One of the more unusual modules we offer is an archaeological excavation where staff and students abandon the University of Nottingham campus for Tel Azekah, Israel.
The site is famous for its fire signals during Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Judah, as well as being one of the main cities that Sennacherib claimed to have destroyed when he subdued Hezekiah.
The site also overlooks the Valley of Elah, preserved in cultural memory as the location for David’s confrontation with Goliath.
Working in the heat and dirt is no doubt exhausting but very rewarding. A typical day might involve waking up at 4:00 a.m. and piling onto buses in order to begin work at the site shortly after sunrise, and then racing against the clock to get as much done as possible before the noonday heat of a hot Israeli summer.
Last year our students’ hard work earned high praise from the area supervisors and assistant supervisors with whom they were working, with many positive remarks about their enthusiasm and energy. Several students are planning to return next year and are already hard at work encouraging their friends and fellow students to join us on this unique module.
In the past, University of Nottingham students have joined over 100 volunteers from places as diverse as Australia, Germany and the United States for three weeks of digging, making this an exciting opportunity for our students to study abroad and gain a uniquely international experience. Our students’ hard work earns high praise from the area supervisors and assistant supervisors with whom they work, with many positive remarks about their enthusiasm and energy. Students also have the opportunity to attend lectures given by an international team of experts and to visit other significant sites in Israel.
Cat Quine, (BA Theology, 2013, now a PhD student) participating in the Archaeological Excavation: Tel Azekah, Israel module
Visiting the places the biblical texts come from and having the chance to dig one of these sites for yourself puts them into a whole new perspective and gives you a far better understanding of the life and theology that the texts speak of. Experiencing Israel and learning about the impact archaeology has on biblical studies and theology in general will not only help with your degree but make you stand out beyond it.
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