BAR’s annual dig issue has long directed readers to excavation opportunities in Israel and beyond.a To help readers decide which dig is for them, we provide a list of sites, together with the dates of the excavation seasons and the name of each dig’s director.
Jennie Ebeling, associate professor of archaeology at the University of Evansville in Indiana, however, used our 2011 list of dig opportunities for a different purpose: to highlight the growing gender gap in Biblical archaeology.
In an article for The Bible and Interpretation Web site (www.bibleinterp.com), Ebeling found that only six of the 22 excavations listed for Israel for the summer of 2011 were directed or codirected by women. The gender gap among dig directors held steady when she added the handful of other excavations listed on the Web sites of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) and the Archaeological Institute of America. Ebeling also found that fewer than a third of the licenses granted by the Israel Antiquities Authority for 2011 were issued to women.
“[A dig’s] director provides the ‘face’—and often, in our field, the personality—of a dig,” wrote Ebeling. “The [statistics suggest] that there are many fewer female than male ‘faces’ representing the field of Syro-Palestinian archaeology.”