Prof. Haskel Greenfield, of the University of Manitoba, and Prof. Aren Maeir, of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University, have been awarded a seven-year, large-scale grant from the Canadian government’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council for the study of Early Bronze Age remains at the site of Tell es-Safi/Gath in Israel. This summer, three Canadian students are receiving full scholarships to participate in the excavations at Tell es-Safi and another biblical site – Tel Burna — being unearthed by Bar-Ilan archaeologists.
The project awarded the grant by the Canadian government is entitled “The nature of early urban neighborhoods in the southern Levant: Early Bronze Age at Tell es-Safi”, and will involve five years of excavation and two years of post-excavation analysis.
The CAN$2.7 million grant (with institutional matching actually reaching close to CAN$4 million) aims to carry out an interdisciplinary study of the Early Bronze Age III city at Tell es-Safi/Gath, with particular focus on the non-elite neighborhoods. In collaboration with a diverse group of scholars from Canada, Israel and other countries, and utilizing macro- and micro-archaeological perspectives, the team plans to study facets of daily life in one of the larger cities of the first stage of urban culture in the Southern Levant. The large-scale funding will enable a broad range of cutting-edge technological and analytical techniques to be used in this research, as well as comprehensive training of the next generation of students.
This research is conducted as part of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project, directed by Prof. Maeir, which is a long-term project (commenced in 1996) aimed at studying the cultural and environmental history of the site of Tell es-Safi/Gath (the biblical Gath of the Philistines) and its environs.
The three Canadians are among more than 40 undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students from around the world awarded full scholarships to participate in the excavations this summer at Tell es-Safi and Tel Burna.
Sixteen students (including one Canadian) are already digging at Tel Burna , a site located in the Shephelah region which served as a border between the kingdoms of Judah and Philistia in the Iron Age. At the beginning of July, 38 students (including all three Canadians) will begin work at Tell es-Safi/Gath (www.dig-gath.org).
“Participation in these excavations provides a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about — and touch — the history and culture of the ancient Land of Israel — by taking part in revealing ancient finds from biblical times, lectures on related topics and field trips to archaeological sites in the region,” said Prof. Maeir, Director of Bar-Ilan University’s Institute of Archaeology, who selected the scholarship recipients and directs the excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath.
The scholarships, which are the largest ever given by one body for one season, have been made possible through the generosity of the ADAR Foundation. Recipients of the ADAR Foundation Scholarships also hail from Israel, the United States, Argentina, Korea, Hungary, Greece, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Northern Ireland, and China. Scholarships cover room and board for a full season of excavations at either or both sites.
Maor will be a regular contributor to SDM’s “Israel through Instagram”
A word from Maor:
“Shalom there! My name is MaorMurphy, a young man from the Netherlands who fell in love with Israel. A few months ago, I discovered instagram (better late than never) and became a little obsessed, but I think I’m pretty good at it, considering all the LIKES I’m getting. So… I decided to bring together my two obsessions, Israel and Instagram. I was asked by SDM to document my time in Israel through instagram, and that, I will do! So from now on, i will do my best to show you the most beautiful places in Israel, the things that keep me busy here and the things I love about this country.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt, who visted Israel last week, posted some thoughts on Google + to elucidate about his trip and his perceptions about the “oversized impact” Israel could have on the future of world technology.
In his post, Schmidt specifically avoided discussing the Middle East conflict and instead praised Israel for its developments in technology, science and engineering. Schmidt made similar comments last Monday, when he spoke at the Big Tent conference in Tel Aviv.
“After a long trip through the Asian trouble spots, Israel felt very peaceful, and very much like Silicon Valley,” Schmidt wrote in his Google + post. “I won’t comment on the history, conflict or opposing views in the region which are well understood, or at least well covered if poorly understood. To see the tiny Old City of Jerusalem, crucially important to three world religions, is to understand why people have fought over centuries for this land.
“Israel has few natural resources and has about half of its GDP tied up in export oriented businesses. The country is simply too small and with little opportunity to cooperate in traditional business with its neighbors, Israel has become a high tech hub. Google has a large engineering and sales operation in Israel, whose achievements are definitely world-class.
