Some great aerials of Safi!

Pascal Partouche, who used to take the end of season aerial photos using a balloon, and is now a drone aficionado, kindly posted some great drone photos and a really nice video clip of the upper tell.

The photos are of areas J, E, A and F, while the video, flies over the upper tell, from east to west.

Check it out!

Thanks Pascal!

Don’t forget to register for the 2019 season!

The 2019 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath is just around the corner. We will be in the field from June 23rd until July 19th, 2019.

Now is the time to register online for the season. The deadline for registration is May 1st, 2019 – so now’s the time to go ahead and sign up!

I promise you that you will have the experience of a lifetime!

Be there – or be square!

(note – if you join us – you be IN a square…)


Visit of Chinese Ambassador

Today, we were honored to host his Excellency, Mr. Zhan Yognxin, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Israel, at the Tell es-Safi/Gath lab at BIU.

The ambassador and his entourage, along with Prof. Yaron Harel (Dean of the Faculty of Jewish Studies at BIU) and Dr. Danielle Gurevitch (Chair, the Sir Naim Dangoor Centre for Universal Monotheism, BIU), stopped by at the lab as part of a visit to BIU.

In the lab, I explained to them about our work, some of the finds, and various exciting things relating to the project.

They also had a chance to meet my new PhD student from China, Jiang.

I do hope further connections with China and Chinese institutions will develop from this. It would be great to have a Chinese contingent on dig!

Here are some pictures from the visit:


New article on the fortifications of Tell es-Safi/Gath

A new article on the fortifications of Tell es-Safi/Gath has just appeared. The study,

based on a talk given at a meeting in Haifa a few years ago, was spearheaded by Eric Welch, along with several of the Safi team.
In this study, the fortifications of the site are discussed, and in particular, in comparison to finds and interpretations of Bliss and Macalisters’ excavations at the site in 1899, as opposed to what we now know based on our work for the last 23 years or so. 
The article can be found at this link.
The full title is:
Welch, E. L., Chadwick, J. R., Shai, I., Katz, J., Greenfield, H., Dagan, A., and Maeir, A. M.
2019. “The Limits of the Ancient City”: The Fortifications of Tell es-Safi/Gath 115 Years After Bliss and Macalister. Pp. 151–66 in Exploring the Holy Land: 150 Years of the Palestine Exploration Fund, eds. D. Gurevich and A. Kidron. London: Equinox.

New article on Philistine technology

A new article on ancient technologies in the Iron Age Philistine culture, has just appeared. The article was published in a special issue of the Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies, with several studies focusing on ancient technology, in honor of Dr. Nava Panitz-Cohen.

The article, written by 16 of researchers who are connected to the Safi project, examines what we know and can learn about technologies (in a broad sense of the term) in use in the Iron Age Philistine culture, using the finds from Philistine Tell es-Safi/Gath as a case study, and how this can shed light on a broad range of issues relating to the Philistines and the Iron Age Levant. Special attention is placed on the importance of the study of technology for elucidating broad aspects of ancient culture.
The full title is:
Maeir, A. M., Ben-Shlomo, D., Cassuto, D., Chadwick, J. R., Davis, B., Eliyahu Behar, A., Frumin, S., Gur-Arieh, S., Hitchcock, L. A., Horwitz, L. K., Manclossi, F., Rosen, S., Verduci, J., Welch, E. L., Weiss, E., and Workman, V.  2019.  Technological Insights on Philistine Culture: Perspectives from Tell es-Safi/Gath. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 7(1): 76–118.

Lectures in NY in the beginning of April 2019

I will be in NY in the beginning of April, 2019, and I will be giving a few lectures. Here is one that is open to the public:

New York Aegean Bronze Age Colloquium: Monday, 1 April 2019, 6:00 pm (Hemmerdinger Screening Room (Library, Room E706), Hunter College): New Insights on the Philistines and the Sea Peoples in Light of Two Decades of Excavations at Tell es-Safi—Gath of the Philistines

Be there – or be square!



Kudos to Dr. Brent Davis – laureate of the 2019 “Michael Ventris Award for Mycenaean Studies”!

Wow, wow, wow!

Dr. Brent Davis (Melbourne) Safi core staff member, who is also a world leader in ancient Aegean languages and scripts, has been awarded the Michael Ventris Award for Mycenaean Studies for 2019!

At Safi – we already knew that Brent was great! This is yet another international recognition of this!

Here’s a picture of Brent (in the middle) with the Area K2 team in 2017.


Way to go Brent!