It’s summertime! School’s out, the weather’s warmer, the beach beckons… and the Biblical archaeology season is in full swing! The Biblical archaeology claims most likely to make the news tend not to be reliable—all the more reason to pay attention to the real work of archaeology as it’s practiced in the field. Each spring and summer, dozens of archaeology projects with a connection to Bible history spring into action, many of them staffed by students, university staff, and volunteers.
The BiblePlaces blog has a great list of summer excavations in Israel, and a useful list of archaeology excavation blogs worth following if the topic interests you. Many excavations welcome volunteer participation—although it’s probably too late to join a dig (or arrange last-minute travel to the Middle East) this summer, follow some of the excavation blogs and consider whether it’s something you might want to try in the future. I had the privilege of participating in two excavations in Jordan; even though the dig site was not a place mentioned in the Bible, it was rewarding to excavate an early Christian church (a pagan temple repurposed by ancient believers) and catch a distant glimpse of the New Testament world.
Glancing through the list of underway excavations, it’s amazing how many of them are associated with interesting or important Bible events: Gath, Megiddo, Ashkelon, Bethsaida, and others. Can you identify the Biblical significance of these towns and cities? Looking up each of the excavation sites in the Bible make might for an interesting lesson in Bible history.
Thanks to the BiblePlaces blog for the Biblical archaeology excavation roundup!