Field trip to Miqne, Safi and Ashkelon

Yesterday (Jan. 7th), I took a group of BIU students for a field trip to Miqne, Safi and Ashkelon.

First of all, it was my first visit to Miqne in quite a few years. There is not a very good road to the site, even for a bus during the winter, and thanks to the hard work of someone from Kibbutz Revadim (Idan), the site is well-kept – and even on the way to becoming a national park!

We then went to Safi and did a long tour – and the site is looking good. So far, not too much damage from the winter weather (but we are only at the beginning…)

And then, we went on to Ashkelon for a short visit.

Here is a picture of Shani and Bracha at the bottom of the site, next to the sign. For Shani, this was the first time she was at Safi during the winter, when it is all green – very different from the dried out version which she got to known in previous seasons of excavation!

Shani and Bracha at Safi_Jan 2016

Scholar in Residence in Hong Kong

On the weekend of Jan. 22-24, 2016, I will serve as the “Scholar in Residence” at the United Jewish Congregation in Hong Kong, and will give a series of five (!!) talks/lectures. So, if you are, by any chance, in Hong Kong that weekend, this might interest you!

Here is the (rather intensive…) program:

January 22-24, 2016
UJC Scholar-in-Residence
Archaeologist Aren Maeir
Prof. Maeir teaches Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. He is a prolific author and is the director of the Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan Expedition to Gath.

Join us for this exploration of the fascinating world of Biblical Archaeology.

Friday, 22nd January 2016
8:00am“What Kind of Job for a Nice Jewish Boy: A Life in Archaeology.”
Breakfast Chavurah

7:00pm “What Biblical Archaeology Can Tell Us – and What it Can’t.”
Professor Maeir will speak at Shabbat services and the discussion will continue at Shabbat dinner.

Saturday, 23rd January 2016
9:30am“The Battle of David and Goliath Through the Lens of Archaeology (text study).”
Bagels, lox, and a thought-provoking discussion.

7:30pm“Politics and Archaeology in Israel and the Middle East.”
Join us for havdalah, dessert, and discussion with Professor Maeir.

Sunday, 24th January 2016
10:30am“The Search for the Home of Goliath: Excavations at Gath of the Philistines.”
A light bagel breakfast will be served.

Workshop on LB pottery from the Shephelah – Ariel 28/1/16

Sabine Metzger (TAU), Yuval Gadot (TAU), and Itzik Shai (Ariel) are organizing a very interesting workshop on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016.

Here are the details:

Revisiting the Pottery of the Late Bronze Age Shephelah: A hands-on workshop for the study of LB ceramics

The workshop will take place at Ariel University on January 28th (Building 56.4.10).


09:30: Gathering

09:45-10:00:  Rachel Ben-Dor: “The Tel Miqne-Ekron LB Pottery Assemblage”

10:00-10:15: Itzick Shai: Two Cypriot Pithoi from Late Bronze Age Tel Burna

10:15-10:30: Itamar Weissbein, Igor Kreimerman and Yossi Garfinkel: “Pottery in Cultic Context: Assemblage from Level VI Temple at Lachish”

10:30-10:45: Sabine Metzer: “The 13th and 12th century BCE at Tel Azekah – a view from the local ceramic”

11:15 – 12:00: Chair: Ayelet Gilboa: Discussion and hands on selected pottery from Azekah, Lachish, Ekron

12:45: Lunch Break

13:30: Visit to the Tel Burna Lab

If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Itzik Shai (

Gate of Gath among the 10 most important finds of 2015!

Woohoo! The discovery of the Iron Age gate of Philistine Gath has been included in a list of the 10 most important (and astonishing!) archaeological finds in the world for 2015!

Not bad! I wonder what we will find in 2016? One of the ten most important finds in the solar system? Milky Way galaxy? Universe? :-)

Nice way to sum up the year…

Happy new year, season’s greetings – and great finds – to all!


P.S. Thanks to Liz Arnold for the HT