(arranged alphabetically)

Arnold_ElizabethElizabeth R. Arnold (Grand Valley State University) is an anthropologist and an environmental archaeologist, who studies both plants and animals in the archaeological record. I received my BA (1998) and my MA (2001) in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba, Canada where I focused on zooarchaeology. In 2006 I completed my PhD in Archaeology at the University of Calgary. My dissertation research expanded my zooarchaeological focus to include palaeobotany as well as an emphasis on stable isotope analyses that was further developed through postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign at the Stable Isotope Ecology and Paleobiogeochemistry Laboratory. Since 2009, I am an assistant professor at Grand Valley State University located in Allendale, Michigan, USA (Go Lakers!). I teach Ancient Civilizations, Introduction to Archaeology and Culture and Environment among other anthropology and archaeology courses. As a zooarchaeologist specializing in stable isotope analyses, my research focus is the bones and teeth of animals to examine diet and health of domestic animals and to reconstruct environments including those that has been impacted by humans, (i.e. by foddering or overgrazing). My primary interest is the documentation of exchanges that may indicate important economic, political and social exchanges of animals that are important in the rise of complex societies. As part of the research team in Area E at Tell es-Safi, I seek to examine herd management, mobility, trade and exchange of animals within the local economic system and the region through these analyses.

jbeller pictureJeremy Beller has been a participant in the Tell es-Safi/Gath excavations since 2011. He is the Early Bronze Age ground stone specialist for Area E and completed his Masters degree in 2014 under Haskel Greenfield at the University of Manitoba (Canada). His Masters research explored the ground stone technology and exchange systems associated with the Early Bronze Age settlement at Tell es-Safi/Gath how these contributed to the maintenance of complex societies in the Levant. At present, Jeremy is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Victoria (Canada) specializing in geoarchaeology and hominin evolution. As such, his doctoral research focuses on Neanderthal survival and adaptation in the Near East during periods of climatic and environmental stress.

Cassuto_DebiDebi Cassuto is a doctoral candidate at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. She has participated in a number of excavations in Israel, in particular, the Tell es-Safi/Gath project since 2005 and has been a staff member at the Tel Burna excavations from the start. She specializes in ancient textile production and has published reports on textile implements from various excavations in Israel as well as an article based on her MA thesis on the topic of women and household weaving in the Iron Age. Debi is currently Ernest S. Frerichs Fellow/Program Coordinator at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.

Chadwick_JeffJeffrey R. Chadwick is Jerusalem Center Professor of Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies, and also Associate Professor of Religious Education [Bible & Jewish Studies] at Brigham Young University in Utah, USA, and at the BYU Jerusalem Center on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, Israel. He has directed and taught in BYU student programs in Israel since 1982, and also travelled widely with his students in Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey for decades. Jeff is a Senior Fellow at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, and has served two terms on the Board of Trustees of the American Schools of Oriental Research. He received his Ph.D. in near eastern archaeology from the University of Utah Middle East Center. His graduate research dealt with the discoveries of the American Expedition to Hebron (1963 to 1966), and he now directs the American Expedition to Hebron Publication Project. Jeff has excavated at a number of sites in Israel during the 1980s, and served as a senior supervisor Tel Miqne/Ekron during the 1990s. He has been on the staff of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project since 2001, and has served as director of excavations in Area F at Safi since it was opened in 2004. Jeff and his wife Kim have a home in Farr West, Utah, USA, and are the parents of six adult children, and the grandparents of eight. At Tell es-Safi, Jeff is informally known as Achish Melek Gat.

Amit Dagan is a long-time staff member at the Tell es-Safi/Gath archaeological project – where he currently serves as the Lab Director and Area Supervisor of Area D (Lower City). He recently completed his PhD at Bar Ilan University (on Philistia and the Shephelah in the Iron IIB) and has been involved with the Tel Burna project since its inception. Amit is also a experienced tour guide and teaches in Israel’s tour guide training program.


