Travel grants for students from the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society

Interested in digging this summer at Tell es-Safi/Gath and need some financial assistance?

Perhaps look into the travel grants from the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society!

The Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society


The following grants are offered to UK students of archaeology and
related subjects, for excavation or relevant research in Israel:

The Nicholas Slope Memorial Award, and a small number of further
grants, each normally up to £500

Application forms can be downloaded from:, where you
will also find more information.

Or else, write to: Administrator, Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society,
2nd Floor, Supreme House, 300 Regents Park Road, London N3 2JX

Queries: email

Applications and references must be received by Wednesday 20th March 2019.

The AIAS is non-political and embraces all religions and ethnic groups.
Please visit us on Facebook


HT: Jack Sasson

Brent Davis on the language(s) of the “Phaistos Disc” and “Linear A”

Dr. Brent Davis (Melbourne) is a long time core-team member of the Safi project. In addition to his interest in the Philistines, Brent is one of the leading experts in the world on Bronze Age Aegean scripts and languages.

Among his various works, he has published a book on stone vessels with inscriptions in Linear A (see here, and previously noted here), has questioned whether Cypro-Minoan script was used in Iron Age Philistia (see here), and has several joint articles on Philistine writing and language (here and here).

Now, he has put out what I believe is a brilliant article in which, based on a close statistical analysis, shows that the while both the Phaistos Disc and Linear A are undeciphered writing systems, he can demonstrate that the both are, with a high degree of certainty, encode the same language!

The 2017 team at Tell es-Safi/Gath had an opportunity to hear about his research in a lecture he gave during the 2017 season. In addition, he presented this paper at the AIA annual meeting in San Diego earlier this month (January 2019), and also for PASP = Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory at the University of Texas at Austin (in mid-Jan. 2019), where it was received very favourably.

For us “Philistines,” such studies are of interest and importance, as they shed light on issues that may help us understand aspects of language, literacy and related topics in Iron Age Philistia.

The full title of the article is:

Davis, B. 2018. The Phaistos Disk: A New Way of Viewing the Language Behind the Script. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 37(4): 373–410.

Check it out! Way to go Brent!


New paper on the Philistines in the Iron I

A new paper on the Philistines in the Iron I has just appeared.

The full details are:

Maeir, A. M. 2018. Iron Age I Philistines: Entangled Identities in a Transformative Period. Pp. 310–23 in The Social Archaeology of the Levant: From Prehistory to the Present, eds. A. Yasur-Landau, E. H. Cline and E. Rowan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Go here for a PDF.




Don’t hesitate! Join the 2019 team!

Now is the time to sign up for the 2019 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath! The online registration is up and running, and the finds in the 2019 season are going to be great. We will be working in various areas in the lower city (both already open and new areas) with lots of interesting finds – mainly from the Iron Age (Philistine Gath).

And for all those planning to join us – don’t forget to sign up for the MOOC on biblical archaeology – which serves as an excellent introduction to what we are doing at the site!

Registration continues until May 1st, 2019

Be there – or be square!

And to get a feeling of what you will find (or, what you will miss…), here are pictures from the 2018 season!

Fascinating interview with Ian Hodder on interface of religion and material culture

Check out this fascinating interview with Prof. Ian Hodder (Standford) on the interface between religion and material culture (see his book “Studies in the Human-Thing Entanglement“), part of the HAS (Homo Ars Project): Material Culture and Religion, created in collaboration with the OLLE/Mediterraneo Antico Foundation, directed by Dr. Nicola Laneri.

Well worth listening to this interview (and doing some follow up reading) for those interested in the archaeological and anthropological aspects of religion!


HT Nicola Laneri

Couple of new books…

Today, I received in the mail a couple of new books. They both look very interesting!

Frank, T. 2018. Household Storage in Ancient Israel and Judah. Oxford: Archaeopress

Farber, Z. et al. (eds.). 2018. Archaeology and History of 8th Century Judah. Atlanta: SBL (O. Borowski Fs)






I love getting books…:-)

Hebrew, Portuguese and soon Spanish video captions for the Biblical Archaeology MOOC!

As mentioned previously, the online course (MOOC) on Biblical Archaeology is going very well, and as of yesterday, 2100 participants have registered for the course!

Now we have some nice news about this. The entire course is in English, but to enable those interested in the course who don’t know enough English to follow it, there are now captions for the videos in the Hebrew, Portuguese (so far from the videos in Lesson 1, but more to follow), and I hope very soon in Spanish as well!

So, if any friends, family, colleagues or students are interested, and this will make it possible for them to follow the course – do them to register!

And if anyone (preferably with a background in biblical archaeology so as to know the relevant terms) is interested in volunteering to try and translate the video captions into other languages, do get in touch with me!

And BTW – just to get you and others more interested, in the lesson that will go online this coming Wednesday (January 23, 2019), in addition to some very interesting aspects of Israelite and Judahite culture and daily life, we will have a video on making biblical period food (and accompanying recipes to that participants can try them out on their own!). This was a lot of fun!



P.S. And thanks to Jorge Fabbro for the Portuguese translation!