The Newsletter of the Megiddo Expedition

Virtual Reality
Temple Complex
In Memoriam
Thutmose III
Faunal Remains
Charms Capture
The 1998 Excavation
In the Footsteps... OI
The Gossip Corner
Megiddo's Charms Capture Student

It was December, 1993, and as a student at a small private college in eastern North Carolina, I had papers to write and exams to study for.

Peter Carter reaping the rewards of his investment. 

So, being a typical student, I was wandering around bored and wondering how I should spend my summer vacation, when I noticed an advertisement for an archaeological dig at Tel Megiddo, Israel. OK, so all I knew about archaeology I had learned from Indiana Jones, but six weeks in Israel sounded like lots of fun to me. 

I applied and was accepted as a member of the Megiddo Expedition, and in mid-June of 1994, I hopped on a plane with a suitcase stuffed with clothes and a stomach full of excitement. I didn't know any of the other team members, but I figured that just made me like everybody else, so I strapped in and headed for the land of milk and honey. 

If I were a poet, maybe I'd know the words to describe all the fun we had that season, but any description I could give would probably have to end with the statement, 'You had to be there'. However, I can tell you I returned from Israel with a suitcase full of souvenirs, my head crammed full of memories and lots of e-mail addresses of new friends. More than anything else though, I had a yearning to get back to Israel as soon as possible. During the next two years I finished my B.A. degree and went on to graduate school. I also dreamed about Israel and applied to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where I was accepted into a one-year program for the 1996-97 school year. 

This couldn't have worked any better, because the Megiddo Expedition was digging again in the summer of 1996. So, come June, I was once again on a plane to Israel, but this time, I had no ticket for a return flight. A lot of members from the 1994 season returned, and we renewed friendships, made new friends, did some fruitful digging, and had loads of fun doing it. Israel Finkelstein, one of the directors of the Expedition, said that this was the best season of digging he had ever experienced. 

After the season, I moved to Jerusalem and began my studies at Hebrew University. Though the demands of my courses keep me busy, I have been known to take a week off and travel, for example, to the Sinai Peninsula. But that's really part of the education I'm getting studying in a foreign country, and I have to experience all I can while I'm here, right? Living in Jerusalem and going to a university means I meet lots of new people, and quite often I tell them about the Megiddo Expedition and they ask how much it cost me. Now, I guess I could just give a dollar figure and be done with it, and it might seem pretty cheap for a six-week stay in a foreign country (including some expensive weekends in Tiberias...). 

However, there's more to the story than that, so I tell people about when I printed T-shirts for a living. A customer would place an order and I might have to buy $1,000 worth of shirts. Of course, it doesn't matter how much I spent, because after the shirts were printed and delivered, I got paid and made a profit. The same investment principle is true of digging with the Megiddo Expedition I've definitely profited more than could ever be summed up in dollars. 

Now, I'm not an old man, but I've been around for awhile. I take life seriously, but it 'ain't worth it if you're not having fun', as the saying goes. I don't know where I'll be after this school year, but whatever plans I make will include being in Megiddo for the next dig. 

Peter Carter, 
Megiddo Expedition 
Team Member