Archaeology and Bible exhibit at the BIU central library

A small exhibit on how archaeological finds can help in the understanding of biblical texts will open next week in entrance foyer of the BIU Central Library.

The opening ceremony will be next Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 at 13:00, and the exhibit will continue until July 4th, 2017.

If you have a chance – do visit the exibit.

Here is the poster for the exhibit:

Safi and the Philistines in Science

This Friday (May 19, 2017), the prestigious journal Science will have an issue that will deal with various scientific angles on migration. As part of the issue, a very nice background article on archaeological and historical perspectives on migration (by Ann Gibbons) is included, and this article is already online.

In this article, the excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath, the Philistines – and yours truly – all get some really nice PR! :-)

Check it out!


Lecture on Iron I Philistines and other issues in Udine, Italy, at upcoming conference

On June 5-8, 2017, a very interesting conference will be held in Udine, Italy. The conference, Broadening Horizons 5, is aimed primarily as a forum for young scholars, but also has several keynote lectures by senior scholars. I am very honored that I was invited by the organizers to present one of the keynote lectures – “Group identities and interactions during the Bronze to Iron Age transformation: Complexity, entanglement and underlying mechanisms as seen in the Southern Levant.”

See below the preliminary schedule of the conference – that is comprised of 4 very intensive days of lectures that I’m sure will be very interesting! The detailed schedule will be published in the near future.

So, if you have to be in Udine at the time – pop by to hear my lecture! :-)


See below the preliminary program:

New article on the viewing Khirbet Qeiyafa from the perspective of Gath!

A new paper of the Safi project has just appeared. While the paper is based on a conference presentation from close to three years ago (in September 2014), and is not completely updated with recent finds and discussions, it does present my views on how I believe one should understand the finds from the fascinating site of Khirbet Qeiyafa (and aspects of wider perspective as well) – and in particular in light of the interpretations suggested by the site’s excavators (Yossi Gafinkel et al.).

The full title of the article is:

Maeir, A. M. 2017. Khirbet Qeiyafa in Its Regional Context: A View from Philistine Gath. Pp. 61–71 in Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Shephelah. Papers Presented at a Colloquium of the Swiss Society for Ancient Near Eastern Studies Held at the University of Bern, September 6, 2014, eds. S. Schroer and S. Münger. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 282. Fribourg: Academic Press.

A link to a PDF can be found here.


Safi display at BYU

Jeff Chadwick, Field Supervisor of Area F and core staff member of the project, put together a very nice display on the excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath, which can be seen at the BYU campus in Provo, Utah (at the JSB [Religion Building]).

See below a picture, courtesy of Jeff. So if you are on the campus – go take a look:

Kudos to Eric Welch

Congratulations are in order for long time Safi staff member, Eric Welch. Eric informed me that he was the runner-up for SBL’s “David Noel Freedman Award for Excellence and Creativity in Hebrew Bible Scholarship” for his paper “Who is the Šôbēb? Reconstructing the Identity of Judah’s Traitor in Micah 2:4.” I’ve read the paper and think Eric has done a very nice job of working between history and archaeology to tackle a difficult puzzle in the biblical text. I look forward to seeing it published!
The Society of Biblical Literature presents the Freedman Award annually to the author of the best essay on the Hebrew Bible based on the following criteria: a persuasive thesis that engages the Hebrew Bible and demonstrates quality of scholarship and significance to the field; clarity of expression and thought; and originality and creativity. Information about the Freedman Award and a list of previous winners can be found here.
Mazal tov, Eric! Well done!