Carol and Eric Meyers on Tel es-Safi, Gath, and Goliath

Duke University run a television program called Office Hours, in which academics answer questions from the public concerning their particular field of study. On 1 September 2011, the program featured Carol and Eric Meyers, two archaeologists and biblical scholars.

The first question was from Deane of New Zealand:

There have been a few media reports in recent months concerning the ongoing excavation at Tel es-Safi. The reports often make representations along the lines that archaeologists are “excavating the biblical city of Gath” or that archaeologists are “discovering what was in Goliath’s hometown”. However, given, in particular, the legendary aspects of the story of Goliath in 1 Samuel 17, and the fact that the Bible seems to place Gath both somewhere west of Jerusalem and to the south of Judah, in what sense, if any, can say that the “biblical Gath” is being excavated? Also, in what sense, if any, can we say that Tel es-Safi is “Goliath’s hometown”?

Actually, the host missed part of the question. However, you can listen to Carol Meyers’ fine answer by tuning in at 7:54:

Of course, the whole program is most worthwhile for anybody interested in Palestinian archaeology.

h/t: Jim West


2 thoughts on “Carol and Eric Meyers on Tel es-Safi, Gath, and Goliath

  1. You get these difficult students sometimes – I just tell them there are “sound archaeological reasons” for what I think, that usually shuts them up.

    Which giant of biblical scholarship called “James” could she be thinking of?


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