarkable Safi Sherds #1,” special for July 4th, the USA Independence Day, coming around in a few days!

Below, you can see a group of sherds that belong to the so-called “Red, White and Blue Ware” (RWB), a type of decorated pottery that is found in Middle Bronze Age levels in the southern Levant. The ware, most often as jars, but sometimes open vessels as well, has a unique decoration, consisting of a thick white slip, and on it a bichrome (two color) decoration, consisting of straight red lines and blue or black wavy lines, the latter often positioned between two of the former. The unique color gave this group its name – Red, White and Blue Ware! It is found at sites in southwestern and northern Israel, and seems to have been produced at sites in the southern Coastal Plain. In my article in which I defined this group (can be seen here), I originally thought that this is only typical of the later phases of the Middle Bronze Age, but based on finds from Ashkelon, it is clear that it appears in earlier phases of this period. The blue decoration is quite unique, and at the time I had raised the possibility that it was made of a coloring imported from Egypt. At the time, this was not checked, but a current MA thesis at Tel Aviv University, by Maddison Quail-Gates, is carrying out analyses of this ware, and hopefully we will soon know how this decoration was made!

At Safi, we found quite a few of these sherds in Area F, near the summit of the upper tell, most in relationship to the MB levels and and fortifications in this area!

So – happy USA Independence Day – a real Red, White and Blue celebration!

Red white and blue ware from Area F


Shira’s dissertation details

And here is the title of Shira’s PhD dissertation:

Albaz, S. 2020. Everyday Life in a Local Neighborhood at an Ancient Urban Settlement: Tell es-Safi/Gath in the Early Bronze Age as a Case Study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan.

For those interested in a copy, if you write to Shira, I’m sure she’ll be happy to send you a copy! :-)

Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, it will be published as part of the final publications of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Project!

Let’s welcome DR. SHIRA ALBAZ!

The doctor is in!

I’m delighted to announce that as of today, the doctor is in! Shira just received confirmation that her PhD was approved by Bar-Ilan University, and she is now Dr. Shira Albaz!!

Do note that the line for treatment of your Early Bronze Age finds is long, so I suggest you make a reservation for your appointment with the doctor ASAP! :-)

Congratulations to Shira!!! Well done! Kol hakavod!!!