Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tourists help excavate ancient Holy Land caves

CNN has this article titled Tourists help excavate ancient Holy Land caves. The article notes, "Tourists like Krewson pay $25 to spend the day working in ancient tunnels in Israel's Bet Guvrin National Park, about 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem. Participants do the dirty work, digging and sifting through the ruins, while their fees underwrite the more difficult parts of archaeological work: washing pottery shards, logging finds and publishing papers in academic journals."

What a great idea! If you need labor on an archaeological dig, you normally either pay people to do it or make some poor graduate student help in exchange for resume material. However, in Israel, some archaeologists have figured out how to make tourists pay for the privilege of working a dig site.

Ian Stern, director of Archaeological Seminars, which is licensed by the Israeli government to do the dig, said, ""We've provided more people with a personal contact with archaeology than anybody else in the world. It helps them connect to their roots."

I guess I would pay to do this. Getting inside an old cave in Israel and digging in the dirt sounds fun. And $25 for a day is a lot cheaper that most other tourist activities in Israel. I wonder if I could get my wife to dig too?

From the site:

Deep in a 2,000-year-old tunnel system outside Jerusalem, a young woman unearthed a rare oil lamp used in ancient rituals during an archaeological dig.

For Abby Krewson, the discovery is especially gratifying: Krewson is a 10th-grader from Philadelphia participating in a "dig for a day" archaeological experience with her family and a Bible college group.

"I didn't expect to find something like that, so it's very exciting," Krewson said.

1 comment:

Jennie W said...

While I agree with the idea, I wonder if those tourists don't end up costing more in time and damage than they are actually worth.