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!


Link to our new paper in the Sass Fs – discussing the supposed “Canaanite Enclave” in the Iron I Shephelah

As mentioned previously, a new paper by me and Louise just appeared in the Festschrift in honor of Beni Sass (for a PDF, go here).

In this paper, Louise and I discuss, somewhat critically, suggestions that there was a definable “Canaanite enclave” in the Shephelah, during the Iron I, in between the Philistine and Israelite cultural zones.

The full title of the paper is:

Maeir, A. M. and Hitchcock, L. A.. 2016. “And the Canaanite Was Then in the Land”? A Critical View on the “Canaanite Enclave” in Iron I Southern Canaan. Pp. 209–26 in Alphabets, Texts and Artefacts in the Ancient Near East: Studies Presented to Benjamin Sass, eds. I. Finkelstein, C. Robin and T. Romer. Paris: Van Dieren.



Holiday Season Present from the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project!

Following up on Eric Welch’s suggestion that a great present for the holiday season would be to pay for a relative’s or friend’s participation in the 2017 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath, the Safi project has been caught up in the holiday season spirit, and is offering a present as well.

So,  in the spirit of the holiday season, the Tell es-Safi/Gath Project will offer the following reduction for anyone who registers and pays for the 2017 season before Jan. 15th:

You will receive a $25 (twenty five US dollars) reduction on the total payment.

Please note: if you do decide to take us up on the holiday offer, please send me an email specifying this, once you register and send payment information.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and a great New Year to you all!


Richard Walsh recreates Philistine vessels

Richard Walsh, who is an accomplished potter from Australia, was a Safi team member in the 2013 season, and is planning to join the team this coming summer (2017) once again.

Richard has sent me photos of several vessels that he produced that are  replicas of various vessels from Iron Age Philistia. This includes three Iron I deep bowls, an Iron I “spoon flask”, and an Iron IIA decorated chalice!

See below – these are truly impressive creations!


richard-walsh-vessels-2 richard-walsh-vessels-3 richard-walsh-vessels

Aargh! Another pirate paper for ya, Matey!

Louise and I have a new paper on the Philistines/Sea Peoples as pirates out (that is the proofs…).  See the link here.

The full title is:

Hitchcock, L. A., and Maeir, A. M. 2017. Fifteen Men on a Dead Seren’s Chest: Yo Ho Ho and a Krater of Wine. Pp. 147–59 in Context and Connection: Essays on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in Honour of Antonio Sagona, eds. A. Batmaz, G. Bedianashvili, A. Michalewicz and A. Robinson. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta. Leuven: Peeters.

Check it out!



Fs for Benny Sass

Last night (20/12/16) a party was held in honor of the publication of the Festschrift in honor of Benny Sass (on the occasion of his retirement from TAU).

Benny was presented the volume by many of the contributors and friends.

The volume is:

Finkelstein, C. Robin, T. Römer eds. Alphabets, Texts and Artefacts in the Ancient Near East, Studies Presented to Benjamin Sass. Paris: Van Dieren.

Among the many papers, Louise and I have a paper as well, which I hope to post about in the very near future.