20 Armstrong students and faculty members were sent to Jerusalem to
work with Hebrew University’s Eilat Mazar, an Israeli archaeologist best
known for her claim of having discovered the palace of King David. She
has been unearthing a wall near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount that she dates
to the time of King Solomon.
criticized for her use of the Hebrew scriptures as a means of dating or
identifying objects, Mazar nevertheless has managed to unearth
Her critics, including Tel Aviv University archaeologist Israel Finkelstein, told National Geographic that
caution is necessary when attempting to use sacred texts to identify
finds. However, he agreed that Mazar’s latest excavation could have been
part of Solomon’s wall, a defensive structure referenced in the Bible.
spokesperson Shane Granger said an advance group led by college
president Stephen Flurry moved to Israel in June to prepare for the
archaeology group’s arrival. The students are with archaeology
instructor Brent Nagtegaal, an Armstrong alumnus with four previous
excavations to his credit.
the students is Monica Antonio, a 21-year old senior from the
Philippines. This is her first trip to Israel, and she said she is
excited to “touch history.”
“I’m excited to see where the biblical kings lived,” she said. “Digging up history is the most exciting part.”
Class credit is being given for the excavation work. The group will remain in Israel until shortly after New Year’s Day of 2013.
with the group is Callum Wood, a 21-year-old junior from Australia. He
said the group has been taking basic Hebrew classes to help with the
staying and working in the heart of Jerusalem,” he said. “We’re living
in the German Quarter and digging at the base of the Temple Mount.”
Wood said he volunteered because he sees it as a great opportunity to see Israel and participate in history.
“I’m a landscaper for the college,” Wood said, “so I know how to swing a pickax.”
A selection of Mazar’s previous findings is currently on display at Armstrong Auditorium.