In a couple of day’s time I will begin an extended period of time in Israel during a combination of study leave, recreation leave and on-site teaching for the annual Bethsaida archaeology project.
From time to time I will post news and information on this blog site, but it will not be in the form of a daily journal until at least 16 June when the main group of Australian volunteers arrive.
In very brief terms, as already indicated in a post on my Facebook page, I will be spending the next 4-5 months as follows:
- I will be living at Tiberias, and commuting to Jerusalem every week or so for a few days a week, to work on the coins recovered from Bethsaida over the past 26 years and now held by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
- During that period I also need to prepare two conference papers for the International Meeting of SBL at St Andrews in Scotland in mid-July. These will draw on the coin database, as a kind of ‘firstfruits’ from that research.
- In amongst all that I plan to finish the draft of a new book.
- Finally, I will have 5-6 weeks on the Bethsaida dig this year instead of the usual two week season. I am really looking forward to this increased involvement in the dig.
No doubt my Arabic and my Hebrew skills will improve dramatically through this time, and that will contribute to my future teaching and research. As a sabbatical, I shall be aiming to keep my emails to a minimum, so I hope you will understand if I am not as accessible as usual.