Grant from INSTAP!

Just notified that we (Louise and I) received a grant (less then we requested – but nice in any case!) from the Institute of Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP) which will fund some of the costs relating to the excavations in Area A of the Iron I levels! INSTAP has provided funding to the Safi excavations several times in the past – and it is nice that we are once again funded by them!


Radio interview for Voiceamerica program “Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st Century Archaeology”

This evening, I was interviewed by Dr. Joseph Schuldenrein, host of the very nice voiceamerica internet radio program “Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st Century Archaeology“.

In each session of this program, Joe discusses a different topic in archaeology with scholars in different fields. In this interview, we discussed the relationship between archaeology and the Bible – needless to say a very interesting topic.

While the interview was recorded (over skype) today, I’m not sure when it will be broadcast – perhaps even tomorrow. I’ll update when I know – and you can also follow on the shows website. As soon as it’s posted – do check it out!


Lecture on Safi at the College de France, Paris, Feb. 25th, 2015

If you are in Paris (yes, that Paris…) at the end of February, you are invited to the lecture that I will be giving at the College de France on “New Perspectives on the Philistines in Light of Recent Excavations at Tell es-Safi – Biblical Gath of the Philistines.

The lecture will be on Wed., Feb. 25th, 2015, and is open to the public.

For more details – see here.

Je espère vous voir tous là!


By the Rivers of Babylon Exhibition and Conference at the Bible Lands Museum

Today, I participated in the first session of the fantastically interesting conference accompanying the opening of the “Rivers of Babylon” exhibition at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

Although I had to leave early for some meetings, the lectures dealt with the absolutely fantastic cunieform documents from Babylonia which provide fascinating details on the post-Iron Age Judahites who were exiled to the region, during the Babylonian and Persian periods. These documents open an almost completely known window on the history of the early exile in Mesopotamia, after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.

To a certain extent, the importance of these documents is like the Dead Sea Scrolls – as they open up completely new avenues on a relatively unknown period in Jewish – and ancient near eastern – history.

Any one in Jerusalem in the coming months – definitely do go to this fascinating exhibition!


Fantastic new fellowship for junior biblical scholars who want to get archaeological experience!

This excellent fellowship has been announced (the William G. Dever Archaeological Fellowship for Biblical Scholars) which is aimed at enabling junior scholars in biblical studies to experience first hand archaeology of the near east. I highly recommend those who are relevant to apply!

Here are the details:

The Society of Biblical Literature supports and promotes the work of peer organizations that also serve many of our members. This is particularly true of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR). We are bringing to your attention an inaugural award that is an opportunity for a non-tenured biblical scholar.

The William G. Dever Fellowship for Biblical Scholars is a two-month travel-study award ($6,000) that will be made available in the summer of 2015 to a qualified American untenured faculty member in the field of biblical studies who wants to acquire elementary, first-hand experience in field archaeology and research in Israel. The intent of the award, administered by ASOR, is to help foster a dialogue between archaeology and biblical studies in colleges, universities, and seminaries, as well as in the larger discipline.

The William G. Dever Archaeological Fellowship for Biblical Scholars will provide $6,000 to be used towards transportation; one month on a specified dig; and one month travel to other digs, combined with a one-month residency (room and half-board) at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, which will allow the Dever Fellow to conduct research in the Albright library. During residency, the Albright Institute will facilitate visits to excavations active in the field.

Details can be found at the following URL:

And of you out there who want to dig with us at Safi and may qualify for this – do give it a shot!


HT – Jack Sasson

Ackerman Family Fellows for the 2015 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath have been chosen!

After receiving a a very impressive amount of excellent applications, the Ackerman Family Fellows for the 2015 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath have been chosen. Unfortunately, not all the applicants, who were all of exceptional quality, could receive fellowships. The recipients of the fellowships have been notified – as well as those who did not receive.

In any case, I hope that both recipients and non-recipients will be in the field this summer – joining the Safi team!