BAR 15:01, Jan/Feb 1989
Excavation Opportunities 1989
NASA does not ask the public to help them design rockets, particle physicists do not seek the aid of John or Jane Doe to operate their cyclotrons, and geneticists do not recruit enthusiastic lay people to assist in splicing genes. But every year Biblical archaeologists put out the call for volunteers to help them dig. Of all the sciences, archaeology gives interested amateurs the most opportunity to work beside the pros and even to make discoveries. Volunteers may uncover a new structure while wielding a pick, find an important artifact while sifting earth, or discover an inscription while washing potsherds. Whatever task they undertake, however, archaeological volunteers make an indispensable contribution to the success of an excavation.
This year, those who decide to answer the call have more opportunities than ever to choose froma diversity of sites and accommodations. They may live in tents in the Negev desert while excavating a Byzantine cemetery at Rehovot ba-Negev, or enjoy the comfort of a hotel as they dig more deeply into the secrets of Biblical Timnah. Some may choose to dig for academic credit; others purely for the personal satisfaction, camaraderie and learning that come from working with people of all agescollege students to vigorous retireesfrom all over the world.