Nice article in the “Mail online” about the discoveries at Safi!

A nice article has appeared in the “Mail Online” newspaper on the finds at Safi in the last season, and in particular the possible connection between these finds and the biblical traditions of Philistine Giants.

Check it out!

HT to Becky Randall who was a Safi team member in 2017.

Visit to the Azekah and Qiryat Yearim excavations

Today, I had the pleasure to visit the Azekah and Qiryat Yearim excavations.

At Azekah, Oded Lipschits gave me and Itzik Shai (Ariel Univ. and Burna excavations), a great two hour tour of the site! We walked over the entire site and got to see, in detail, all the various excavation areas. Very interesting finds and great work. We were then invited to join them for breakfast – which clearly wins out as the best breakfast in Israeli excavations! I think they deserve a “Macalister Star” (which is the archaeological equivalent of a “Michelin Star”…:-). The highlight of the tour was when I ate breakfast, with a view of Tell es-Safi/Gath…

I then continued to the Qiryat Yearim excavations, and I was joined by Profs. Aharon Demsky (BIU) and Ronny Reich (Haifa). We then received a very in-depth and interesting tour of the site (two hours as well) by Prof. Israel Finkelstein (TAU).

Both sites have very interesting finds, with important ramifications for understanding the Iron Ages and other periods in the region. Needless to say, the results at Azekah are very important in relation to our finds at Tell es-Safi/Gath, and how these two sites interact (and in some periods, don’t interact).

Thanks for the excavators for these great tours to these sites!


And then there is the hogwash…

The BIU liason to non-Hebrew Press (Elana) brought this article to my attention.

What can I say, this is a lot of hogwash. It doesn’t matter what you say, someone will read into it what they want to understand, and use if for their agendas.

There was nothing of the sort in what was reported in the press, in the three cases that I was interviewed directly (Haaretz, Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post). Other places where I was quoted, are not that accurate. But in any case, none of the political claims and statements that are presented in this horrible article represent what I told the press.

What is funny, that from reading various secondary and tertiary media reports on the finds from this season, there were three different types of reactions:

1) Proof of the Bible. Haleluja!
2) I’m a Bible basher.
3) I’m using the Bible for political reasons.
That being the case, and wide range of interpretations, I guess I’m doing fine…

Updated plan of Tell es-Safi/Gath

See below an updated plan of the site, following the 2019 season, with all the various excavation areas. Included are the new areas, and expansions of old ones, including the new IAA excavation (mentioned here), which has been called “Area Z”.

Lots of work done, and plenty more to do in the last two seasons of the project!

Thanks to J Rosenberg for preparing the plan.

Highly recommended!

I’m reviewing now a very nice volume, which has a collection of overviews on the history and archaeology of Iron Age (ca. 1200-600 BCE) Mediterranean cultures. Highly recommended! While experts on specific topics will have comments on this or that aspect of each article, overall, the volume provides great summaries of the main issues at hand. Highly relevant for anyone interested in interconnections in the Mediterranean world during (and before and after…) the Iron Age.

The title is:

Wittke, A. -M. 2018. The Early Mediterranean World, 1200–600 BCE. Brill’s New Pauly, Supplement 9. Leiden: Brill. (it’s an English translation of the version from 2015).