Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project

Information on Upcoming Excavation Season (link)
Official Tell es-Safi Excavation Website (link)

***Visit the official (and unofficial) Tell es-Safi blog here (link) for up to date information!***

Contact: Dr. Haskel J. Greenfield, University Distinguished Professor
Co-Director of Early Bronze Age Excavations (EBA) at Tell es-Safi;
Professor, Anthropology; Associate Member, St. Paul’s College
204 272 1591

Location: Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel

Study Timeline: 2008 - 2019


The goal of the research at Tell es-Safi/Gath is to investigate the nature of neighbourhoods in early urban settlements that arose in the southern Levant (Israel, Jordan) during the Early Bronze Age (EBA, c. 3500-2100 BCE) through the application of the constellation of modern scientific analytical techniques. It will investigate how the inhabitants of an early city organized their space and daily lives through the excavation of a non-elite residential neighbourhood, where the majority of people would have lived and worked. This research project will apply both traditional macroscopic and newer microscopic techniques for data collection and analysis in the investigation of an early urban neighbourhood at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel. This approach integrates the various specialist perspectives into a synthetic perspective on how people lived in early city neighbourhoods. Specialists in archaeological zoology, paleobotany, radiocarbon dating, sedimentation, chemistry, phytolith, etc. jointly conduct research with the archaeological team. This partnership of specialists will allow the first large scale and systematic excavation of an EBA neighbourhood in the southern Levant to be scientifically excavated, using cutting edge modern excavation and analytical techniques, including virtual reality reconstruction of the site. By incorporating data and analysis from a wide range of archaeological experts, this partnership vastly enhances our understanding of EBA communities and early urban settlement. This long term research program is conducted in association with the Tell es-Safi/Gath Field School where students receive an intensive education in the archaeology of the region and archaeological methods. This project is conducted in partnership with Prof. Aren Maeir (CoPI) from Bar-Ilan University, Israel (Partner Institution).


University of Manitoba faculty and students are involved in various aspects of the project. H Greenfield (Professor) is the codirector, T Greenfield (Research Associate) is the area supervisor and project zooarchaeologist, Chris Neufeldt (MA student) is conducting digital reconstructions of the neighbourhood with a Leica 3D Scanner, A Brown (MA student) the laboratory supervisor for zooarchaeological remains, J Beller (MA student) is studying the ceramic technology, etc. New students are welcome to volunteer or participate in the University of Manitoba’s Archaeological Field School at Tell es-Safi/Gath. 


Tell es-Safi Related Websites

Aren Maeir – Personal Webpage

  • BAR 2001 article on Tell es-Safi/Gath
  • BAR 2008 article on Philistine Phalli
  • Bar-Ilan University
  • Bar-Ilan University, Martin (Szusz) Department of Land Of Israel Studies and Archaeology
  • Check out "Excavating Gath" on Facebook
  • Tell es-Safi/Gath Facebook Page
  • Tell es-Safi/Gath page on Bible History Daily Blog (BAS)
  • Tell es-Safi/Gath Project Website
  • Tell es-Safi/Gath Youtube Channel
  • The Philistine Project of the University of Munich
  • Wikipedia entry on Gath of the Philistines
  • Wikipedia entry on Tell es-Safi/Gath