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


Lecture by Prof. Angelika Berlejung – May 9th, 2016

Please note the following lecture by Prof. Angelika Berlejung (Leipzig), hosted by the Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times:

מרכז מינרבה לקשרים בין ישראל וארם בתקופת המקרא

The Minerva Center for Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times

המחלקה ללימודי א”י וארכיאולוגיה ע”ש מרטין (זוס), אוניברסיטת בר-אילן

The Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University

הזמנה להרצאת אורח של פרופ’ אנגליקה ברליונג – אוניברסיטת לייפציג

Invitation to a guest lecture by Prof. Angelika Berlejung (Leipzig University)

טיפוס בסולם החברתי בגולה היהודאית בבבל לאור תעודות אל-יהודו חדשות

“Social Climbing in the Judean Exile in Babylon in light of new al-Yahudu texts”

ההרצאה (באנגלית) תתקיים ביום ב’, ה-9.5.16, בשעה 14:00, בבנין 507, חדר 2

The lecture (in English) will take place on Monday, May 9th, 2016, at 2 pm, in Building 507, Room 2

Safi teams visits “Pharaoh in Canaan” exhibit at the IMJ

Today, the Safi lab team, along with some colleagues and friends, had a private guided tour of the excellent exhibition at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem – “Pharaoh in Canaan: The untold story“. We were fortunate to be guided by Dr. Eran Arie, co-curator of the exhibit. This is an outstanding, world class exhibit and I highly recommend all to visit it!!

And by the way – there is a great catalogue for the exhibition: Ben-Tor, D. 2016. Pharaoh in Canaan: The Untold Story. Jerusalem: The Israel Museum.

Here are pictures from the visit:



Rona and Rafi are excavating at the Horns of Hattin

Rona Avissar-Lewis (former Safi staff member) and Rafi Lewis (who are a husband and wife team) will be conducting a short season of excavations at a very interesting site right next to the Horns of Hattin (Qarnei Hittim) this month, during Hol Hamoed Pessach (24-28/4/16). The beautiful site, situated just under the actual mountain of Hattin, has some extremely unique features, and in fact may be a cultic site of the Iron Age (and other periods).

If you would like to join them for this short season – see details here.

“Goliath’s Legacy” – Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano’s new book

Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano kindly sent me his new book – which arrived today in the mail – and I will read it with much interest.

The full title is:

Niesiolowski-Spano, L. 2016. Goliath’s Legacy. Philistines and Hebrews in Biblical Times. Philippika – Altertumswissenschaftliche Abhandlungen / Contributions to the Study of Ancient World Cultures, 103. Harrassowitz.

Visit to Tell – and return of the “Thorns of Doom”!

Today I visited the tell with Jed Kaplan and Oren Ackermann. It was a great visit (and a beautiful day!) and we had a chance to show Jed some of the finds on site, and discuss various aspects of our research.

On the tell we saw that the “Thorns of Doom” (otherwise know as “Frankenthistles”…), the horribly big thorns that covered the tell last year, are back again! This means that before and during the coming season we will be knocking down a lot of thorns. Some of these thorns are close to 3 meters high!

Here’s a picture of Jed and Oren on the upper tell, next to the ruins of the Modern period Mosque between Areas F and P, with the giant thorns next to them.


Later, while we were on top of the tell, I noticed a very interesting worked stone, seemingly of Crusader period masonry (but perhaps not?), with a very interesting rounded protrusion on it.

Any suggestions to what this is?


Addendum: Sue Frumin, from the Safi archaeobotany team, has asked me to remind you of the official name of these thorns – thanks Sue!

Scientific name: Silybim marianum

Hebrew name: גְּדִילָן מָצוּי

Various other names: cardus marianus, milk thistle, blessed milkthistle, Marian thistle, Mary thistle, Saint Mary’s thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle, variegated thistle, and Scotch thistle