The “No-Season” dig shirt! (and mask)

We are all living in a really crazy and scary time. As many of you know, the 2020 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath was cancelled due to the Corona crisis. Nevertheless, we are still looking forward to being back in the field next summer – and hopefully, by then, we will all be over these troubled times.
Although we didn’t get into the field this season, the Safi lab staff thought it would be a nice idea to make a dig shirt for this “no-season” (see below the design) and also, offer a Corona mask with the Safi symbol on it (in the middle of the mask; see the smiling lion symbol on our homepage).
So, if you are interested in ordering one (or more) of the shirts, and perhaps a mask as well, please copy and fill in the table below, and send it back to: noseason2020@gmail.com.
Please fill out all the requested details in the table, including type, number, sizes and colors of requested shirts and mask. Prices include shipping!
Please send this back no later than August 25, 2020.
Once we have the amounts and payments, we will be able to complete the order and ship out the shirts.
Order form for shirts/masks for the “Safi 2020 no-season”

Price includes shipping; please mark number of shirts for each size in each color; masks are one size, in black

Item Green White Dark Blue Yellow Gray Light Blue Pink Orange Black
Short sleeve shirt (cotton)

US$13

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¾ sleeve shirt (cotton)

US$15

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Short sleeve quick dry shirt

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Mask (1 size, black)

US$7

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Payment and shipping details:

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Name: ______________________________________________________

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Shipping Address (if different from above): __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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CCV: ____

A Hollywood view of Philistine warriors (fighting Samson)

So, if you ever were wondering what the actual Philistines looked like, here’s a short clip of a Hollywood view of what Philistine warriors looked like, and how they fought (not that impressively, if I may say), against Samson.

This is from the movie Samson (2018).

Love the metal face masks that some of the Philistines are wearing…

(If I may note, and in particular for the next Hollywood movie involving Philistines, if only the producers would have hired me as an advisor, I might have helped them make it look a bit more related to the archaeological finds…just saying…)

Just published study on Paleomagnetism of late Iron Age Jerusalem – and the Safi connection!

A super interesting article was just published by Yoav Vaknin and colleagues, on paleomagnetic studies on the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE.

The study appeared in PLoS One, and there are many media reports on it (see, e.g., here and here).

So what’s the connection to Safi? Besides the fact that I’m briefly mentioned in one of the media reports (here), similar work has been carried out, by Yoav, at Safi, in particular relating to remains of the Iron IIA Hazael destruction at the site. While this destruction is not as closely dated as the 586 destruction – and it is roughly dated to ca. 830 BCE, it does represent a clear and very well-defined event, that can be dated to no more than within a few decades (e.g. here). Hopefully, results of this will be published as well in the future.

In the meantime, see here some pictures of Yoav taking samples from the Hazael destruction level in Area M and Area X!

Cool study on Byzantine period wine growing in the Negev published in PNAS!

Udi Weiss (Safi archaeobotanist), Daniel Fuks (BIU archaeology PhD student) and colleagues, just published a super interesting article in PNAS, on the short lived wine production industry in the Byzantine Negev.

Check it out – a very interesting study, including coverage in numerous media outlets (such as: here, here, here and here).

Way to go Udi and Daniel!

Printing a LMLK handle!

Today, Noam and Yaniv printed a small scale model of a LMLK handle with the new 3D printer!

See below a clip of the printer in action, and photos of the handle right after printing was finished (and you can see the stamp if you look closely) and the handle being washed in a pottery bucket (to take off the extra plastic used by the printer in the process of “building” the object)!

This is totally cool!


Visit to Tel Hadid excavations

Today I had the opportunity to visit the excavations at Tel Hadid, directed by Dr. Ido Koch of Tel Aviv University. This is the 2nd season of excavations at this very complex and multi-period site, and they already have some very interesting finds (mainly from the late Iron Age, Hellenistic and Byzantine periods so far).

This excavation is one of the few excavations in the field this summer, along with the Tell Abu Shusha (directed by Avner Ecker of BIU) and Tel Azekah (directed by Oded Lipschits and Yuval Gadot of TAU) excavations that start in a few weeks.

Here’s two photos of the visit (with visitors wearing masks and keeping social distance), courtesy of Debi Cassuto, with Ido (right foreground) explaining about the site: