Grace College Students Uncover History on Biblical Archaeology Trip to Israel
Four Grace College students: Carter Schuh, Michael Stauffer, Justin Van Prooyen and Hannah Henderson, and Dr. Mark Norris, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, recently returned from a two-and-a-half-week trip to Tel Burna, a biblical archaeology site in Israel. The group helped uncover ruins of the ancient Levitical city of Libnah — an administrative and defense center in the former kingdom of Judah — to fulfill a six-credit hour field experience required for archaeology minors at Grace.
“There’s so much to learn once you are on site,” said Henderson, a history major from Bedford, Indiana. “This trip brings to life and puts into practice everything you learn in classes like ‘Artifacts and Exhibits’ and ‘Ancient History.’”
Henderson’s job on the dig was to expose the walls of Libnah. Her daily activities included digging and scraping the walls layer by layer, as well as washing and polishing pottery that was excavated from the site. All four Grace students played a role in confirming the site was the ancient city of Libnah and determining the location of the city gate.
In addition to their time digging, students were required to attend lectures taught by supervising professors and conduct their own research on the site’s rich history.
“It was a rigorous learning experience for our students, as they were highly engaged with history every step of the way,” said Norris. “This trip never fails to be a profound and extremely rewarding experience for those in the program.”
On the weekends, the team stayed in Jerusalem and visited Old Testament landmark ruins while touring the city. According to Henderson, reading the story of David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah and discussing the story of Jesus healing the blind man at the pool of Bethesda are moments she will not soon forget.
“There’s something special about witnessing biblical archaeology,” said Henderson. “It’s stirring. It’s powerful.”
The archaeology minor was started in 2015 by Dr. Jared Burkholder, history and political science program director at Grace. The program partners with the Lanier Center for Archaeology and the Department of Holy Land Studies at Jerusalem University College to make biblical archaeology trips possible.
To learn more about the archaeology minor at Grace, visit www.grace.edu/programs/
Photo attached: Four Grace College students: Carter Schuh, Michael Stauffer, Justin Van Prooyen and Hannah Henderson, and Dr. Mark Norris, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, recently returned from a two-and-a-half-week trip to Tel Burna, a biblical archaeology site in Israel.