iTV | University | Store

Down and Dirty

Have you ever imagined being part of an archaeological dig in Israel?  My first excavation was at Bethsaida with Dr. Romi Arav of University of Nebraska.  I was working on my Master’s degree in Biblical Archaeology and I was traveling to archaeological sites in Israel and Jordan with Dr. Steven Collins of Trinity Southwest University and a group of fellow students. 

This is a funny story.  First day you were to be on the bus at 6 AM.  Therefore I was up at 3 AM to shower, wash my hair, do my makeup. OOPs, I woke up my roommate.

We arrived at Bethsaida located at the northern junction of the Jordan River with the Sea of Galilee. It is a delta region, extremely hot and humid. Jesus had cursed the city (and I could see why) and its location had been lost until the late 1800’s.

We walked up a long hill when Dr. Arav stopped in a shadeless area and began to lecture.  The longer he lectured, the hotter I got.  Soon I was melted like a Popsicle.  My straightened hair was frizzed around my face, my clothes were sopping wet.  

I was assigned to work in the gate chamber where there was not even a breath of fresh air.  It was stifling!  I was so grateful when we got down in the dirt, the coool dirt.

Finally, the first break of the day.  I stumbled over the threshold stone at the city gate and as I was getting up I felt the coldness of the stone.  So, I just laid my head down on that cold, cold stone.

I may have been a prissy person when I arrived but I was also a quick learner.  The second day I slept until 5:30 AM, put on my filthy clothes, put my hair in a pony tail and with no makeup got on the bus.  I remember thinking to myself that I am so free now.  I was working on assignment from the Lord and that was all that mattered.

Someone took my picture while I was lying on the stone threshold.  Later back home I found Mark 8:22 which said Jesus brought a blind man out of the village of Bethsaida to heal him.  It was then I realized that Jesus entered and exited across the very threshold stone on which I laid my head.

That is what archaeology is all about meeting Jesus walking on this earth.

Comments (1)

  • Lora Marney


    Your article in the book and here is wonderful. I remember Migiddo in the 100 degree heat. My brain was so fried that I could not even take notes. I don’t remember anything the tour guide related, just the blazing hot sun bearing down relentlessly.


Leave a comment