The Platt Fellowship Changed My Life

Posted in: March Fellowship Madness, Scholarships
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By: Caroline Carter, 2012 Platt Fellow

In the summer of 2011, I attended my first archaeological excavation during the opening season of the Huqoq Excavation Project in Huqoq, Israel under the direction of Professor Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Israel Antiquities Authority. I had not planned on returning in 2012, due to finances, nevertheless I reapplied for the project as well as a few fellowships just to see what would happen.

A month later, I received the email from ASOR notifying me that I was a recipient of the 2012 Platt Fellowship to attend my second season at Huqoq. It is a moment that I will never forget- I was in class and I immediately burst into tears for this was the first monetary reward I had ever received. I used the fellowship to pay for my airfare, eliminating about 1/3 of my total costs of fees. At Huqoq, I was promoted to a trench supervisor, which allowed me to instruct field students in proper excavation techniques. I helped excavate a cistern that was covered in slugs as well as cleaned out one of the ancient miqvehot on site. In addition, this past season of course yielded a very exciting discovery. We found the highly detailed mosaic floor of the ancient synagogue! This too is a day that I will never forget. It’s odd to think that I might never have made this memory without ASOR. Without the generous donations, I wouldn’t have been able to go to Huqoq and could not say that I am a part of the amazing team that discovered this unique rarity in archaeology.

Huqoq mosaic with female face and inscription. Photo by Jim Haberman.

Not only have the donors helped fund my second season at Huqoq, but they have given me so much happiness, encouragement, and self-confidence that I needed to keep up with all that is required in this field of study. I am a junior Classical Archaeology and Ancient Mediterranean Religions double major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My interests focus on the archaeology of sacred space in the Greco-Roman ancient Near East. This field requires so much dedication and self-discipline to learn the languages, history, and techniques required to pursue archaeology as a career. Often all we students need is a little reassurance that all our work is worth it. In addition, because I participated at Huqoq again, my experience has helped me earn a fellowship of near full funding to attend the Azoria Project on the island of Crete as an assistant area supervisor this summer. It is safe to say that the Platt Fellowship changed my life.


As you know, ASOR’s mission is to support archaeology in the Near East, and now we have an exciting opportunity for you to support students of archaeology directly! Every year ASOR gives out around 30 Platt and Heritage Fellowships to deserving students to defray the costs of excavating in the Near East. Thanks to last year’s March Fellowship Madness drive we gave out a total of 42 scholarships and we are trying to beat that number this year.

Our goal is to raise $10,000, and if we succeed, two generous donors will give funding for four additional fellowships, meaning a total of 14 additional students will get funding this year!  Help us seize this opportunity to send more students into the field! Donate now!



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