Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment: Archaeology “On the Ground” -- By: Jodie Rice

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 27:4 (Fall 2014)
Article: Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment: Archaeology “On the Ground”
Author: Jodie Rice

Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment:
Archaeology “On the Ground”

Jodie Rice

When I signed up for an archaeological dig with my university, I had no idea what I should expect from the experience. Throughout the school year, I attended meetings on the basic techniques of archaeology and on a general history of biblical archaeology. I learned the names of renowned archaeologists, and I grew familiar with the technical terms for the tools we would be using. All this was in an effort to prepare me for the dig, but I still had no idea what exactly would take place that summer. The textbooks and lectures had yet to do justice to the concept of archaeology.

When I first arrived at Khirbet el-Maqatir, I was eager to get to work. I had a perfectly matching outfit, and felt like a fashionable and female version of Indiana Jones ready to make the next groundbreaking discovery. After being handed a trowel and a bucket, I quickly began to work. What I found out, however, was that I was kind of afraid of getting dirty. Who knew that dirt was part of an archaeological dig? For the first few hours I timidly squatted above the dirt, working slowly due to my unwillingness to sit down on the ground. At this point, I was poised to become the diva of the dig site. I was the kind of girl who was too worried about breaking a nail to accomplish anything the entire week. Fortunately, I quickly overcame this fear. By the end of the day, I was basically rolling around in the dirt. I loved the dirt. For the next two weeks, I was committed to whatever job was set before me, regardless of how dirty it made me.

One of the most striking things about the dig at Khirbet el- Maqatir is that it is a team effort. Indeed, the Search for Joshua’s Ai could not continue in any substantive way without the volunteers. Most of the volunteers have little or no academic background in archaeology, but they are still contributing to the field of biblical archaeology. The people who volunteer come from many backgrounds. The group consisted of college students, a science professor, a retired pilot, an Old Testament scholar, and many others. The dig at Maqatir is a beautiful extension of the Christian community because people of all ages, interests and skills come together in order to prove the validity of the Bible with the hope of bringing glory to God in the process. The dig could not be successful if individuals who still believe in the truth of the biblical text did not unite for a common purpose. Both the square leaders and the volunteers were visibly excited about the discoveries and progress being made at the dig.

While I was on the dig we discovered pottery, coins, a scarab and silos. I learned an incredible amount about archaeology, pottery and architecture during the two weeks on the dig. The most essential thing that I could say about m...

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