“In our meetings four things became clear about Israel as a high tech, innovation engine,” wrote Schmidt, particularly “it’s commitment to universities and science… [that] The universal military service is integral to this process… [that] Israel technology benefits greatly from the Internet… [and that] The security situation may actually help as some told us that there is a ‘live for today’ attitude, taking more risks in business than other countries would.”
“We should expect much more investment in high technology in Israel, and many more startups as the next generation of the Internet unfolds.,” Schmidt added. “… For a small country, Israel will have an oversized impact on the evolution of the next stage of the technology we all use.”
During his address at the Big Tent conference last week, Schmidt made similar remarks, praising the quality of Israel’s engineers is very high, which he attributed to to the level of education in the country- though he suggested there was room for improvement – and to the training acquired in the army. He also praised local salespeople as among the best in the world, saying they continue to contribute to the company’s profits.
“We love Israel,” Schmidt told the crowd at the conference.
SodaStream, based in Airport City, Israel, surged 6.1 percent to $37.60 by the close in New York, the highest since March 12. The shares have advanced 15 percent in 2012 and trade at 17.9 times estimated earnings, compared with a 15.8 multiple for companies on the Nasdaq Composite Index. (CCMP)
The number of Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. that are out of stock or have a limited number of the company’s soda makers has grown every week since June 4, according to the e-mailed Moness Crespi report dated today. Inventory of SodaStream products also decreased at Target Corp. and Macy’s Inc. following Father’s Day, the report showed. SodaStream said last month that it rolled out beverage products in 2,900 Wal-Mart stores in the U.S.
“The percentage of stores that are selling out is creeping up consistently,” Jim Chartier, a New York-based analyst at Moness Crespi, who recommends buying the stock, said by phone today. “The machines are selling well in Wal-Mart and following the same trend of all the other retailers. This is being received positively.”
Inventory was also dwindling for SodaStream beverage mixes including Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT)’s Crystal Light and Country Time lemonade, the report said.
“This signals strong performance that might convince new partners to sign on with the company,” Chartier said. “Soda is doing well.”
Israel is one of the world’s leading nations in the field of online government services, a UN report said. Israel ranked 16 in a recent United Nations survey of e-Government services and “available government” features.
The report, which surveys 150 nations around the world annually, also gave an especially high mark to the government’s online portal “Gov.il,” lauding it as “Very well organized.”
The report also ranked Israel as the fourth-leading country in e-participation projects, a ranking gauging public participation in online government ventures.
The UN General Assembly held a special awards ceremony on Monday, in which Israel was honored with an international award for improved online services.
Minister of Government Services Michael Eitan (Likud) accepted the award on Jerusalem’s behalf: “These things affect our positioning vis-à-vis other nations. If we don’t constantly check ourselves we’ll have no way of knowing what our strengths and weaknesses are.
“This kind of survey helps us better ourselves. It’s always very nice to receive praises and commendations but our true goal is to improve the services we offer the public.”
The “Gov.co.il” project is part of the Treasury’s Accessible Government venture, formed following the Knesset’s decision to promote open government policies and governmental transparency.
Accessible Government’s latest venture is “data.gov.il” – a portal meant to ease public access to government databases.
Israel will send a delegation to an international UN conference on the subject in the coming weeks.
Balancing out the striking oddity of a tuba in a surf rock band is Kinrot’s impressive moustache, something the band has become somewhat known for. Over the phone from Israel, Kinrot told Apartment 613 that while at one point the entire band sported a healthy amount of lip hair, his is the last moustache standing. But the pressure of maintaining the manliness of the band doesn’t seem to be getting to him: “It’s just there,” he casually says of his magnificent ‘stache, “I don’t know.”
Like the moustache on his face, Kinrot’s band is something that just happened. It started as a couple of friends with two electric guitars. “We started by playing covers of Greek and Mediteranian songs,” says Kinrot. And, looking around for a bass section, the new band’s eyes fell on a man with a tuba. “’Tuby’ was a friend. He was the nearest bass frequency,” Kinrot laughs. (We asked Kinrot, whether “Tuby’s” nickname comes from the instrument he plays. “Uh… no,” responds Kinrot enigmatically.) Soon, drums were added. The quartet became a trio. Hardly pre-meditated, and yet their sound speaks for itself.
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