Handheld LIDAR scanning of cave at Maresha

Last year, Boaz Zissu, Rafi Kent and yours truly received an equipment grant from the ISF to purchase some really cool equipment. This included a airborne LIDAR scanner (carried on a drone) and a hand held LIDAR scanner (GeoSLAM Zeb-Revo).

We are now in the process of starting to use this equipment and several students at BIU are being trained in the use of the equipment.

A couple of weeks ago, Itamar Berko, who is an MA student in our department, did a LIDAR scan of a rather complex cave at Maresha. He walked around the cave for about 40 minutes, holding the scanner. Then, based on the collected data, he produced a really cool 3D model of the cave.

See this link to check out the 3D model. Try it out and move around in the cave – it is quite astounding!

And this is the result of a very short scan! Imagine the detail that could be produced from a much more extended scan!

Definitely very cool. We hope to start using these tools in various manners in the near future.



On Thursday, March 7th, and 16:00, a very interesting workshop will be conducted at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem.

The workshop, entitled “A ‘GLOBAL TURN’ FOR THE ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORY OF THE SOUTHERN LEVANT”, will be given by Oystein LaBianca (Andrews University) and Terje Stordalen (University of Oslo), and respondents will be Ann Killebrew (Penn State Univ) and yours truly (Aren M. Maeir, BIU).

See here for an overview of what will be discussed.

Should be interesting! If you are in this neck of the woods, hope to see you there!


Brent Davis teaches hieroglyphics using VR!

Dr. Brent Davis (Univ. Melbourne; long-time core staff team member of the Safi project) is a master at various ancient languages. Now, he has harnessed virtual reality technology (VR) to teach ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

Check out the cool video below, where students are reading the hieroglyphs from a VR model of Nefertari’s tomb!

Very Cool! Way to go Brent!

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/300627980″>Learning Hieroglyphics in the Tomb of Nefertari in Virtual Reality</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/artsunimelb”>Arts Unimelb</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Lecture on Tell es-Safi/Gath at the Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem, Feb. 20th, 2019

On Wednesday evening, Feb. 20th, 2019, I will be giving a lecture, in Hebrew, at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, on the results of the recent seasons of excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath. In the lecture, I will focus, in particular, on the finds from the lower city.

So, if you’re in the region – you are invited!