Troy University links with Harvard, others to explore ancient civilizations | News
A Troy University partnership with Harvard University, Wheaton College and Boston College will send five TROY students to Israel this summer to work one of the largest archeological expeditions in the Middle East.
The Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, an ongoing excavation since 1985, teams professional archaeologists with students and volunteers to conduct annual excavations of the ancient city about 35 miles south of Tel Aviv.
Earlier this spring, TROY officially joined the consortium that funds the expedition. Students from the University have been working on the site since 2009, and the consortium agreement means that at least five students will continue working on the project.
This summer, the TROY team leaves June 8, and will be researching dog burials that date to the Persian period. It’s a project that anthropology professor Dr. Bill Grantham began about 25 years ago. The five will work under the direction of zooarchaeologist Dr. Paula Wapnish, who worked with Dr. Grantham and is the widow of his major professor at University of Alabama - Birmingham, Dr. Brian Hesse, who was also a long-time Ashkelon scholar.
Students, all social science majors with emphases in anthropology, are Benjamin Conner, a senior from Prattville, Joel Jackson, a junior from Millbrook, John Barbaree, a senior from Andalusia, Hailey Hillsman, a senior from Sandersville, Ga., and Jared Aquayo, a senior from Stone Mountain, Ga.
“(Last year) we were introduced at the site as ‘Bill Grantham’s students.’ Everyone there knew what I was about when that happened,” said, Barbaree, who is making is second trip this summer. “That says a lot about the quality that’s expected of us all.”
Those expectations are echoed by the expedition’s leader, who helped iron out a consortium agreement with University officials.
“Students from TROY have become an integral part of this Ashkelon experience,” said Dr. Lawrence Stager, Harvard’s Dorot Professor of the Archaeology of Israel, who heads the Leon Levy Expedition project.
“Their excitement about the work at hand, capacity for learning new skills and leadership among their peers have made them true assets to our team and examples to our other participants. We are happy to know that the excavation will continue to benefit from the integrity and ingenuity of TROY students,” he said.
Source: Troy University Office of University Relations