Biblical Archaeology Review 41:1, January/February 2015
Digs 2015

Blast from the Past

By Megan Sauter

Every year they come—from diverse corners of the world and different walks of life: students, professionals, enthusiasts, retirees, travel lovers, adventure seekers and more. They put their lives on hold for a couple of weeks or even months, and they dig!

Volunteer participants are an essential part of most academic excavation teams. These volunteers donate not only their time but their energy and enthusiasm as well. Thanks to their contributions, excavations throughout Israel, Jordan, Turkey and the Mediterranean are able to operate expeditiously.

Their work is not easy. It involves early mornings and long hours of digging—from the cool of the morning through the heat of the day—followed by pottery washing and the processing of artifacts in the late afternoon. For excavations with field schools, the day often concludes with an evening lecture.

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