Every year BAR offers $1,000 travel scholarships to a few people who couldn’t otherwise afford to volunteer for a dig. If this description fits you, the box at lower right tells you how to apply. But first you may want to read what two of last year’s winners—Carol Lowry, a Minnesota playwright who dug at Bethsaida, and Chris A. Rollston, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins who excavated at Megiddo—have to say. Our third winner, Yekaterina Umarova, a University of Maryland student and recent emigré from Russia, should be arriving at Ein Gedi just about the time this issue of BAR hits the newsstands.
As a student of ancient Israel, I had taken classes in Hebrew, Aramaic, Phoenician, Ugaritic, Akkadian and Coptic. I had read various inscriptions, such as the Siloam Inscription, the Samaria Ostraca, the Lachish Letters, the Mesha Stele and the Tel Dan inscription, but I had never been on an excavation in Israel.