We are excited to have a guest post today from Dr. Rangar Cline, who has already led several groups of OU students on archaeological digs in Israel and will be leading another group at Megiddo this summer:
I will be leading OU students to Israel again in 2016. This past summer (2015), we had great success working with the Jezreel Valley Regional Project (JVRP) at Legio, the camp of the Roman 6th Legion, located next to biblical Megiddo. Eight OU students participated in the program and all performed well on the excavation and study tour.
During the study tour, students and I visited archaeological sites such as Sepphoris, Beit She’an, and Nimrud’s Fortress. We also visited modern Nazareth, where students visited a recreated biblical-style village where locals demonstrated traditional agricultural techniques and crafts, such as spinning wool and weaving. After the excavation began, students organized their own weekend trips to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, where another staff member and I were able to catch up with them for a couple of photos:
During the program, the students and I stayed at Kibbutz Mizra, where students were able to see some of the beautiful gardens maintained by the residents and where many students attended a tour of the kibbutz museum where a guide discussed the settlement of Kibbutz Mizra in the 1920s.
At the excavations, OU students help to discover the remains of the camp of the Sixth Roman Legion (Legio VI Ferrata). One of the highlights of their discoveries were the multiple phases of plumbing at the camp along with other public and private quarters used by the legion. Students learned to use excavation survey and global positioning equipment and to dig with traditional tools. While I did do some hard physical work, I spent a good deal of my time recording the results of the excavation on my iPad – using digital text, photos, and video to document the project for the Jezreel Valley Regional Project’s database.
The excavation received some media attention and descriptions of the excavations can also be found at Haaretz and Sci-News.
We plan to work with the JVRP again in 2016, this time at Megiddo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with evidence for human occupation from the Bronze Age to the Persian Period. Megiddo is perhaps most famous because of its associations with King Solomon’s building programs and as the site of Revelation’s Armageddon (= Hill of Megiddo). The program features a three-week archaeological field school, evening lectures on historical and archaeological topics, and a one-week study tour of archaeological sites in northern Israel. Students earn four upper-division field study credits in RELS. Scholarships for students will again be available through Judaic Studies (see link below).
More details, and the enrollment portal, can be found here.
Scholarships are available to qualifying students through Judaic Studies here.
More information about the Megiddo Expedition and 2016 excavations can be found here. (note that OU will participate in the first excavation session.)
More information about the 2016 Study Tour can be found here.