[b-hebrew] Dig Philistine Gath - The tell es-safi/gath Archaeological project

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Mar 8 16:14:12 EST 2005

Since I'm going to be on the staff of this dig, I thought I'd pass this along:

Yigal Levin


Excavation and Fieldschool Opportunity in Israel
Follow in the Footsteps of David and Goliath:

Dig Philistine Gath - The tell es-safi/gath Archaeological project

JULY 10 - August 5, 2005

The Site
Tell es-Safi (Hebrew Tel Tsafit), Israel, is a commanding mound located on the border between the Judean foothills (the Shephelah) and the coastal plain, approximately halfway between Jerusalem and Ashkelon. At about 100 acres in size, it is one of the largest and most important pre-Classical period archaeological sites in Israel. Tell es-Safi is identified as Canaanite and Philistine Gath (known from the Bible as the home of Goliath and Achish) and Crusader Blanche Garde. The site was inhabited continuously from the Chalcolithic period (5th millennium BCE) until 1948 CE.


The Project
Since 1996 a team of archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology at Bar Ilan University, under the direction of Dr. Aren M. Maeir, has been digging at Tell es-Safi. The results of the first stage of the project (1996-2004) have demonstrated the great importance of the site. Major finds include: 1) A 9th century BCE destruction layer with extraordinarily rich remains; 2) An unique siege trench, dating to the Iron Age, that surrounds the site, apparent evidence of an Aramaic siege of the site (see II Kings 12:18); 3) A rich stratigraphic sequence covering the Early Bronze III through Iron Ages (ca. 26th-8th centuries BCE); 4) A rich representation of the material culture of the Philistines, arch-enemies of the biblical-period Israelites.


The Program
All able and willing people of university age or older are invited to join us for a unique and exciting experience uncovering the history and culture of the Holy Land. In addition to participating in all facets of the excavation process, participants will be provided with an opportunity to learn techniques of field archaeology, gain experience in remote sensing applications in archaeology, hear lectures about the archaeology of Israel, and go on field trips to nearby sites of historical/archaeological and/or contemporary interest. Participants will join a young, vivacious team comprised of staff, students and volunteers from Israel and the world-over. Students can earn either 3 or 6 university credits through Bar-Ilan University, the second largest university in Israel. Accommodations (including kosher food) will be provided at idyllic Kibbutz Kfar Menachem, a short drive from the site. Rooms (3-4 per room; single and double rooms available at extra charge) are air-conditioned and there will be access to the Kibbutz pool. And don't forget the weekly, Thursday evening, Bar-B-Que!


WORKDAY (more or less)

6am to 1 pm excavation; Afternoon: various excavation related processes (such as pottery reading) and occasional tours; Evenings: occasional lectures.

We work Sun.-Frid. (not Frid. afternoon).



Volunteers: US$300 per week, 2 week minimum, or US$1150 for entire 4 weeks (plus US$25 registration fee). Price includes R&B for entire week, daily transportation to site and back, and various dig-related activities. Does not include transportation to Israel, and to and from the Base camp, as well as health and accident insurance. 


Students (wishing to receive university credits): In addition to the R&B, $500 for half program (3 credits) and $1000 for full program (6 credits). 


For application forms and further information, please contact:

Dr. Aren M. Maeir

The Institute of Archaeology

The Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology

Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900


Fax: ++972-3-6354941

Email: maeira at mail.biu.ac.il

Website: www.dig-gath.org

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