Biblical Archaeology Review 36:6, November/December 2010

Archaeological Views: What’s Luck Got to Do with It?

By Michael Eisenberg

Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2010

Curiosity—of course—is a prime requisite of a field archaeologist. Good instincts are also an advantage. But nothing substitutes for just plain good luck.

All three have lined up for the Hippos Excavation Project that I codirect with Professor Arthur Segal of the University of Haifa.a

Simply getting the permit to excavate the site was itself quite fortuitous. In late 1998, when I was still a graduate student, I accompanied Professor Segal, future director of the Hippos excavations, to meet with Dr. Vassilios Tzaferis, then head of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s excavations and surveys division. Arthur wanted to see whether Hippos, a city of the Roman Decapolis overlooking the Sea of Galilee, was already “registered” to another archaeologist or research institute.

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