Syllabus – Field Archaeology

Course Syllabus: Archaeological Field Work

Archaeological Field Work: 3 Hours

SWBTS/Scarborough Classification: ARCHE 4203 graduate, BIB3503 undergraduate

Faculty and Staff: Tel Burna Excavation Project

Catalog Description :
Participation in a major archaeological excavation in Israel provides opportunity for the observation and practice of techniques in field archaeology. During the excavation process, the student observes and participates in methods of excavation, recording, decipherment, classification, cataloguing, and preservation of various finds. Lectures and field trips led by the archaeological staff provide for a comprehensive field experience.

Course Objectives:

  • The student will increase his/her understanding and appreciation of the discipline of archaeology.
  • The student will develop the skills of:
    • Field method and technique.
    • Evaluating archaeological data in its field context and in relation to history and biblical studies.
    • Field recording, surveying, and strategic planning.
  • The student will increase his/her understanding of the value and role of archaeology in interpreting biblical and historical studies.
  • The student should read all assigned materials prior to class time and be prepared to verbally interact during the discussion. Slide and artifact illustrated lectures will supplement the field instruction.
  • The student is encouraged to read outside the required reading list.
  • Students will participate daily in the excavation project. They will be assigned to a supervisor who will assign daily work tasks.

Supplemental Textbooks (on reserve in the library)

Note: The student should also become familiar with the following texts during the course of the term: (note readings in course schedule)

  • Ben-Tor, Amnon (ed.), The Archaeology of Ancient Israel. Translated by R. Greenberg. Yale: Yale University Press, 1992.
  • Alfred Hoerth, Archaeology and the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998.
  • Levy, Thomas E. (ed.), The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land. New York: Facts on File, 1995.
  • Meyers, Eric (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Stern, Ephraim and others (ed.), The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land (4 vols.). New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993.
Course Evaluation:

Undergraduate students will be graded on participation in the fieldwork and the processing lab, and a final exam (each component is 1/3 of the total grade). Graduate student will also submit a research paper (each component is 1/4 of their total grade).

Field attendance and participation100 points
Lab: material culture processing100 points
Final Exam100 points
Research Paper (graduate)100 points

Research Paper
Each graduate student is required to produce a formal research paper (acc. to Turabian). Papers will be due by August 15th, 2017. The research paper should be approximately 12-20 pages in length, inclusive of bibliography. Topics may be chosen after consultation with the professor.

Be sure to make use of the following journals/periodical literature:

BASORBulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
BARBiblical Archaeology Review
IEJIsrael Exploration Journal
NEANear Eastern Archaeology (formerly Biblical Archaeologist)
PEQPalestine Exploration Quarterly
TATel Aviv