Dig Spotlight: Excavating Philistine Gath
About halfway between Jerusalem and the ancient site of Ashkelon in Israel, one can see an imposing 100-acre mound. Known as Tell es-Safi (in Hebrew, Tel Tsafit), this site is the location of the famous Old Testament city associated with the infamous Goliath who fought with and very quickly lost to the Biblical hero David who became, as anyone who is familiar with the Old Testament will tell you, King of the United Monarchy of Israel. Although Goliath's time on the biblical scene was short-lived, Gath, the city from which he hailed, was a major Philistine presence for centuries. The results of archaeological investigations there from 1996 to 2004 have uncovered a 9th Century B.C. destruction layer, an Iron Age siege trench, and a rich stratigraphic sequence of features and finds dating from the 26th to the 8th centuries. The site has proven to be a major source of information about a people and a time that have figured prominently in the political and cultural history of the area prior to the Babylonian invasion and captivity.
From July 10 to August 5, 2005, Dr. Aren Maier of Bar Ilan University will be directing a team of archaeologists, students and volunteers in the continuing excavations. Students and volunteers from around the world are invited to join as part of the team. Team members will participate in all aspects of the excavation process, learning techniques of field archaeology, remote sensing applications, and finds processing and analysis. The experience will include lectures and field trips to other archaeologically or historically significant sites. Participants will stay in Kibbutz Kfar Menachem in air-conditioned rooms with access to a pool and dining facilities.
If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, visit the website for more information.