BAS makes a visit to one of Israel’s top archaeology field schools
In this exclusive video from the Biblical Archaeology Society, educational programs director Sarah Yeomans takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour of the excavations at Bethsaida in Israel. The excavation, directed for more than 20 years by University of Nebraska at Omaha professor Rami Arav, has revealed numerous insights into life at the time of Jesus and is also one of Israel’s top archaeology field schools.
The video tour, shot on location in Bethsaida, Israel, during the summer 2010 field season, begins with a brief introduction to Bethsaida, a small village on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee that, according to the New Testament, saw Jesus perform two of his most famous miracles: the healing of the blind man (Mark 8:22–25) and the feeding of the multitudes (Luke 9:12–17). And while the Bethsaida excavations have revealed numerous insights into everyday life in Jesus’ Galilee during the first century C.E., the site’s origins are actually found in the tenth century B.C.E.—the time of King David—when Bethsaida was part of the small kingdom of Geshur mentioned several times in the Hebrew Bible (Joshua 13:13; 2 Samuel 13:37).
Throughout the video tour, Sarah also gives you a candid perspective about life as an archaeology volunteer at Bethsaida, Israel, from the 4:45 a.m. wake-up calls, to the afternoons filled with pottery washing and analysis, to the various tools and equipment that archaeologists use to collect data. If you want to read more about Sarah’s experience as an archaeology volunteer and supervisor at the site of Bethsaida, you can also check out her article “The Simple Joy of Digging.”
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