East Meets West: The Uncanny Parallels in the Lives of Buddha and Jesus
Elgin Marbles Debate
Excavation Opportunities 1985
Excavation Opportunities 1986
Excavation Opportunities 1989
Excavation Opportunities 1995
Frank Moore Cross—An Interview
Has Richard Friedman Really Discovered a Long-Hidden Book in the Bible?
In Private Hands
Israel Comes to Canaan
Jerusalem Explores and Preserves Its Past
Jerusalem’s Underground Water Systems
Jonah and the Whale
Megiddo Stables or Storehouses?
Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling
New Directions In Dead Sea Scroll Research
One if by Sea…Two if by Land: How Did the Philistines Get to Canaan?
Pilate in the Dock
Point/Counterpoint: Pros and Cons of the Contemporary English Version
Portraits In Heroism
Redating the Exodus—The Debate Goes On
Rewriting Jerusalem History
Riches at Ein Yael
Scholars Disagree: Can You Name the Panel with the Israelites?
Sea Peoples Saga
Should the Bible Be Taught in Public Schools?
Special Bible Section
Spotlight on Sepphoris
Temple Scroll Revisited
The Age of BAR
The Amman Citadel: An Archaeological Biography
The Babylonian Gap Revisited
The Bible Code: Cracked and Crumbling
the Brother of Jesus
The Dead Sea Scrolls
The God-Fearers: Did They Exist?
The Jacob Cycle in Genesis
The Minoans of Crete: Europe’s Oldest Civilization
The Most Original Bible Text: How to Get There
The Pools of Sepphoris: Ritual Baths or Bathtubs?
The Search for History in the Bible
What Was Qumran?
Where Was Jesus Born?
Where Was the Temple?
Who Invented the Alphabet
BAR Dig Scholarships
BAR is again offering travel scholarships to individuals who wish to volunteer on a dig. After receiving a record number of applications last year, we awarded four scholarships. Our winners were Pamela Francis, a master’s student at Loyola University in New Orleans; Susan Vida Grubisha, a graduate student of religion at Wake Forest University; Teresa Kim, who was then completing her senior year studying molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University; and Dennis Diehl, a pastor who told us that although he’d once won a “six pack of Pepsi, this would definitely top that!” Three winners have shared their experiences with us.
Memories of Megiddo
“Someone has to win this scholarship to dig in Israel and it might as well be me,” I remember thinking as I sat down at my typewriter minutes after receiving BAR 20:01. Within half an hour I had made my plea for one of the 1994 opportunities to dig in Israel—specifically, Megiddo.
Four months later the phone rang, and I had won the opportunity of a lifetime!
Never having been to Israel, I chose Megiddo because the description in the January/February issue was so informative about the new dig opening there under Professors David Ussishkin and Israel Finkelstein.a Fascinated by the nearly 5,000-year-old “Round Altar,” the remains of Solomon’s gates and the palaces of Ahab, I figured Megiddo was the only game in town for me.
My assigned dig site lay just below the city gates on the terrace. My best find was a small stone calf head plucked from a wheelbarrow just moments before its contents were poured into a 25-foot-deep dump site. Spent bullets, shells and barbed wire also found their way into our square from more recent action around Megiddo. Broken pottery was the major element of every level, of course. Since we found no arrowheads, and much broken pottery, I concluded that wars were fought mainly by throwing pottery.
A weekend touring Tiberius and Galilee and another in Jerusalem capped off my trip of a lifetime. On a beautiful day spent in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, I saw the real artifacts I’d seen in pictures in BAR over the years.
Hard work (I lost 15 pounds), wonderful new friends, and an insight into the unique people and history of Israel were my reward for simply asking BAR to consider my reasons for wanting the experience.
Summer at Tel Jezreel
I have always wanted to participate in a dig to see exactly how archaeologists put together the history of a site. At Tel Jezreel, where I volunteered last summer, I was able to see how many different disciplines cooperated. There were surveyors, photographers, 057historians, pottery experts and people with less refined skills (like me!), and everyone worked together. Someone like me could always ask questions; I even did some surveying. I learned about pottery, soils, robbers’ trenches, and of course, a lot about pickaxes and wheelbarrows.