Photo of Brent

Brent Davis received his B.A. in Linguistics from Stanford University, and his Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Melbourne, where he is now Associate Lecturer in Archaeology; his dissertation on Linear A, the undeciphered script of the Minoans, was published in 2014 (Minoan Stone Vessels with Linear A Inscriptions [Aegaeum 36], Peeters Press). Brent has excavated at Safi since 2007, and has been a staff member on the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project for several years; he is currently Supervisor of Area K2 (Lower City). With a background in both archaeology and linguistics, his interests include not only the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean, but their languages and scripts as well. He has published numerous articles and chapters on ancient cultures and scripts (including several relating to the Philistines and finds from Tell es-Safi/Gath), as well as on archaeological theory.

Adi Eliyahu Behar is a chemist trained in archaeology and for more than ten years is engaged in archaeological science research and excavations, and is the archaeological science coordinator of the project. Adi received her B.Sc. (1995, Tel Aviv University) and her M.Sc. (1998, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel) in Chemistry. In 2002 she joined the Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science at the Weizmann Institute as a PhD student, and received her doctorate in 2008. During her Ph.D., she developed analytical tools and excavation strategies towards the identification of pyrotechnological activities at archaeological sites, and since then has been implementing these tools at various excavation sites in Israel. Her main interest lies in the reconstruction and understanding of pyrotechnological processes in general, and of metals in particular. The study of technological choices and technological styles, manipulation and processing of raw materials, and the formation of by-products, have far-reaching implications on issues such as the reconstruction of ancient cultural behaviors and stylistic choices, the spread of technological innovations, economical interactions and trade routes.

Among her contributions to the Tell es-Safi/Gath project, she is particularly focused on implementing archeological science research methods in the study of the Early Bronze Age levels, and the analysis of metallurgical remains – in particular the production of iron and bronze in the Iron Age levels.

Sue photo smallSuembikya (Sue) Frumin is a plant ecologist, palaeobotanist and archaeobotanist. Sue is a doctoral candidate at the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar Ilan University, Israel under the supervision of Professor Ehud Weiss. Her dissertation addresses the impact of Philistine migration in the Iron Age (12th century BCE) on plant biodiversity in Israel. She serves as an archaeobotanist in the Tell es-Safi/Gath team since 2012. Her research focuses on the extraction and identification of plant remains, including fruits, seeds, and flower/inflorescences of crop species as well as wild species. Plant identification to the species level provides data which helps to unravel diet preferences and economy of the settlement from the Early Bronze to the late Iron Age. Ecological data helps to reconstruct the environment of the settlement, as well as to recognize possible regions of its trade, cultural and political relationships._ – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

Greenfield_HaskelHaskel J. Greenfield was born in Newark, NJ (the United States) in 1953, educated in New York City at Hunter College (B.A. – 1975 summa cum laude; MA – 1980), and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (M. Phil. -1980; Ph. D. – 1985). His PhD is in Anthropology, with a specialty in Archaeology. He has taught Anthropology and Archaeology at various colleges in New York and at Indiana University before coming to the University of Manitoba in 1989. He is currently Professor of Anthropology at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. He moved to Winnipeg in 1989 to create an active Old World archaeology component for the Department of Anthropology. He is currently the co-director of the Near Eastern and Biblical Archaeology Laboratory (NEBAL) at the University of Manitoba (St. Paul’s College). He is an anthropological archaeologist whose research focuses on the evolution of early agricultural and complex societies in the Old World (Europe, Africa and Asia) from the Neolithic through the Iron Age. Geographically, his research covers a large swath of Old World societies, from Europe (Bosnia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Romania and Serbia), to Africa (Morocco, South Africa), and Near East (Israel and Turkey). In addition, he has conducted field work in various parts of North America (Manitoba, New York, New Jersey and Mexico). He is currently the co-director (with Prof. Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan University, Israel) of the excavations of the Early Bronze Age city at Tell es-Safi, Israel. This is the Canaanite precursor of the famous Philistine site of ancient Gath (home of Biblical Goliath). He is also part of the team excavating the archaeological site of Huqoq, a first century AD (CE) site in Israel where one of the earliest synagogues has been found. Students and volunteers are always welcome to join his projects.

Greenfield_TinaTina Greenfield is a zooarchaeologist who has worked on archaeological sites in Canada, Europe, Israel, Kurdistan, Southern Iraq, South Africa, and Turkey. She is interested in ancient animal economies of early empires. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK and her dissertation focused on the political economy of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. She teaches at the University of Winnipeg and is co-director of the Near Eastern and Biblical Archaeology Lab (NEBAL) at the University of Manitoba, Canada. She is actively working on archaeological projects in Israel, Turkey and Iraq.

