Colgate students taking The Land of Israel extended study course visited historic Beit Guvrin, January 3. Students participated in an archaeological dig, toured the site, and took part in a study session about the Bar Kochba revolt. The group is led by Steven Kepnes, Murray W. and Mildred K. Finard professor in Jewish studies and religion.
Kepnes said, “We excavated a cave that was believed to be abandoned by the Idumeans in the 2nd Century BCE when Jews took over the area. After digging for about an hour, Colgate students sifted the dirt to reveal 2,000 year old pieces of clay pots, shells, and ancient compacted sand and shell building materials. A particularly rare find was unearthed by A.J. Farkas ’13, Emmett Potts ’15, and Jessica Gaines ’13, who found a 2,000 year-old piece of golden glass with a decorative ridge.”
The Land of Israel is one of two extended study courses now in progress. The second, Living Egypt, explores modern Egyptian society through interaction with Egyptian students while speaking Arabic. The Egypt extended study group is led by Noor Khan, associate professor of history.