Our final guest post comes from Ruby-Anne.
To write about an experience to an audience that does not know you is a daunting task. To try and convey an incredible experience while still trying to capture a bit of “youness” is even more so. Despite this, I still feel privileged to share some of this incredible experience with you.
My name is Ruby-Anne Birin. I am born, raised and educated in South Africa and am currently an undergraduate student at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. I came across the excavation while on a ‘Google binge’ while procrastinating on some assignment or chore. After some more research on the program I took the leap and applied. Thankfully I was accepted.
The past six weeks have not only immersed me in groundbreaking fieldwork, it has also given me the opportunity to learn from some true specialists of their craft. Archaeology is not a one dimensional science, it takes a toll on you physically, mentally and emotionally. While challenging, the moment you find something or grasp a concept that may better help contribute to our knowledge of the past it makes up for every blister and exhausted collapse into bed.
Field trips become a way to see the world outside the insular community that forms in Ashkelon. They show you the interconnectedness of the site and draws Ashkelon’s long history into context of the region. From the heat at Masada, ancient water systems in Jerusalem to exploring caves in Beit Guvrin, each site adds excitement and knowledge to this incredible experience.
I am grateful to the staff and volunteers who have made this experience what it is, thank you!