Pictures from the Ackerman Family Workshop in Biblical Archaeology

As promised, here are some pictures from the 1st Annual Ackerman Family Workshop in Biblical Archaeology, which was held on April 15th-16th, 2015. As you may recall, the first day was a full day of lectures at BIU (see the great picture of all the participants during the lunch break), while the 2nd day was a field trip by some of those who presented lectures on the 1st day, to sites in the Shephelah.

It was a great workshop!

Philipp stockhammer at workshop Aren Maeir lecturing at workshop Aren Maeir at Tel Burna Ackerman field trip at Tel Burna Ackerman workshop participants

Mini-season on the tell today

As mentioned yesterday, today, a group of us (Steve, Amit, Yotam, Shira, Erin, Maria, Jeff, Dina and yours truly) went to the tell for a “mini-season” to do some sampling and check for potential places to carry out 14C dating of the LB/Iron I transition. We worked in Areas A and F, and actually do seem to have found a couple of places which may serve us during the coming season for possibly finding good sequences of 14C dates for this transition. The reason why we are so interested in this is that we now have two sets of dates (one published and one about to be published) which indicate that this transition (and in particular the earliest appearance of early Philistine pottery), at Tell es-Safi/Gath, may have already commenced in the late 13th cent. BCE – somewhat earlier than seen at most sites.

See here some pictures of the work in Area A, and fragments of a very nice Philistine Bichrome “stirrup jar” (if you look closely you can see a bird decoration!) – which I found sticking out of a freshly washed-away section of the cliff just below Area F – where we often find interesting “goodies”.

In addition, we could not get over the thorns that have grown all over the tell. They are like a jungle – with some of the more than 7 feet high, making some parts of the tell, simply inaccessible! In all the twenty years of work on the site, I don’t remember any year in which the overgrowth, and especially of these really nasty thorns, was so high!


IMG_3541 IMG_3534 IMG_3532 IMG_3529

Short, one day season at Tell es-Safi/Gath tomorrow

Tomorrow, Monday, April 20th, a small team will be going out to the field for a one day season at the tell. We will be looking for good samples for 14C dating which we hope to find in various locations in Area A and F. In particular, we are looking for samples from some specific contexts representing the transition between the Late Bronze and Iron Ages.

Should be interesting – I’ll update on this tomorrow.


Ackerman Family Annual Workshop in Biblical Archaeology

As mentioned previously, this past Wednesday-Thursday, the 1st annual Ackerman Family Workshop in Biblical Archaeology was held, and the topic was the Late Bronze Age in Southern Canaan. The first day consisted of a full day of lectures that were given at BIU, by scholars from various universities in Israel and US and Europe. In addition, to the 20 odd speakers, about 70 colleagues and students, from all the universities in Israel (as well as a nice amount of visitors from abroad), joined us for the day. The talks were very interesting and thought provoking, and interesting discussions developed – both during the sessions and in the breaks between them. Needless to say, it was also nice to see so many friends and colleagues.

The following day, on Thursday, a group of the lecturers went on a field trip to various sites that were discussed in the talks, including Beth Shemesh, Lachish, Burna and Gath. At each site, we were guided by the directors of the excavations, and very interesting discussions developed.

Based on what I can say, and the reactions of many of the participants, this meeting was quite a smashing success!

I hope to post pictures next week.


1st Annual Ackerman Family Workshop on Biblical Archaeology – Today at BIU!

Today and tomorrow, the First Annual Ackerman Family Workshop in Biblical Archaeology, will be held at BIU. The workshop, which is entitled: “And the Canaanite was then in the land (Gen. 12: 6): Canaanites in Southern Canaan during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages”, will deal with recent finds and research on the Late Bronze Age of Southern Canaan.

There will be a very interesting day today (April 15) of lectures by scholars from Israel and abroad, mostly on the results of recent excavations in the Canaan, for the most part in the Shephelah region.

Tomorrow, Thursday, the invited participants will go on a field trip to various sites that were discussed.

Here is the program and abstracts of the workshop: Ackerman LB workshop program book_April 12 2015 final version

Should be very interesting!


Bar-Ilan University, April 15th-16th, 2015