Go Dig a Hole and Crawl In It

There are a variety of excavations inside and outside Israel for those interested in “biblical archaeology.” There are a few lists of these, including one in Biblical Archaeology Review (in Israel) and Archaeology Odyssey (outside Israel).

There are two that I would particularly recommend, both for the sites’ biblical significance as well as the teams that are involved. Hazor and Gezer were two of the most important sites in ancient Israel, with mention in the ancient sources as early as the 2nd millennium B.C. Both are also noted as cities that Solomon fortified (1 Kings 9:15). This year however will be the first time that both sites are being excavated at the same time.

A new expedition is beginning at Gezer under the direction of Dr. Steven Ortiz, of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, together with Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority. They will be excavating from June 4 – July 7, are accepting volunteers for a minimum of 2 weeks. Ortiz is a well-trained archaeologist who is also a committed evangelical believer. I expect that the excavation team will include many believers, making it a better option for Christians than other digs (some of which are known for a more party-like atmosphere on the weekends). For more information, see GezerProject.org.

Excavations are continuing at the northern site of Hazor under the direction of Dr. Amnon Ben-Tor of Hebrew University. The evangelical group, the Associates for Biblical Research, is planning to participate for a third season. The dates for the ABR program (which includes touring) are June 27 to July 16. Ben-Tor is highly respected in the field, and Hazor is a site where much of interest has been revealed. If you are interested in participating with ABR at Hazor, see their website.

Both are recommended without reservation!


3 thoughts on “Go Dig a Hole and Crawl In It

  1. I did the Hazor did in 2000. Nothing like spending your summer digging through a Bronze age moat filled in with Iron Age garbage. It was great!

    your right about the party scene. The best was when a drunk englishman began doing the tango with the Coke machine.

    But there were plenty of opportunities to witness as well.

    Doing a summer dig is definetly on my top 10 things to do before I die. along with going to a sumo match and seeing a narwhal in the wild

  2. Todd:

    I have been a lurker on your “Todd’s Thoughts” blog for quite a while. But my favorite part was the archaeological stuff you posted there, so I am really glad you started this one.

    Anyways, my question — I am wondering if you could direct me to any responsible treatment of the Exodus issue. Although I am a Talbot grad, I find myself very confused by the whole discussion of the dating of the Exodus and how it possibly fits in with Egyptian history and whether there is actually any extra-biblical evidence for it. When I look on Amazon, I see lots of books, but I really don’t know where they are coming from.



  3. Krista – I don’t know that there’s a book per se that is the best treatment of the subject, though two might be helpful are:

    D. Howard, Jr. and M. Grisanti, eds. Giving the Sense: Understanding and Using Old Testament Historical Texts,
    Grand Rapids: Baker. This has articles related to the subject by a few different writers.

    J. Bimson, Redating the Exodus. Published in 1981 (out of date) but still has some good treatments of the main issues.

    You might also take a look at Bryant Wood’s recent article in Journal of Evangelical Theological Society – Oct 2005, on the Rise and Fall of the Late Date Conquest. He makes many good observations.

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