Hitchcock_LouiseLouise Hitchcock is a UCLA graduate and Associate Professor has extensive archaeological experience in the east Mediterranean, including time as Parsons Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, a senior Fulbright Fellow at the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute in Cyprus; and as an USAID Fellow, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, and the Visiting Annual Professor at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem; and a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, as well as excavation work in Israel, Egypt, Syria, Crete, and California. She is author of more than 30 articles on architecture and gender in the east Mediterranean. Her 4 books include, Minoan Architecture: A Contextual Analysis, (Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology Pocket Book 155) Jonsered: Paul Astroms Forlag (2000); Aegean Art and Architecture. Oxford: Oxford University Press (1999), co-authored with Donald Preziosi; Theory for Classics, Routledge (2008); and Aegaeum 29, DAIS: The Aegean Feast (co-edited with Robert Laffineur and Janice Crowley). She is currently involved in several research projects: including investigating the relationship between Aegean, Cypriot and Philistine architecture, and collaborative projects on the emergence of complexity in Greece and excavating the site of Tell es-Safi/Gath with Prof. Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University. Ongoing research is devoted to the recovery, documentation, and interpretation of contextual relationships as well as the interpretation of existing monuments, especially critical considering that many of the monumental structures of the Late Bronze Age are decaying through exposure to weather and human contact. Louise has supervised 10 MA students and 4 PhD students to completion. Leadership positions in the University have included Research Chair of the School of Historical Studies (2008-2010) and Discipline Chair of Classics and Archaeology (Semester 1: 2011 & 2012).

Katz_JillJill Katz (Area P) began her association with Tell es-Safi/Gath in 2004. Prior to that, she excavated at Tel Haror and Ashkelon. Jill teaches archaeology and anthropology at Yeshiva University in New York City where she currently serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor. She is the author of The Archaeology of Cult in Middle Bronze Age Canaan.

McKinny_Chris Chris McKinny received an M.A. in biblical history and geography from Jerusalem University College in Jerusalem, Israel. He has also been a staff member at the Tell es-Safi/Gath and Tel Burna excavations for the last several years. Chris is currently a doctoral student at Bar Ilan University and an adjunct faculty member at The Master’s College (IBEX).


Linda Meiberg pictureLinda Meiberg received her B.A. and M.A. in Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University and her Ph.D. in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World at the University of Pennsylvania, where she continues to teach in the departments of Classical Studies, Art History, and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Her fieldwork experience includes several sites in Crete, Cyprus, and Israel, including Tel Kabri, Tel Gerisa, and Tel Yafo. Her affiliation with the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project began in 2005 where she has been excavating in Area A. Linda held the Samuel H. Kress (2007-2008) and National Endowment for the Humanities (2013-2014) fellowships at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, working on projects that focus on the Aegean Bronze Age, Eastern Mediterranean Trade and Interrelations, and the Sea People/Philistine Cultures. When not teaching, researching, or excavating, Linda spends her free time sailing with her husband, Andrew, who is a USCG licensed master.

Crasl1Jessie A. Pincus is an archaeo-geophysicist with an expertise in Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) applications within Archaeology. She is the Project Director for the Center for Research and Archaeology of the Southern Levant ( and Mnemotrix Israel, Ltd. She was born and raised in Ohio, studied at Case Western Reserve University, and completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Miami, Florida where she double-majored in Archaeology and Geology with a concentration in Geophysics. She made Aliyah to Israel in 2004 and completed her PhD at Bar Ilan University in 2010, focusing on the best ways to quantify soil analysis using GPR in the ancient agricultural terrace systems of the Negev. It is here where she became interested in sustainability, agriculture, high-resolution data acquisition and rough-terrain analysis. She taught the Soil Analysis lab course at Texas A&M University while she pursued her Post-Doc work in agriculture. She has completed archaeo-geophysical surveys at many sites throughout Israel and also in the USA. She is most interested in the unique methods of analysis that must take place within archaeo-geophyics as a growing hybrid field of research. She focuses on how best to integrate and analyze multiple geophysical data types at one site in high-resolution in order to make the archaeologist most efficient in planning and interpretation of the occupation levels. Dr. Pincus looks forward to the coming summer’s excavation and getting her hands dirty making the past meaningful to our present. 

