Courtesy Tell es-Safi excavation

A herder and his animals wander along the foot of Tell es-Safi in a photo taken during the British Mandate in Palestine, in the first half of the 20th century. Numerous sites, including Tell es-Safi, have been proposed as ancient Gath. The first excavations at Safi took place in 1899, but subsequent research was hampered because it was thought that the village and cemeteries at the site covered all the ancient remains. Five years ago, however, a surface survey revealed that the ancient city was far larger than previously thought and offered a wide uninhabited area for excavation.