Tell es-Safi/Gath I at great prices

Prof. Wolfgang Zwickel has kindly informed me that all available copies of the double volume “Tell es-Safi/Gath I” are now available at the great price of $30 plus shipping!

That is such a great price that if I was you, I would buy 2 copies for your own use, two for your local library, and at least one copy for each of your children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews! :-)

If you are interested in purchasing copies, please contact:


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Zwickel

Seminar für Altes Testament und Biblische Archäologie

FB 01: Evangelische Theologie

Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

Saarstraße 21, 55099 Mainz, GERMANY,



And something from the Tell for Passover!

On our field trip to the tell yesterday, Udi Weiss pointed out something very interesting, relevant for the festival of Passover that Jews throughout the world celebrate from next Friday evening.

One of the many special customs that are observed at the Passover Seder is eating “Maror” – which, according to various customs are various types of bitter plants (some more, some less better). The tradition is based on the biblical commandment regarding the Pessach sacrifice that should be eaten with bitter herbs (Exodus 12:8). As mentioned, there are many traditions regarding what is the original plant (or plants) to be used for this.

One of the species suggested for this (originally suggested by the late Prof. Yehuda Felix, of Bar-Ilan University) is the Prickly Lettuce (Lactuta serriola, חסת המצפן).

And in fact, Udi found some Prickly Lettuce growing in abundance on the tell – and this just in time for the Seder. So, I took some and put it in the fridge – and hopefully it will still be edible next Friday night!

Here’s a picture of it:


Chag Pessach Kasher ve-Sameach (Happy and Kosher Pessach) to all!



Looking a yonder

In continuation of the pics from yesterday, here’s a few, taken by Udi.

The first bunch if of Liora, Linda and yours truly checking out what to be seen around the tell, in comparison to the marked out ortho-photo map of the tell and its surroundings.

The second group is of the storks on the remains of the mosque in the center of the tell, and Oren with a flock of sheep in the background.

The third group are some beautiful shots of the surroundings of the tell from the summit.

Check them out!


Field day on the ecology and agricultural environment of the tell and its surroundings

Today, we had a great field day at Tell es-Safi/Gath and its surroundings, working on an ongoing research project we are conducting on the environmental and agricultural surroundings of the tell, and other sites in the Shephelah, in modern and ancient times.

Liora Horwitz, Linda Whittaker, Oren Ackermann, Udi Weiss, Sue Frumin, and yours truly, each bringing expertise in relevant areas (fauna, flora, ecology, GIS, geomorphology, archaeology, etc.), spent the day on and around Tell es-Safi/Gath, and on and around Tel Miqne-Ekron, to “ground truth” some of the observations made from analyses of maps, aerial photos and other data sets.

To start with – it was a beautiful day! And even more importantly – we had a great time. And most importantly – we had some very important observations and discussions on the issues! When completed – this will be a VERY interesting (and I believe important) study.

In addition to the environmental archaeology, there was a lot of nice nature as well, including beautiful storks, short-toed eagles, sheep, and astounding greenery with colorful flowers.

Below are some pictures we took during the day.


Call for the 2016 – in Korean

Dr. MiYoung Im, long time Safi core team member, has put out a call for volunteers for the upcoming 2016 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath – in Korean (see below).

MiYoung, who has led groups of Korean student team members at the dig for many years, is calling for additional people interested in having the experience of a life time!

기회를 놓치지 마세요! 당신은 많은 재미를 가지고 많은 것을 배울 것이다!

Here’s a picture of MiYoung holding a beautiful conch which she just excavated:

MiYoung holding Tona Galea shell

And here’s a picture of one of the Korean teams (with Amit and yours truly in the background) – from the 2012 season:

Korean team in D

So those of you who were waiting for the call in additional languages – there are now no more excuses! It’s time to join the team!


Gath 2016 in Korean