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Ancient Gath (Tell Safi)

Aerial View

Situated on the border between Philistia and the Judean Shephelah in Central Israel, Tell Safi is one of the largest and continuously settled Bronze and Iron Age sites in the Southern Levant. It is over 40 hectares in area and was settled from the Chalcolithic period until modern times. The most commonly accepted identification of the site is Gath of the Philistines which according to biblical texts was the city of origin of such figures as Goliath and Achish.

Gath was one of the five main cities of the Philistine Pentapolis. The Philistines were a people who settled in the Southern Levant during the early part of the Iron Age I (circa 1200 BC) and were one of the Sea Peoples, an enigmatic group of people who appeared in the eastern Mediterranean during the final stages of the Late Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age. The Philistines, who appear to have originated from the Aegean region, brought with them a unique culture highly influenced by their Aegean origins ...

The Tell es-Safi/Gath: 1996-2002 -- Aren M. Maeir (RTF)
The Institute of Archaeology -- Bar Ilan University

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium