This semester I am teaching the courses Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology, Ancient Food and Drink Technology, and Introduction to the Middle East (a 1-credit Honors course co-taught with History faculty member Daniel Byrne). Preparations for the 2012 summer study trip to Jordan in May-June are underway, as well as plans for the first season of a new archaeological project in Israel: the Jezreel Expedition (http://www.jezreel-expedition.com/). In June 2012, Norma Franklin of Tel Aviv University and I plan to direct a two-week survey season at Tel Jezreel and 'Ein Jezreel with UE students followed by one week of excavation at Megiddo (https://sites.google.com/site/megiddoexpedition/home). In December I was able to spend a day at the site and enjoy the hospitality of our hosts at Kibbutz Jezreel; I am very much looking forward to this new field project and I am sure that it will be an excellent opportunity for our students. I have applied for funding from NEH and NSF to support research of the basalt vessel workshop at Hazor and bread culture in Jordan and I plan to continue working on these projects in 2012-13.
In addition to teaching the courses Introduction to Archaeology, Syro-Palestinian Archaeology, and Senior Seminar, Iam spending the beginning of this semester making plans for next summer and preparing for several conference presentations this fall. In addition to returning to Jordan and hopefully Egypt in 2012, I am organizing a new archaeological project with a colleague in Israel (details forthcoming) and applying for funding to support further work on the Hazor basalt vessel workshop (described below) and an ethnographic project on traditional bread baking in Jordan. I am also preparing two presentations for the Future of Biblical Archaeology Conference organized by the Tandy Institute for Archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Dallas in honor of my mentor, Bill Dever, in October. I am really looking forward to honoring Bill at this conference and visiting my colleagues from the University of Arizona. In November, I'll travel to San Francisco to participate in the 2011 ASOR Annual Meeting, where I'll present the results of my research on exhibits of women's lives in antiquity in Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian museums (conducted in summer 2010) and co-chair a special evening session celebrating Bill Dever's career with Beth Nakhai. I'm planning to return to Israel and Jordan for a brief visit over winter break to work on aspects of the projects I have planned for next summer.
Eight UE students, including five archaeology majors, participated in a three-credit Summer Session I course in Jordan May 16-June 6. l led the trip along with Associate Professor of History, Daniel Byrne, and Associate Professor of Political Science, Wes Milner. While in Jordan, we stayed at the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in Amman for two weeks and participated in field trips to sites in northern, central and eastern Jordan, heard presentations by local experts, visited a Habitat for Humanity build site, visited the UNRWA refugee camp in Amman and much more. During the last week of our stay we visited Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, the Dead Sea and other sites in the south. We had a fantastic time! Some photos are posted on the blog here. We are planning to return with a larger group in May-June 2012; please contact me for more information.
After Jordan, I spent the rest of the month of June in Israel working on the ground stone assemblages from several sites and analyzing the evidence for a basalt vessel workshop at Hazor that was unearthed last August (visit this article that I wrote on recent excavations at Hazor for more information about the site. The workshop is described in the Hazor 2010 season report here). This material is stored at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at Kibbutz Ayelet HaShahar, near Tel Hazor. I hope to return in summer 2012 to continue working on the material from this unique workshop.