Workshop on the Hazael Campaign in the “South” – BIU, Thursday, Jan. 19th, 2017

The first workshop for the 2016/2017 academic year of the Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times (RIAB), will be held this Thursday (January 19th, 2017) at Bar-Ilan University.

The workshop will deal with the archaeological evidence of the Hazael campaign to the south of the Land of Israel/Canaan, both from sites with direct evidence of this, sites with possible evidence of this, and sites from the same time period.

The title of the workshop is:

”And Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem”: Following Hazael’s Campaign to the South – An Archaeological Perspective

The workshop will start with short lectures about the relevant levels and finds from the five sites that will be discussed (Tell es-Safi/Gath, Gezer, Aphek/Antipatris, Jerusalem and Qubur el-Walayda).

Following lunch, a hands-on workshop with pottery from these sites will be presented, in which the participants will be able to see, touch, and discuss representative pottery from the relevant assemblages.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Amit Dagan or Dr. Omer Sergi, the organizers.

Here is the full invitation and schedule: riab-hazael-workshop_biu-jan-19-2017

Should be very interesting!



Upcoming meeting: From Nomadism to Monarchy? “The Archaeology of the Settlement Period”– 30 Years Later (March 15-16, 2017)

Heads up for a very interesting meeting that will be held at Tel Aviv University on March 15-16, 2017.

To mark almost 30 years since the publication of the Hebrew edition of the landmark volume, edited by N. Na’aman and I. Finkelstein, “From Nomadism to Monarchy” (Jerusalem: IES; Hebrew edition 1990; English edition 1992), the Annual Aharoni Memorial Conference will be devoted to reassessing this volume after some 3 decades of research.

The two day conference will include lectures by a long list of leading scholars who will deal with related issues, aiming to present reassessments and new perspectives on various topics relating, directly or indirectly, to the appearance and development of the Israelite and Judahite cultures in the Iron Age.

I am very fortunate to have been invited to participate as well. I will be giving a paper: “Like Frogs out of a Pond: Identity Formation in Early Iron Age Philistia and Beyond” – in which I will discuss some issues relating to how the different groups in early Iron Age southern Canaan formed and defined their identities, and how these can, and cannot, be seen archaeologically.

Below is the complete schedule for the day (thanks to Ido Koch for this – and here is a pdf version of it – from-nomadism-to-monarchy-march-2017-program):


from-nomadism-to-monarchy-march-2017-program_page_1 from-nomadism-to-monarchy-march-2017-program_page_2 from-nomadism-to-monarchy-march-2017-program_page_3 from-nomadism-to-monarchy-march-2017-program_page_4
















Should be very interesting!


New article on the Sea Peoples, the Mediterranean, and “Pulp Fiction”

A new article (see here for the PDF), by Louise Hitchcock and yours truly has appeared in the Festschrift in honor of Robert Laffineur.

In this paper, we discuss some of the misconceptions that have become entrenched in the study of the Sea Peoples and the Philistines and their supposed relationship with the Myceneaen culture.

The full title is:

Hitchcock, L. A., and Maeir, A. M. 2016 Pulp Fiction: The Sea Peoples and the Study of ‘Mycenaean’ Archaeology in Philistia. Pp. 145–55 in RA-PI-NE-U. Studies on the Mycenaean World Offered to Robert Laffineur for His 70th Birthday, ed. J. Driessen. AEGIS (Aegean Interdisciplinary Studies) 10. Louvain: Presses Univesitaires de Louvain.

Visit with Dr. T. Potts to Safi

Today, I had the honor and pleasure of touring Tell es-Safi/Gath with Dr. Timothy Potts, director of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Tim, by training is an archaeologist, so we had some very interesting discussions during the day.

The site itself, and the surrounding landscape was astoundingly beautiful – and the weather was extraordinary – so all in all it was a great day!

And from what I saw, no major weather damage to the different areas so far…


2nd meeting of “Lunch at Safi” – 17/1/17 – “מפגש שני של “צהריים בצפית

צהריים בצפית” – נפגשים לסנדוויץ’ ורעיון”

הסטודנטים והמרצים מהמח’ ללימודי א”י וארכיאולוגיה מוזמנים

“למפגש השני של “צהריים בצפית

 ביום ג’, ה-17.1.17, בשעה 13:30

(נושא המפגש: (שיוצג בידי פרופ’ אהרן מאיר

?מה הגנטיקה והאיזוטופים מלמדים אותנו על העבר של תל צפית

בואו עם סנדוויץ’ (או כל אוכל אחר) – ואנו נספק את הקפה/תה

ההתכנסות ב-13:30 – ההרצאה תחל ב-13:37, ותימשך עד 13:52, וכך תוכלו להספיק להגיע לשיעורים שמתחילים ב-14:00

!מצפים לראותכם! כולכם מוזמנים

צוות חפירות תל צפית

And a brief English translation:

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, the 2nd “Lunch at Safi” will be held. Students and faculty of the Dept. of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology are invited at 13:30 a brief talk, given by A. Maeir, on “What genetics and isotopes tell us about the past at Tell es-Safi/Gath”

Safi on the list of “Best Archaeological Finds in Israel in 2016”

A list of the “best archaeological finds in Israel in 2016” was just published, and our excavations at Safi have made the list!

Personally, the finds that are in the list don’t represent exactly what I would see as the 10 most important finds in Israel in 2016 – but since Safi is included – I’ll forgive them…

And what of finds were chosen? The EB donkey burials and that we have an Egyptian donkey – which in fact relates to a study published in 2016 on finds from earlier seasons – even if we did find 3 additional donkey burials in the 2016 season…

HT to Haskel for the link!

Entries in “The 5 Minute Archaeologist in the Southern Levant”

As mentioned previously, Cynthia Shafer-Elliott has edited a very nice volume – “The 5 Minute Archaeologist in the Southern Levant” (Equinox, 2016) in which a big group of practicing archaeologists in the near east (of which an enormous percentage are past or present Safi team members…), briefly introduce key topics in archaeology.

I wrote chapters on “What is Archaeology?“, “How are Sites Chosen?” and “Why Not Dig a Whole Site?

Check them out!