“Find a private place and watch out for scorpions.”
This sage advice from a 13-year-old dig veteran made my spirits sink to the tips of my toes. The rolling Judean hills stretched before me, sun-bleached and inspiring. My dream had come true. I was on a dig in Israel, but what had I gotten myself into?
I had asked so many questions, read so many glowing articles in BAR. I had even picked a dig that offered very comfortable hotel accommodations, since I am not the “outdoors” type. Why had I not thought to ask about “comfort facilities” at the dig site?
Despite this inauspicious beginning, I had a wonderful time during my week of digging at Tel Kerioth in Arad. A large Israelite and Byzantine community in the eastern Negev, the site features a church with mosaic floors, inscriptions, various artifacts and a tomb. Historically, Tel Kerioth is best known as the hometown of Judas Iscariot, Jesus’ betrayer, and as a Moabite city in the books of the prophets Jeremiah and Amos.