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The Jezreel Expedition Experience

 
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Not all archaeological excavations are created equal. As a PhD candidate specializing in Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of California-Berkeley, I can tell you that, mostly, the dirt is the dirt is the dirt. All over the world the earth yields beautiful, wonderful, exciting, mundane artifacts - jewelry, figurines, sickle blades, broken pieces of pottery, you name it. And those artifacts tell all sort of stories about the people who made those fabulous and ordinary and marvelous things, stories that are both familiar and surprising, stories that link us to them and show how different we all are, yet how much we are also the same.

Why Come to Tel Jezreel?

 
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The team at Jezreel includes several volunteers in our 50s and above who have no obvious staff or academic role. We are here as amateurs in the original sense – we study archaeology for love.

Traveling with the Jezreel Expedition

 
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One of my favorite things about participating in the Jezreel Expedition is all the various opportunities I have for traveling around the surrounding area during field trips. While we spend a lot of time digging, we also get the chance to visit and tour historical sites as well as other places of interest.

Nazareth Village

 
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Field trips are an exciting aspect of our expedition in Israel. One of our weekly Wednesday field trips was to Nazareth. To me, the most exciting part of this trip was a tour of the First Century Nazareth Village. The reconstructed village actually functioned as a terraced field during Jesus' life and now continues to grow olive trees and produce olive oil, wool, and woven textiles for tourists.

Learning a Different Way

 
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I am a third year doctoral student at Vanderbilt in the Graduate Department of Religion studying Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel. In addition, I am ordained clergy and I spend a great deal of time dedicated to ministry. My interest in archaeology is relevant to both my work as a burgeoning scholar and as someone squarely situated in the church. During the school year I spend my days and nights in the library, in class, teaching and learning both in an academic setting and in the church. I enjoy what I do; I find great purpose in it.

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