The egalitarianism on the dig was particularly attractive to me; the expedition director, John Woodhead from the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, emptied wheelbarrows just like the rest of us. But most important, we all participated in the collection and analysis of the history of this site. All theories were open for debate, and evening discussions after pottery washing were sometimes the most interesting part of the day.
All kinds of people participated on the dig. I met a London hairdresser, an Oxford professor, a Korean student and a California housewife. Several participants were the European equivalent of religious studies students (like me), so we enjoyed discussing our common classes and research.
Israelis I met during weekend travels were hospitable and helpful. I had no problems maneuvering through the bus system. Though I thoroughly enjoyed sightseeing alone, the people of Israel made my trip much more interesting.
Israel has always attracted me. I was not disappointed; Jerusalem has a sacred aura. Standing in the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives I could see over the Old City, with its beautiful mosques, churches and synagogues. I visited the Coptic Patriarchate (of particular interest because of my concentration on eastern Christianity); I also witnessed an Ethiopian Orthodox prayer service, one of the most strangely beautiful rituals I’ve ever seen. I saw the Western Wall on Shabbat—the people in prayer and the Israeli soldiers surrounding the site made a strange contrast. But the city, indeed the whole of Israel, is full of these juxtapositions. Hasidic Jews in 18th-century black garb carry beepers and portable phones, and a videotape shop occupies a Byzantine market.
I feel certain I will return to Israel to continue learning archaeology in the best way—by doing. I also want to learn more about the nation of Israel, both its past (for my historical studies) and its present. I cannot say how much I appreciate BAR affording me the opportunity to experience Israel and archaeology for the first time. It was a great opportunity, as I hope it will be for many others in the future. It truly gave me a closeup look at what archaeology is all about. It’s dirty work, but someone’s gotta do it!
Sepphoris—A Glimpse of the Past
Thanks to a BAR scholarship, I spent last summer digging at Sepphoris, a Roman-Byzantine metropolis in the Galilee, near Nazareth. Instead of sitting in the library and digging through books, I dug through the remains of a Roman house!
The days were long and hot, the work tough, but digging was the ideal complement to my study of antiquity. At Sepphoris I glimpsed an ancient era I had only read or heard about. Academic research can’t compare to holding a Byzantine lamp in your hands or uncovering a piece of Roman glass or tessera hidden for centuries by just a few feet of earth.
Different teams of archaeologists at Sepphoris have discovered several splendid mosaics, a theater, public buildings and the old Roman road. In my area this season, we saw a house and a road emerge. We used rope ladders to climb down into cool, dark cisterns, sealed for hundreds of years.
At times I found it difficult to understand the relationship among the various building phases from 600 years of antiquity. Other times I thought I had captured an image of the ancient city before it turned again into a bewildering array of courses of stone. Sometimes I found myself listening for the voices of the people who once lived in these rooms.
For my master’s thesis at Wake Forest University, I am writing about Second Temple Judaism. Sepphoris was a center of Jewish learning during the formation of the Mishnah, an early compilation of Jewish law dating to about 200 A.D. Now I am ready to write my thesis—but with a better picture in my mind of the world I am writing about.
If you would like to volunteer on a dig in 1995, but need financial assistance, send us a letter describing yourself, where you would like to dig and why you want to go. Include the names of two people as references. Tell us exactly how much monetary assistance you will need; include your address and telephone number. Mail your letter with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Biblical Archaeology Society, Attention: Dig Scholarships, 4710 41st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016. The deadline for applications is March 31, 1995.
BAR is again offering travel scholarships to individuals who wish to volunteer on a dig. After receiving a record number of applications last year, we awarded four scholarships. Our winners were Pamela Francis, a master’s student at Loyola University in New Orleans; Susan Vida Grubisha, a graduate student of religion at Wake Forest University; Teresa Kim, who was then completing her senior year studying molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University; and Dennis Diehl, a pastor who told us that although he’d once won a “six pack of Pepsi, this would definitely top that!” Three winners have shared their […]
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