Phase 3 (Study Period: 2012–2019)

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Description: In this phase of the project at Tell es-Safi/Gath, the nature of the directorship was altered. I became a codirector of the EB excavation area with Prof. Aren Maeir and Dr. Itzhaq Shai continued to be the on-site excavation area supervisor. The research program is funded by a Partnership Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and is jointly directed with Prof. Aren Maeir (CoPI) from Bar-Ilan University, Israel (Partner Institution).

This phase of the project at Tell es-Safi/Gath is studying early urban settlements of urban complex societies that arose in the southern Levant (Israel, Jordan) during the Early Bronze Age (EBA, c. 3500-2100 BCE) using the constellation of modern scientific analytical techniques. It will apply both traditional macroscopic and newer microscopic techniques for data collection and analysis in the investigation of an early urban neighbourhood. This approach integrates the various specialist perspectives into a synthetic perspective on how people lived in early city neighbourhoods. Specialists in archaeological zoology, palaeobotany, 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.

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