Safi dinner after the Safi day at ASOR 2021

After the long day of Safi related events at the ASOR meeting, Safi team members and friends got together for a great supper at Milt’s Kosher BBQ in Chicago (highly recommended!).

Here’s a picture of me raising a toast, to friendship, camaraderie, great times and great research, and congratulating Jeff on receiving his Fs!


Great news for former Safi team member Emily Poelina-Hunter

Louise Hitchcock, who as many of you know headed the University of Melbourne team at Safi for many years, and has been a major contributor to research at Safi, has sent me some great news about Emily Poelina-Hunter (aka Em), who was a member of the Melbourne team at Safi during the 2011 season.

Louise writes:

I’m very pleased and (so very) proud to announce that one of my former PhD students, Emily Poelina-Hunter has been hired for a Level B Lectureship in Aboriginal Studies at La Trobe University.
Emily did her PhD on tattooing among Early Bronze Age (ca. 2900-2000 BCE) inhabitants of the Cycladic Islands in Greece based on evidence for tattoo kits and on Cycladic marble figurines. 
As far as I know, Emily is just the second indigenous scholar to get a PhD in Australia in Archaeology, but the first in Classical Archaeology. Although Emily’s research focus was prehistoric, she has studied and taught ancient Greek.

Here’s a picture of the 2011 University of Melbourne team at Safi. Em is in the first row on the right side.

Congratulations and success to Em in her new position!


Safi day at the ASOR 2021 meeting in Chicago!

Today, we had a full day of Safi related activities at the 2021 ASOR meeting.

It started with two sessions in honor of 25 years to the project, in which 9 great lectures were given, followed by a session in which we presented Jeff his Festschrift volume.

Following that, we’re going out to dinner to Milt’s kosher BBQ restaurant!

Was a great day! Here are some pictures

Festschrift for Jeff Chadwick is out!

I’m really happy to announce the publication of a Fs in honor of our good friend and colleague – and longtime senior Safi staff member, Jeff Chadwick (BYU).

Jeff and Aren in Area D East, at the end of the 2021 season.

The volume was edited by yours truly and George Pierce (BYU).

The full title is:

Maeir, A. M., and Pierce, G. A., eds. 2021. To Explore the Land of Canaan: Studies in Biblical Archaeology in Honor of Jeffrey R. Chadwick. Archaeology of the Biblical Worlds 4. Berlin: De Gruyter.

The volume can be found at:

The volume will officially be presented to Jeff in two weeks, at a special session at the ASOR meeting in Chicago.


New article on ground stone production technology and metal technology

A new article has just appeared, spearheaded by Jeremy Beller, which deals with using manufacturing marks on ground stone objects to study the spread of metal technology in the Southern Levant during the Early Bronze Age.

This is one more result of the very productive grant that Haskel Greenfield and I received a few years ago from the Canadian SSHRC.

The full title of the article is:

Beller, J. A., Greenfield, H. J., and Maeir, A. M. 2021. Evaluating Manufacture Marks on Ground Stone Objects as a New Proxy for the Spread of Metal Technology in the Southern Levant. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 40(Part B): 103233.

For the next 50 days (counting from Nov. 2nd, 2021), the article can be downloaded for free at:,rVDBY7cc

Here is the abstract of the article:

In the southern Levant, metal technology was first represented by exotic and prestige items during the Chalcolithic. Later, in the Early Bronze Age, metal implements were gradually adopted for domestic tasks. Since metal tools are rare in the archaeological record, the spread of metal technology can be traced through proxy measures, such as butchering marks on faunal remains. This study tests whether the marks made by metal and stone implements on a soft-stone medium can be distinguished from one another. It further examines a sample of manufacture marks on soft-stone artifacts from the Early Bronze Age site of Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath, Israel in order to determine whether metal technology had been integrated into the manufacture of ground stone objects. The results indicate that manufacturing marks on soft-stone objects can indeed be used as a proxy for tracking the spread of metallurgy, but also that metal implements had not been utilized in the manufacture of ground stone objects at EB III Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath.

Online Course on Biblical Archaeology starts (again) tomorrow (Nov. 1st, 2021)!

Tomorrow, November 1st, 2021, the 5th run of my MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on biblical archaeology starts!

Join the more than 7500 students who have already registered for this free (or, with accreditation, $99) course!

Be there, or be square!

Here’s the trailer:

And if you want to “cheat” and get a glimpse at the summary and final overview, check it out!

BAR mention of Safi study on remote sensing

A short article in “Bible History Daily” by N. Steinmeyer mentions the recently published article in “Levant” by Andy Creekmore and me, on a magnetometric study of Tell es-Safi/Gath (see here), and what we can learn from this on the urban planning in Iron Age Philistia and the Levant.

Check it out!

Here’s a short clip of the remote sensing work at Safi, during the 2017 season:

Get ready for the 5th run of my MOOC on Biblical Archaeology

The MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Biblical Archaeology will soon start its fifth run! Join the thousands of students from all over the world who have already taken this course, which gives you an in-depth introduction to archaeology in general, to biblical archaeology in particular, and enables you to get a feeling – and behind the scenes views – about what goes on in the field of biblical archaeology. Visit sites throughout Israel, and see how research is conducted in the field, in the labs, as we explore, study and understand the tangible past of Israel and Judah during the Iron Age.

Sign up now! The course re-opens on Nov. 1st, 2021!

Here’s the course trailer:

New article on sacred and profane donkeys at EB Safi

Glad to announce a new publication on the ritual and daily use of donkeys at EB Tell es-Safi/Gath.

The title of the paper is:

Greenfield, H. J., Ross, J., Greenfield, T. L., and Maeir, A. M. 2021. Sacred and the Profane: Donkey Burial and Consumption at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath. Pp. 269–78 in Fierce Lions, Angry Mice and Fat-Tailed Sheep: Animal Encounters in the Ancient Near East, eds. L. Recht and C. Tsouparopoulou. McDonald Institute Monographs and Conversations 16. Cambridge: McDonald Institute.

Do note that the entire volume (including this chapter) can be downloaded for free.

Interactive video tour of BIU – with a visit to the Safi lab!

Check out this very nice interactive video tour of the BIU campus, with visits to various faculties, research centers and projects, including a visit to the Tell es-Safi/Gath Project lab.

Follow Dr. Sharon Goldman, BIU VP for Global Resources as she tours the campus and shows a nice mélange of the fascinating things going on at BIU! As she visits the campus, you can choose what places to visit!

Really nice. Check it out!