Who says there isn’t a pot of gold at the of the rainbow?

Just to prove that there is a treasure at the end of the rainbow, here is a picture that Dr. Iossi Bordowicz (former Safi core team staff member; currently director of heritage at the INPA) took today – in which you see Tell es-Safi/Gath at the end of rainbow! Definitely – a worthwhile and proven treasure!

For those interested, the view is taken from the NW, and you can see the white chalk cliffs of the tell on the lower left, Area F and the summit of tell slightly to the left of the center of the picture.

Check it out!

And thanks to Iossi!

Safi (and related) posters at the ASOR meeting (1)

Here are three of the Safi related posters that were displayed at the ASOR conference in Boston last week.

  1. “3D Geometric Morphometrics and Sheep/Goat Breeds in
    the Early Bronze Age of Tell es‐Safi/Gath” by Tina Greenfield et al.
  2. “‘Cult’ of the Philistines?” by Maddi Harris
  3. “Raw material characterization and lithic procurement in the Azraq Basin, Jordan, during the Lower-Middle Paleolithic: A pilot study from Shishan Marsh 1”, by Jeremy Beller (this is not Safi research, but by a Safi team member)

Here are the three posters:

Greenfield et al poster ASOR 2017

Harris_ASOR Poster 2017

ASOR2017 poster – jbeller

New article on the Philistines in the Finkelstein Fs

A new article, by me and Louise, on new perspectives on the Philistines, has just appeared in the Festschrift in honor of Israel Finkelstein.

The full title of the article is:

Maeir, A. M., and Hitchcock, L. A. 2017. Rethinking the Philistines: A 2017 Perspective. Pp. 249–67 in Rethinking Israel: Studies in the History and Archaeology of Ancient Israel in Honor of Israel Finkelstein, eds. O. Lipschits, Y. Gadot and M. J. Adams. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns.

Here is a PDF of the article: Maeir-Hitchcock_Rethinking the Philistines_Finkelstein Fs_2017

[Permission from the Publisher for posting the PDF: Published in Rethinking Israel: Studies in the History and Archaeology of Ancient Israel in Honor of Israel Finkelstein, eds. O. Lipschits, Y. Gadot and M. J. Adams. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, copyright © 2017 by Eisenbrauns; placed here by permission of the publisher. T book may be purchased at: https://www.eisenbrauns.org/books/titles/978-1-57506-787-2.html%5D



A blast from the past: Group pictures of the 1997 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath

Just came upon these photos – and they are a real blast from the past!

Two pictures of the team (mostly BIU students) from the 1997 season of excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath. The images are taken in Area A, after the first season that was just two weeks long. A lot has happened since then!

We’ve come a long way baby…

Tell es-Safi/Gath related talks at the ASOR and SBL meetings in Boston, 2017

Next week (Wed., Nov. 15th to Tuesday, Nov. 21st, 2017), the annual meetings of ASOR and SBL will be held, back-to-back, in Boston.

There will be a bunch of talks (and posters) given at the two meetings which are directly related to the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project.

See the list below – and if you can be there – it would be great to see you!



Thursday, Nov. 16th:

Session 2C Archaeology of Israel I, Harbor 3:

10:40 Aren Maeir (Bar-Ilan University), “The 2017 Season of Excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath” (20 min.)

Session 2J Houses and Households in the Near East: Archaeology and History I, Hancock:

11:25 Haskel Greenfield (University of Manitoba), Tina Greenfield (University of Saskatchewan), Elizabeth Arnold (Grand Valley State University), Aren Maeir (Bar-Ilan University), “A Bunch of Asses: Recent Asinine Discoveries from Early Bronze Tell es-Safi/Gath” (15 min.)

Session 2F Archaeology of the Ancient Near East: Bronze and Iron Ages II, Lewis:

11:45 Jeffrey Chadwick (Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center), “How to Build a Glacis: Construction Dynamics of the MB II Fortifications at Tell es-Safi/Gath” (15 min.)

Session 3B Archaeology and Biblical Studies I, Harbor 2:

3:25 Amit Dagan (Bar-Ilan University) and Aren Maeir (BarIlan University), “‘And the Gods of the Philistines’ (Judges 10:6): Understanding Philistine Cultic Practices in Light of Archaeological and Textual Evidence” (15 min.)

Friday, Nov. 16th

Session 8I Archaeology of the Southern Levant II, Webster:

4:45 Vanessa Workman (Bar-Ilan University) and Adi Eliyahu Behar (Bar-Ilan University), “Early Iron Workshops at Tel Megiddo and Tell es-Safi/Gath: Comparative Analysis of Working Debris and Paraphernalia” (20 min.)

5:10 Eric Welch (University of Kansas), “The Gats of Gath: Ninth Century Olive Oil Production in Area K at Tell es-Safi/Gath” (20 min.)

Posters (Galleria Exhibit Hall):

  • “Morphometrics and Sheep Goat Breeds in the Early Bronze Age of Tell es-Safi/Gath” Tina Greenfield (University of Saskatchewan), Jane Sanford (University College London), Haskel Greenfield (University of Manitoba), Shira Albaz (Bar-Ilan University), and Aren Maeir (Bar-Ilan University)
  • “Cult of the Philistines: Ethnographic Artistic Reconstruction of Ritual Space” Madaline Harris-Schober (University of Melbourne)
  • “The Missing Link? Olive Oil Production in the Ninth Century B.C.E. at Tell es-Safi/Gath” Chloe Clouse (University of Kansas), Christina Olson (University of Kansas), and Eric Welch (University of Kansas)
  • “If Stones Could Speak: The 2000 Year Old Square at Tell es-Safi/Gath” Florencia Fustinoni (University of British Columbia)


Sunday, Nov. 19th:
Session S19-227: Israelite Religion in Its West Asian Environment, Room: Back Bay C (Second Level) – Sheraton Boston Hotel (SB) (1:00 PM to 3:30 PM)

Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan University, Panelist (30 min)
Francesca Stavrakopoulou, University of Exeter, Panelist (30 min)
Jeffrey Stackert, University of Chicago, Panelist (30 min)
Steven Weitzman, University of Pennsylvania, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (45 min)

Session S19-301: Animal Studies and the Bible, Tufts (Third Level) – Boston Marriott Copley Place

4:00: Haskel J. Greenfield, University of Manitoba, Jane Gaastra, University College London, Tina Greenfield, University of Saskatchewan and Aren F. Maeir, Bar-Ilan University: Early Bronze Age (‘Canaanite’) Urban Provisioning–A Zooarchaeological Perspective on Animal Exploitation Strategies (30 min)