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Unearthing David and Goliath
University of Manitoba extends an invitation to ancient history aficionados to join an archaeological dig in Israel in the area where Goliath was from.

The story of David and Goliath is probably one of the most told tales from the Bible. It also happens to provide a modern-day link between Canada and Israel.

How on earth is that possible? Well, enter Haskel Greenfield.

The University of Manitoba anthropology professor will be journeying to Israel next year to conduct an exciting archaeological dig in Tell es-Safi, which is near Kiryat Gat, where the biblical Goliath is believed to hail from.

As a brief refresher, the David and Goliath story describes the battle between Goliath, a towering Philistine warrior against young, much smaller David, who later becomes Israel’s king.

Despite the size discrepancy, David defeats Goliath, using a sling and stone to down the giant.

What’s particularly interesting about the dig is that Greenfield is extending an invitation to ancient history aficionados to join the quest. Credit towards a university degree is also available.

Settlement at the site is thought to date back as far as more than 5,000 years ago.

On previous digs at the site, Greenfield and his crew unearthed a full skeleton of a donkey, which may be as old as 4,500 years.

The professor is working in concert with an Israeli counterpart, Aren Maeir, from the University of Bar-Ilan in Ramat Gan.

If the dig piques your interest, get in touch with Greenfield by emailing

Adam Michael Segal is a professional writer and communications consultant based in Toronto, Ont. A former journalist, Adam has written for The Toronto Star, Jerusalem Post, CBC and National Post. He is currently president and founder of WriteSmart Communications. Contact Adam at

Originally published on the website, Canada's Israel, December 29th, 2008.




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