After season visits to Tell es-Safi/Gath

Even though the 2019 is over, Tell es-Safi/Gath is still active! On Sunday, I was at the tell in the evening for an interview by a documentary film crew, yesterday, I gave a talk to the Azekah team about the 2019 season, and today, they will be onsite (along with some other people) to get a tour of the finds from this season.

It looks like next week I’ll be on site again – hopefully to continue with archaeomagnetic sampling of various contexts on the site.

Busy, busy, busy… :-)

Great article on the 2019 season at Safi in the Times of Israel!

A very well-written article on the results of the 2019 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath has just appeared in the Times of Israel. Amanda Borschel-Dan, based on a telephone interview that we had today, wrote up a very nice piece about the major finds of the season and some of the possible ramifications. In particular, how perhaps the large size of the early Iron Age city of Gath might have been the basis for biblical traditions and memories of giants having originated at Gath.

As I’ve already announced (see here), the article also notes that the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project will field its last major season in the summer of 2021 (two more seasons).

So, if you want to join our “giant” project – you have two more years to do this!

Jerusalem post does “teshuva”… :-)

After the not-so-great article that appeared in the Jerusalem Post late last night (see here), today I was contacted and interviewed by Sonia Epstein, a reporter at the Post.

And now, following the interview, a much better and more accurate article on the results of the 2019 season has appeared.

As we say in Hebrew, the Post perhaps has repented (“teshuva” in Hebrew).

All is forgiven! :-)

And now for the inaccurate reports…

Following the very nice article in Haaretz yesterday (see here), the news item was picked up by a few papers. And with that, already, the inaccuracies are running rife, both in the archaeological (and biblical…) details (here) – and even in putting in a picture of Yossi Garfinkel and at Khirbet er-Rai and a short clip about Tel Eton (here), and implying it was me at Tell es-Safi/Gath…

At least they did spell my name correctly… :-)

Nice article on Safi in the English Haaretz

A very nice article (by Ariel David) on the just finished season at Tell es-Safi/Gath has appeared online in the English version of Haaretz. In it, the significance of the newly discovered early Iron Age remains are discussed, and the possible connection to biblical traditions on giants at Gath.

Check it out!

Since the article is a behind a paywall, for those without access, here is a PDF (but without the pictures):

Haaretz English_July 24_2019_Goliath’s true hometown found_ Lost 3,000_yearold Philistine city emerges beneath Gath

P.S. If you search for the article on different search engines, you may be able to circumvent the paywall

Nice visit to Ein Asawir, Tel Keisan and Tel Shimron

Yesterday (July 23, 2019), Jeff and I took a field trip to a few sites in northwestern Israel. We visited several sites, all of which were very interesting. It was nice to have a chance to see other teams in action, and view it as a visitor – and not an excavator

We visited the following sites:

  1. The IAA excavation at Ein Asawir at the entrance to Wadi Ara, directed by Itzik Paz and colleagues. This is an enormous excavation of a mega site (some 700 dumans in size) which is for the most part a fascinating EB IB settlement, with truly spectacular results – much of it quite “game changing”. As the results are so interesting, I’ll let the excavators and the IAA announce the finds when they deem appropriate.
  2. The excavations, directed by David Schloen (Chicago) and Gunnar Lehmann (BGU) at Tel Keisan in the western Galilee. They have returned to the site following a long hiatus after the French excavations, and have some very interesting Iron Age finds.
  3. The excavations at Tel Shimron in the northern Jezreel Valley, co-directed by Daniel Master (Wheaton) and Mario Martin (TAU). At this very large tell site, they are exposing really interesting finds from many periods, from the MB through modern periods, using many innovative field methods.

Here are some pictures from the trip (courtesy of Jeff and myself):

Dates for the 2020 season: June 28th to July 24th, 2019

Here’s an early head’s up for the dates of the 2020 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath: Sunday, June 28th to Friday, July 24th, 2020.

So write this in your calendar and start figuring out how you will work it out to be on the team.

For those of you who have always dreamed of joining the team, note that the 2020 and 2021 seasons will be the final seasons of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project! This will mark 25 years of the project – a timely occasion to wrap up field work, and concentrate on publishing the results!

So, if you are interested in participating in one of the greatest excavations around, and having the experience of a lifetime, you have only two more seasons to join us! So don’t miss out on this fun, enriching and enlightening experience!

The online registration will open in a few weeks, so do sign up ASAP!

Aren