- Posted March 31, 2011 by
La Jolla, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
'Raiders' turns 30: Your archaeology adventures
Racing back through the Wadi (Arabic, "valley") in our four-wheel drive pickups, faint sounds can be heard over the engines. Amidst the hight wind, swirling sand and squealing tires, shrill voices are carried on the tune of the 'Indiana Jones' theme song. Archeology students from the US and Europe are heading home from the day's work at Khirbat-en-Nahas, near the Wadi Faynan in Southern Jordan in Fall of 2009. I had no idea that I would be in Jordan only a few months before, that I would be arriving to work daily on the dig site before the sun or that I would be be living alongside Bedouin families - but there I was!
Given the invitation by Distinguished Professor and Archaeologist Thomas Levy to travel to the Levant, I left my dedicated 4-year engineering program at the University of California, San Diego for the adventure of the unknown. I had dreamed of exploring hidden chambers and escaping in run-away coal cars since I first saw the 'Raiders' movies as a child. I found myself in the middle of an intensive, academic debate between Dr. Levy and his primary antagonist, Israel Finkelstein, over the validity of texts in the Hebrew Bible relating to the prominent Kingdoms of David and Solomon.
Invigorated by the excavation and intrigue, the extreme temperatures and meager food became as much a part of the experience as the pastel-purple sunrises and the ancient discoveries. It didn't take long to see this joint effort between the University of California and the Jordanian Department of Antiquity was much bigger than I anticipated: National Geographic arrived in November to document our world-class finds.
The experience was once in a lifetime. It was an adventure in detailing history, and I am very fortunate to have been able to be a part.
National Geographic Story: