“History is bunk,” said Henry Ford, who thought of the future, and only the future, as an unfolding adventure.
But the past is equally rich in adventure. For the past is not only the great epic of human endeavor, but an ongoing drama that continues to reveal itself in new ways.
This is especially so in a land beating with the 10,000-year-old rhythm of civilizations rising and falling; a land of conquering armies, reclusive monks, lyrical psalmists, remote desert monasteries, salt seas and mountain forests; a land where Stone Age tools lie mingled with Roman lamps, where three of the world’s major religions have their roots and where East has met West for as long as humankind remembers.
Next summer, from the rocky desert site of Har Karkom to the high place, or raised open-air sanctuary, at Tel Dan, excavators will be exploring backwards, into time. As a dig volunteer, you can join them. You need nothing but a sense of curiosity and a willingness to brave the hot sun while you dig. You will work with fellow volunteers of all ages and faiths, and from all over the globe. In some cases, your labors will earn you college credit.
Your plain food and lodging, while far from five-star-hotel quality, will only enhance the romance of the sun-drenched East. And you will have the pleasure of knowing that your efforts make ongoing archaeological discoveries possible. Without volunteers many such excavations could simply not operate.