Rebecca Zami – Safi team member – on the cover of BAR!

The BAR “Dig Issue” is out and Rebecca Zami, Safi team member in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and a student of Jill Katz from YU, is the star!

Rebecca appears on the cover of the issue! In addition, as one of those who received a scholarship from the BAS, she wrote a very nice essay about her experiences at Safi (go here and scroll down to her essay).

Check it out!

Way to go Rebecca!

Microarchaeology in Area F

This afternoon, just after the MOOC went online, I drove to Tell es-Safi/Gath, to meet Prof. Elisabetta Boaretto (WIS) and Dr. Michael Toffolo (Université Bordeaux-Montaigne), to do some microarchaeological sampling, from a very interesting context in Area F. This is in a square, right inside the EB and MB fortifications, which had been excavated previously under the supervision of Prof. Jeff Chadwick (BYU).

We had already done some sampling in this area before (see here), but due to the very interesting results – and many more questions – we decided to return for another round of sampling (and maybe more will be required).

While I can’t tell a lot of what we found, as the research is still ongoing, there are some very interesting concentrations of phytoliths, ash, burned materials and brick detritus, located in the sediment layers of the latest EB and early MB contexts in this area.

See here some pictures that I took of the work. And since it is already after the first rains – everything around the tell was very, very green!


MOOC is up and running!

So, the MOOC is up and running, with great registration (as of this morning, just under 700 students), from countries from all over the world, including a few that don’t have diplomatic relations with Israel…:-)

A nice article on the course was just published on YNET, in Hebrew – check it out!

And for those who have not signed up – now is the time – and do it here!


In two more days, the MOOC on Biblical Archaeology starts!

The MOOC on Biblical Archaeology opens in two more days, on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018!
For those who already registered (as of yesterday, some 500 people are already registered), last night the first “brainteaser” was sent out!
If you want to join in on the fun – and learning – sign up for the course!

The 2019 season at Safi in the annual list in BAR

The annual list of excavations has been published by BAR, and as usual, for the last quarter century or so, the upcoming season at Tell es-Safi/Gath appears!

See here the notice in BAR and here to sign up online for the 2019 season!

Be there or be square!

And, if already, here’s a reminder about the MOOC on Biblical Archaeology that opens next week, on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018.

Join the hundreds who have already registered for the course! To register, go here.


Archaeological Science in the MOOC on Biblical Archaeology

The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in biblical archaeology, that I’ve mentioned previously (registration is open – go here), is about to start! The first lesson will go online next week, on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018. Following that, each week (save for a two week break at the end of December for the holidays), a new lesson will go online – a total of 8 lessons.

Yesterday, as part of the final work on the various lessons, we filmed at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot (WIS). There, we interviewed Prof. Stephen (Steve) Weiner and Prof. Elisabetta (Lisa) Boaretto, leading figures in the application of the exact sciences in archaeology.

As part of the course is not only to teach about Biblical Archaeology, but to give a general background on archaeology in general, and how it is practices – from field to lab – an important aspect is the inter- and multi-disciplinary research that is conducted in archaeology.

So, no better place than to do this at WIS, and to discussion with Steve and Lisa about various scientific applications in archaeology. More so, the stressed the integration of the two into what they call “Microarchaeology“.

As you can see in the pictures below, and as will appear on the MOOC, I interviewed Steve and Lisa in their labs, on such issues as the use of the Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) in archaeology, and how, with a step-by-step demonstration (and I even participated in this, not that proficiently, as you can see in the photos), Carbon 14 dating is conducted in the WIS facilities.

So don’t wait – sign up for the MOOC – it’s going to be very interesting!

See here some great pictures from this day: