New article on Tell es-Safi/Gath LB building

Today I received the final published pdf of a joint article that was written about the Late Bronze Age building that we excavated in Area E (supervised by Itzik Shai and J. Uziel). In this very interesting paper, we discuss the building, related finds and most importantly, we attempt to define the function of the building and the social status of its occupants.

Here’s the full reference:
Shai, I., Maeir, A. M., Uziel, J., and Gadot, Y. 2011. Differentiating Public Buildings from Residencies: A Case Study from Late Bronze Age II Tell es-Safi/Gath. Pp. 107–31 in Household Archaeology in Ancient Israel and Beyond, eds. A. Yasur-Landau, J. R. Ebeling and L. B. Mazow. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 50. Leiden: Brill.


Another bulla mentioning Gath?

Robert Deutsch has notified me that another bulla that is about to be published in the second volume on the Kaufman collection (already noted here), may also be connected to the site of Gath.

Robert has been kind enough to write to me that: “there is another fiscal bulla (no. 661) reading: “Belonging to Azar, son of Gitti” (the Gittite)”.

This is the picture of the bulla that Robert has sent me.

UPDATE: Robert has now also kindly supplied a line drawing of the bulla – here it is:

Several questions arise from this:
1) Does “gitti” mean someone from Gath? Or perhaps, could it be a private name of someone not from Gath?
2) Once again, as noted with the two last posts (here and here), this is of interest, but due to the fact that it derives from a collection and its provenance and/or authenticity are not 100% clear, one has to relate to it with caution.
Continue reading “Another bulla mentioning Gath?”

Philipp Stockhammer and Louise Hitchcock at the lab

Today, we had a very interesting visit to the Tell es-Safi/Gath lab. Dr. Philipp Stockhammer, from Heidelberg University, an expert on Mycenaean pottery (and who works on the pottery from Tiryns, Greece), came to the lab to look at the LB and Iron I pottery from Tell es-Safi/Gath. Along with him came Louise Hitchcock, who is already a full team member of the Safi team, but wanted to see some of the materials in lab.

The visit was very important, and interesting, as their was some fascinating discussions on the relevant pottery (local and imported pottery of the LB and Iron Age, and in particular, the Aegean and Aegeanizing pottery from these period). Philipp, with this extensive experience with Aegean pottery had several important observations on the finds from Safi.

Joe Uziel was in the lab and explained about the LB pottery, and Alex Zukerman explained about the Iron I pottery.

All told, a very interesting afternoon.


Call for applications for field school in archaeological science

The following call for applications for the 2009 field school in archaeological science (see reports on last year’s field school, here and here, and general information here), to be held as part of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project’s upcoming season has been published.

Here is a nice picture of the archaeological science field school as it looks in the excavation area and how it is integrated into the regular field work of the project

And here’s a picture of some of the field office lab facilities in which results are analyzed in the afternoon/evening, after the day’s work in the field

See below for the full text of the call:
Continue reading “Call for applications for field school in archaeological science”

Tell es-Safi/Gath in the list of this year’s most important finds in Biblical Archaeology

Todd Bollen, who runs an excellent blog and website on biblical studies and biblical archaeology related issues, has compiled a list of the 8 most important finds in biblical archaeology for this year.

Number 2 on the list is Tell es-Safi/Gath. What is particularly nice is that Todd places the Tell es-Safi/Gath excavations in the list, not on the basis of this or that particular find, but based on the overall finds and general contibution that the Tell es-Safi/Gath excavations has provided on a wide variety of issues.

Thanks Todd!!
Continue reading “Tell es-Safi/Gath in the list of this year’s most important finds in Biblical Archaeology”

And yet another article on Safi

We have been informed by David Schloen, that the new Festschrift in honor of Larry Stager (that David edited) is about to appear and will be presented to Larry during the coming ASOR meeting in Boston.

Among the many VERY interesting articles in the book (some of which have already been sent to me courtesy of the authors), there is also an article on Tell es-Safi/Gath by yours truly.
Continue reading “And yet another article on Safi”

Special issue of IJES – Archaeological Science in Israel

Today, the special issue of the Israel Journal of Earth Sciences (56 (2-4): 2007) dedicated to “Archaeological Science in Israel” has appeared. This triple issue, which was edited by Elisabetta Boaretto, Ruth Shahack-Gross, Sariel Shalev, Ehud Weiss and Steve Weiner, contains a collection of articles that summarize what’s happening in Israel in some of the main fields of archaeological science (see table of contents here).
Continue reading “Special issue of IJES – Archaeological Science in Israel”

Some of the “goings on” in Area A

As mentioned in previous posts, Louise Hitchcock and her team in Area A2, came up with some very interesting finds. Among others, and probably most importantly, they excavated a small portion of an early Iron IIA level, most probably dating to the 10th or early 9th century BCE, which had on it typical early Iron Age IIA pottery (decorated with red slipped, handburnished surfaces), a fragment of a clay seal impression dating to ca. the reign of Siamun (in the 10th century BCE [NOT a seal with the name of Siamun as has been spread in some rumours…]) and a round, pebbled hearth.

Continue reading “Some of the “goings on” in Area A”

Just a nice picture

Hi! I just came back from vacavation and found a mess load of photos of the work in Area D that had been taken by Lotte Vandorpe, one of the volunteers in the excavation (sent through Amit Dagan). So that you know what I meant by A LOT OF FINDS IN AREA D, here is a photograph of a regular “day at the office” this season in Area D.

Please – try not to salivate on your keyboard … :-)

Continue reading “Just a nice picture”

update for July 28

Well, interesting things are still appearing, even in the last week…

In Area E, we excavated an almost complete skeleton of an equid, apparently a donkey, found in the late EB levels, apparently in a pit.

In Area P, Rona has found a nice collection of rodent skeletal material in the material that was collected from the Iron I food storage room with the Phytolith level. Right below this, a rich level with late LB pottery was found – this is what awaits us in the next season.

In Area D – the finds are simply astounding, more an more vessels are appearing – next year we will have a lot of fun …

That’s all for now …