Journal article

One Philistine’s Trash is an Archaeologist's Treasure: Feasting at Iron Age I, Tell es-Safi/Gath

LA Hitchcock, LK Horwitz, E Boaretto, AM Maeir

Near Eastern Archaeology | American Schools of Oriental Research, The University of Chicago Press | Published : 2015


This paper presents evidence for feasting in the late Iron Age I Philistine culture from a circumscribed locale in Area A at the site of Tell es-Safi/Gath. The remains are characterized by architectural features, installations and rubbish dumps containing a rich array of animal bones, symbolic objects, and a series of unique installations all dating to the tenth and eleventh centuries BCE. These activities are informed by parallels from Mycenaean Late Bronze Age feasting events, though at Tell es-Safi/Gath they may have served a different purpose, specifically, the maintenance and promotion of Philistine cultural identity through the adoption of behaviors and symbols from the Aegean past by ..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by Israel Science Foundation

Funding Acknowledgements

As partners of the Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan University Expedition at Gath, directed by Aren M. Maeir, this paper summarizes some of the work of the University of Melbourne team and expert collaborators from Bar-Ilan University, the Hebrew University, the Weizmann Institute of Science, and the University of Manitoba in Area A, where from 2008 to 2013 we excavated some of the earliest Philistine remains on the site. Louise A. Hitchcock would like to acknowledge: The Australian Research Council Discovery Project 1093713, the University of Melbourne which funded this research, the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens whose fellowship supported this report/article, and Brent Davis for his assistance. Aren M. Maeir would like to acknowledge support from: the Israel Science Foundation F.I.R.S.T/BIKURA Grant track (Grant no. 32/11 to Aren M. Maeir, Ehud Weiss, and Liora K. Horwitz) and the Israel Science Foundation Individual Research Grant track (Grant no. 100/13). Louise A. Hitchcock and Aren M. Maeir would also like to acknowledge research support from the Institute for Aegean Prehistory and the Dyason Fellowship Scheme of the University of Melbourne. In general, we would like to thank the staff and team of the Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan University Expedition at Gath for their devoted work, both in the field and in the post-excavation processing of finds.