The long history of settlement at Tell es-Sâfi/Gath provides an opportunity to study changes in vegetation and its use in different cultures and periods, as well as aspects relating to local biodiversity over time. These changes may shed light on the local development of agriculture, on cultural changes, on ancient human migrations, and foreign influences. Analyzing archaeological data from several time periods and cultures within the same landscape offers new directions in the study of past cultures, and the origins of their formation (Frumin et al. 2015; Frumin 2017). In the case of the appearance of Philistine culture, which occurred partly through migration, this type of data enables analysis of invasion events using archaeological data, with the aim of reconstructing changes in diet, land use, and in regional and interregional linkages associated with a specific migrant culture.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Professor Aren M. Maeir for the invitation to collect and work on the material and his kind assistance throughout the excavation seasons at Tell es fi/Gath during 2012–2017. This work would not have been possible without the help of the Tel es fi/Gath excavation team members: Elisabetta Boaretto, Jeffrey Chadwick, Amit Dagan, Louise Hitchcock, Liora Kol-ska Horwitz, Jill Katz, Linda Meiberg, Jessie Pincus, Itzik Shai, and Alexander Zukerman. Our warmest thanks go to Dr. Yoel Melamed, Dr. Yael Mahler-Slasky, Dr. Anat Shenkmann and Dr. Orit Simchoni for the most generous assistance during the identification work. We also want to thank the manager of the National Herbarium collection, Hagar Leshner, for her permission and assistance in use of the Herbarium and its library (National Natural History Collections, HUJ, Jerusalem). Thanks to students and volunteers at the Tell es fi/Gath excavation, especially to Adam Lindqvist (2012 excavation season) and Phil Hoenig (2012–2014, 2016 excavation seasons) for their devoted help with sediment flotation; to Hadar Ahituv, Michal David, Daniel Fuks, Yafit Ovadia, Ilana Peters for the help during field work and material sorting (Bar-Ilan University). We are grateful to Daniel Fuks for his for helpful comments on the work. Suem-bikya Frumin would like to acknowledge support from Bar-Ilan University, for a President’s Scholarship for outstanding doctoral students, and for the three consecutive scholarships of the Martin (Szusz) Department of the Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology Krauthammer Scholarship in 2014 and Kuschitsky Scholarship in 2015 and in 2016. Ehud Weiss 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).
© 2018 American Schools of Oriental Research. All rights reserved.