This past season, I had the distinct honor to receive a Heritage Fellowship from ASOR, which I used, along with funds from donors and other scholarships, to participate in the Zeitah Excavations at Tel Zayit, Israel under Dr. Ron Tappy and alongside fellow students from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
Work this season focused on exposing the Iron Age II levels in square K20, but work was also done on the bulk of square O19, where the Zeitah Stone bearing the abecedary inscription was discovered in 2005. The latter square was where I worked this particular season.
Participating in the excavation was a learning experience, challenging, but fun and extremely rewarding. This was the first excavation that I have participated in, and I learned much, not only from Dr. Tappy and Dr. Gabriel Barkay in the field and leading experts in the classroom, but also from my interactions with the rich culture of Israel and its people as we stayed on Kibbutz Gal’on and toured the nation where so much world history has been shaped and reshaped.
With a little over a year and a half left until I complete seminary, my next goal is to obtain a PhD in Religious Studies. The experiences I received, both culturally and archaeological, will help refine my understanding of the phenomenology of religion, as to understand the present, one must first reconstruct the past. I am incredibly grateful for the experience that ASOR and all my donors helped to fund. I could not have done this without all those who supported me.