Big travel news. In just a few short weeks, I begin a month of travel, fun, adventure, writing and my first archaeological dig. Three trips spread over four weeks – Alaska, Israel and Phoenix.
Trip 1: New Orleans // Dallas // Alaska // Dallas // New Orleans
On May 14, we leave for a week in Alaska. We’ll have a couple of days in and around Anchorage then off the Bethel for my niece Lauren’s high school graduation. I haven’t been to Alaska since 1992 and this will be Kimberly and Jonathan’s first trip there.
We’ll meet Mom in Dallas and fly together to Anchorage. We’ll have two and a half days there, before flying to the village of Bethel. In addition to the great time with family, we hope to see lots of beautiful scenery and wildlife.
We are really excited about the trip. I should have a few interesting blogs from this trip.
Trip 2: New Orleans // Philadelphia // Israel // Philadelphia // New Orleans
After a few days back home to work, recharge and repack, then it’s off the Israel where I am participating in New Orleans Seminary’s archaeological dig at Tel Gezer. Gezer has an interesting history. When the Israelites came into the Promised Land, Joshua defeated the King of Gezer, but the Israelites failed to drive out all the Canaanites. The city was destroyed by Egypt during the reign of Solomon. Then Pharaoh gave Gezer to Solomon as a wedding present. Solomon rebuilt and fortified the city. It was destroyed again by Shishak, another Egyptian king, around 925 B.C.
The site has been excavated several times beginning in the early 1900s. In June 2006, a consortium of school began digging under the direction of Dr. Steve Ortiz, archaeology professor at Southwestern Seminary. NOBTS is a consortium member in the Gezer project. NOBTS was asked to lead the excavation of Gezer’s ancient water system dating to 1800 B.C. (about the time Abraham lived).
The water system was explored by R. A. Stewart Macalister in 1908 and by Pére L. H. Vincent shortly thereafter. The two archaeologists produced conflicting reports. And for the past 100 years the deep tunnel has been filled with rocks, dirt and debris. Those in the know, believe there is more to learn about in the tunnel.
I had the privilege of studying under Dr. Ortiz in 2001 and 2002 when he was on the NOBTS faculty. Since my first days in his “Exploring the Biblical World” class, I’ve wanted to go on a dig. When I joined the NOBTS staff I worked on numerous archaeology articles which only increased my interest in the subject. Over the past year I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Jim Parker and Dr. Dan Warner on several articles about the Gezer dig – even more interest. So I’m excited about the opportunity to dig.
So I’ll help clear rubble from the tunnel five hours a day for two weeks. Sounds like hard work … I guess I won’t need an “Indiana Jones” fedora. Then in my spare time I’ll write about the dig. I’ll be blogging about this trip at www.nobtsarchaeology.blogspot.com
Trip 3: New Orleans // Phoenix // New Orleans
The last stop of my whirlwind tour is Phoenix, Ariz. I’ll have a few days in New Orleans after the Israel trip, then it’s off the Phoenix for a three-day work trip. I’ll write several articles, pack up the seminary’s exhibit booth and head home. Then I’ll rest … and mow the lawn.