I will never forget the moment I read the email from ASOR notifying me that I was a recipient of the 2012 Platt Scholarship. I was in class, and I immediately burst into tears of joy. I am a rising junior, double majoring in Classical Archaeology and Ancient Mediterranean Religions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and this is the first monetary reward I have received. Not only have the donors helped fund my second season at Huqoq, Israel, 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.
Last year I attended my first archaeological excavation during the opening season at Huqoq, Israel under direction of Dr. Jodi Magness of UNC-CH. Because of finances, I had not planned on returning, but I was encouraged so much to reapply that I finally did at the very last moment of the application deadline. However, I am so thankful that I came back, despite the hectic scrambling to turn everything in on time.
This trip to Israel was probably my smoothest experience traveling abroad. I ended up sleeping over six of the 10 hours on the plane. To my surprise, the next day when the group met together to discuss how the dig operates, Professor Magness notified me that I have been promoted to be one of the assistant square supervisors in my area! The excavation here is set up into two different areas: the synagogue and a presumably Roman/Byzantine village. I am in charge of one of the newly opened trenches in the village area, where after only less than a week’s worth of digging, we have come across several architectural features.
I absolutely love the responsibilities of managing my own trench. Teaching the newbies how to use a dumpy, draw top plans, and excavate properly fills me with so much excitement, even at 5 AM walking to the site. This experience has already proven to me that I want to use my education in archaeology to one day be a professor.
So far, my favorite event at the site was when a herd of sheep and a later herd of cows walked right in front of our area. It’s not every day that you get to protect a 500+-year-old site from frantic farm animals. Just another reason I fell in love with archaeology.
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