Regev_Johanna Johanna Regev is affiliated with the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University and Weizmann Institute-Max Planck Centre for Integrative Archaeology, D-REAMS Radiocarbon Laboratory. Her research interests include: radiocarbon dating and chronology of the Early Bronze Age in the Southern Levant, field sampling and context characterization of radiocarbon samples using micro-archeological methods. Johanna’s research at Tell es-Safi Early Bronze Age layers is aimed at finding reliable archaeological contexts of short-lived material for Carbon 14 dating. Microarchaeological methods are integrated in context characterization. Samples are pretreated and measured. The results are used for building a detailed chronology for the EBA strata at the site. Further precision in the chronology is reached by using Bayesian modeling.

Rosenberg_JJ Rosenberg, originally from the UK, is an archaeological surveyor who has been associated with a number of prominent Biblical-period excavation projects in Israel since the late 1980′s, for example Ashkelon and Tel Miqne-Ekron. He has a wife and 5 children, enjoys choral singing and riding his mountain bike. 

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Cynthia Shafer-Elliott (Simpson University, BA, 1997; Ashland Theological Seminary, MA, 2003; the University of Sheffield, Ph.D., 2011) is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible (2012) at William Jessup University. After completing her Ph.D. in England, Cynthia, a native of northern California, returned to teach at WJU. Specializing in the Hebrew Bible, Cynthia emphasizes the geo-historical, cultural and literary contexts of the Scriptures and their worlds. As an active field archaeologist in Israel, Cynthia teaches students how archaeology can help contextualize the Hebrew Bible, including a hands-on archaeological excavation class in Israel. Prior to her work with WJU, Cynthia taught at several colleges and universities within the US and the UK. In addition, she presents papers at academic conferences, chairs various conference sessions, and conducts archaeological fieldwork in Israel. Cynthia’s Ph.D. thesis is published as a monograph and is entitled, Food in Ancient Judah: Domestic Cooking in the Time of the Hebrew Bible, and explores both the archaeological and textual sources to see what they reveal about the daily food preparation of ancient Judahites. Other publications include various book reviews, contributions, chapters, and encyclopedia articles.

Shai_ItzickItzick Shai is an assistant professor at Ariel University and a lecturer at Bar Ilan University. He finished his Ph.D. on the Philistine material culture of the Iron Age IIA in 2006 at Bar-Ilan University and was a post-doctorate fellow at the Semitic Museum in Harvard University and a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies Hebrew University, Jerusalem. In 2009, together with Dr. Joe Uziel, he initiated the Tel Burna Excavation Project. Since then he has served as the project’s director. He has extensive experience in field archaeology from different periods. For the last 15 years he has served as an area supervisor for the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project. Some of Dr. Shai’s published articles deal with Philistine material culture, place names and their importance in ethnic identification, the status of Jerusalem in the Iron Age and the political structure of Philistia, the Late Bronze Age remains at Tell es-Safi/Gath, spatial analysis of a LB Building, the high resolution survey at Tel Burna and the dating of the fortification system of Tel Burna.


Uziel_JoeJoe Uziel (PhD Bar Ilan University) has worked for over a decade on the Tell es-Safi/Gath project and has served as director of several other excavation projects. He works in the laboratory at Bar Ilan University, and serves as the program coordinator at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research. His published articles are concerned with Philistine material culture, the status of Jerusalem in the Iron Age, the Tell es-Safi Survey, and the chain of production of pottery in the Bronze and Iron Ages. He is also currently working on old excavation material that was never published from Tel Nagila and Yavneh-Yam. Joe currently works for the Israel Antiquities Authority, excavating in the City of David.

Eric TeachingEric Welch (Penn State, PhD, 2015) is Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Kansas. Eric has excavated at Tell es-Safi since 2006 and currently serves as the co-director of Area F alongside Jeff Chadwick. During his time at Safi, Eric has worked extensively on Safi’s fortification systems and their use and adaption from the Early Bronze Age through the late Iron Age. In addition to his work at Tell es-Safi, Eric is interested in how economic and environmental changes during the late Iron Age influenced the production of the prophetic texts of the Hebrew Bible.  


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  1. Pingback: New Staff Page on blog! | The Tell es-Safi/Gath Excavations Official (and Unofficial) Weblog

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