New article: Earliest bit in the ancient near east from a donkey from Tell es-Safi/Gath

A new article from the Safi team has just appeared
In this study, spearheaded by Haskel Greenfield, we discuss evidence for the earliest bit reported from the ancient near east, from a donkey from the EB III levels at Tell es-Safi/Gath.
The article is entitled:
Greenfield HJ, Shai I, Greenfield TL, Arnold ER, Brown A, Eliyahu A, Maeir, AM (2018) Earliest evidence for equid bit wear in the ancient Near East: The “ass” from Early Bronze Age Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath, Israel. PLoS ONE 13(5): e0196335.
And here is the abstract:
Analysis of a sacrificed and interred domestic donkey from an Early Bronze Age (EB) IIIB (c. 2800–2600 BCE) domestic residential neighborhood at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath, Israel, indicate the presence of bit wear on the Lower Premolar 2 (LPM2). This is the earliest evidence for the use of a bit among early domestic equids, and in particular donkeys, in the Near East. The mesial enamel surfaces on both the right and left LPM2 of the particular donkey in question are slightly worn in a fashion that suggests that a dental bit (metal, bone, wood, etc.) was used to control the animal. Given the secure chronological context of the burial (beneath the floor of an EB IIIB house), it is suggested that this animal provides the earliest evidence for the use of a bit on an early domestic equid from the Near East.
Hope you find this interesting,

The Tell es-Safi/Gath airforce commencement!

The first of a series of two different types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that will be put into regular use in the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project has arrived.

While in the past we have regularly used UAVs for aerial photography, as of the coming season, we will have our own UAVs for our use! This will include a DJI Mavic Pro for regular and 3D photography and a DJI M600 for airborne LIDAR and multispectral scanning.

So far, the Mavic Pro has arrived, and last week, a bunch of us (Maria, Shira, Vanessa and Aren), went out to the drone field, to start learning how to use these great instruments.

I see a lot of interesting data for analytic purposes – and a lot of fun! :-)

Here’s some pictures from our training session:

Prof. Zohar Amar’s new website

Prof. Zohar Amar, a colleague in the Dept. of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University, has put online a very nice website “Antiquities of Nature and Realia in Israel” – that deals with a broad range of aspects relating to the realia of nature, agriculture, medicine, technology and other aspects in antiquity and contemporary modern cultures, with particular emphasis on how this is reflected in ancient Jewish sources (from the Bible until modern Jewish rabbinical sources).

The website is in Hebrew and English – so check it out. Has a lot of very interesting materials!


“Worlds in Disarray: Prehistory and the Present”: Lecture by Prof. Louise Hitchcock, Univ. of Melbourne, May 21st

For those of you will are or will be in Melbourne on Monday, May 21st, Louise Hitchcock will be presenting a lecture “Worlds in Disarray: Prehistory and the Present”.

This lecture examines the relationship between social and technological acceleration, class conflict, natural disaster, and systems collapse in the ancient Mediterranean and in modern western society through an examination of globalization, populism and piracy.

Here is a flyer about the lecture: Louise_Worlds in Disarray Flyer

Great News for Dr. Eric Welch!

Kudos and congratulations to Dr. Eric Welch, long time senior staff member of the Safi team, and director of Area K, for his new position as Senior Lecturer, in the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky.

The good news is now that Eric has moved from Kansas to Kentucky, we can still keep the “K” in Area K! :-)

Way to go Eric!

Here’s a great picture of Eric (on the right, with the baseball hat) in Area K, with Prof. Amnon Albeck, vice rector of BIU (on the left).

Safi related papers at MNEME: Past and Memory in the Aegean Bronze Age, the 17th International Aegean Conference

Louise has been kind enough to write the following:

Safi staff and alumni gave the following papers this past week at MNEME: Past and Memory in the Aegean Bronze Age, the 17th International Aegean Conference, Venice, 17-21 April 2018. The proceedings will be published by Peeters Press in the prestigious Aegaeum series.

Here are the various papers that were presented:

Brent DAVIS, Emilia BANOU, Louise HITCHCOCK & Anne CHAPINCuration in the Bronze Age Aegean: Objects as Material Memories 

Louise HITCHCOCK, Aren MAEIR, and Madaline HARRIS-SCHOBERTomorrow Never Dies: Post-Palatial Memories of the Aegean Late Bronze Age in the Mediterranean 

Caroline TULLY & Sam CROOKS The Self Possessed: Framing Identity in Late Minoan Glyptic

Jacob E. HEYWOOD & Brent DAVIS Funerary Iconography and the Stimulation of Memory

Way to go team!