Wrap of 2019 archeological season GATH (Tell es-Safi) Israel (#16).

By John Stringer.

IF YOU’D LIKE TO JOIN A KIWI CONTINGENT NEXT WINTER (JUNE 2020) FOR TWO WEEKS ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATING and make some awesome new friends (airfares, food, accomodation all inclusive, approx $4000 NZ) contact me through Kiwiblog. It’s a great trip! We’ll also go to Nazareth and Jerusalem. (Start saving now, and it’s $75 a week).

We’re between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in the Shephelah, the foothills of Judea on the Philistine plain at one of the 5 historic cities of the ancient Philistines. In Area F previously we found a bone working area, which was believed to be a production site for bone arrowheads, but none were recovered. This year, a bone arrowhead emerged in Area M.

Searching through the site’s flotation, picking, and bone analysis, a figurine head, two possible clay seals, and a small metal ring also came to light. Here are some aerial shots onsite and using drones. Then the site is bedded in for its winter hibernation with geotechnic cloths, and in some cases (for brick walls) with a special plastic netting.

In this drone image of Pascal’s, you can clearly see a massive main defence wall as well as a circular (tower?) structure center bottom.

This is ‘Nixon’ (the watergate) where I was labouring in 2018 (where Jeff is standing in Friday pastels). You can see the staircase walkway we uncovered up into the city and the houses or shops that abutted the entranceway which takes a 90 degree dog leg and heads up the hill to the city citadel and center. As both David, King Achish and Goliath lived in this city, there is no question these historic figures would have walked up and down this path and through this gateway at some stage.

Finally, a pizza and pool party at the Kfar Menahem kibbutz. End of season 2019. JOIN US in 2020! It’s a blast.