Biblical Archaeology Review 20:1, January/February 1994
1994 Excavation Opportunities

BAR Dig Scholarships

BAR is again offering travel scholarships to dig volunteers! Last year, BAR announced scholarships to help defray travel expenses of individuals who wished to volunteer on a dig. Requests poured in, and two scholarships were awarded.

Marsha Middleton, of California, one of the 1993 winners, shared with us the entry in her diary of the dig at Tel Beth-Shemesh:

“We were a varied group: some retired, looking for Biblical insights; some students, curious or serious about archaeology; others seeking adventure. A few were scholars. I had joined the dig to experience field archaeology and to decide whether it was the career for me.

“Day one at Beth-Shemesh. ‘Today is going to be a miserable day,’ our leader warned. He was right. Our first job was to clear away the tall, intruding weeds that covered the excavation site. Then the real work began.

“For the next few weeks, I learned archaeology—the digging, sifting, shoveling, brushing, earth moving, removing the artifacts—harder work than I had imagined.

“Underneath the lifeless, eroded dirt, we saw the skeleton of humanity’s living and breathing existence—broken pottery and artifacts, showing us that people had lived here, and larger stones, vaguely cultic, reminding us that they had dreamed.

“As the exhausting days went by, I asked myself whether or not I was enjoying this experience. True, field work is an uncomfortable and difficult part of being an archaeologist, but I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.

“First came the decision; now comes the commitment. I know I’ll return.”

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