Prof. Aren Maeir, director of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project, asked permission to post my 1969 photo of the tell which we posted here. I was honored to do so. He has given us some directional info that I overlooked. He says that it is “of the northeastern portion” of the tell. He comments on the changes that have taken place since 1969.
Not only is the foto very nice, it is very interesting, since there are quite a few changes that can be seen on the tell since then. In particular, the intense 4X4 vehicle activity has taken a toll on the site, and a current view shows various parts that have been eroded away.
Maeir’s post includes a recent photo showing the northeastern part of the tell from another angle. Take a look here.
Back in 2005, I think, a pottery shard, inscribed with the Semitic letters AWLT and WLT, was found. Maeir says,
BOTH names that appear on the sherd (AWLT and WLT…) are etymologically very close to Goliath. All are quite similar to Indo-European, names such as Lydian Wylattes/Aylattes, which in the past have been etymologically compared to Goliath (way before this find).
I can’t resist posting a tiny photo here.
There is a wonderful high resolution photo of the shard online with other information. Read here.
The excavation at Tell es-Safi/Gath this year will be July 6-August 1. Click here for some information about the dig if you have interest. This site, near the valley of Elah, provides a wonderful background for the conflict between the Philistines and the Israelites, between David and Goliath.
Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. (1 Samuel 17:4)