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Johns Hopkins University-AIAR Undergraduate Archaeological Fellowship: Invaluable Experience in the Field and in the Lab
AUGUST 17, 2017
Elana Neher will be entering her sophomore year at Johns Hopkins University this fall with a summer of archaeological experience under her belt. Neher was awarded the Johns Hopkins University-Albright Institute Undergraduate Archaeological Fellowship to spend this summer on an archaeological excavation in Israel, followed by a one month internship at the Albright. Neher first participated in the Jezreel Valley Regional Project’s archaeological field school at the Legionary Base of the Roman VIth Legion at Legio, Megiddo. Moving to the Albright following the dig, Neher and the JVRP/AIAR Summer Intern Matthew Vineyard began work assisting MA student Christina Olson, cataloging the mysterious baskets of archaeological material from the deepest corners of the Albright attic, excavated last summer by Olson. In preparation for replacing the roof this summer, it was time to conduct this meta excavation.
“I definitely want to be an archaeologist,” Neher said. “When I found out I got the fellowship I was so excited. I have met so many people in the field and learned about the different paths you can take within the field. It was beneficial to both dig at Legio and then come to the Albright afterwards for all the work that goes on after an excavation–the analysis. It was also exciting to be in the country for so long.” Neher declared an archaeology major at Johns Hopkins this past spring.
The relationship between Johns Hopkins University and the Albright Institute goes all the way back to William Foxwell Albright himself, who served as director of the “Jerusalem School” for two terms, from 1920 to 1929 and again from 1933 to 1936. During his second term, Albright alternated semesters with his professorship at Johns Hopkins (King 1983: 86), where he had also completed his doctorate in 1916 (King 1983: 52).
Trustee Bjorn Lindgren and his wife Beverly funded the fellowship, investing in Neher’s career goals and in the Albright’s mission to promote the study of the Near East. We hope our friends will consider investing similarly in the Albright, ensuring we continue to be a resource for a new generation of promising scholars.
Director Matthew Adams said, “For undergraduates to be able to come and spend time in a high level academic research scenario gives them a preview of the academic world. For many like Elana it’s an essential part of her career development to get experience at this stage. I think she’ll be leaving here with renewed excitement about her career choice.”
King, Philip J. American Archaeology in the Mideast: A History of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1983.
The Biblical Archaeology Society of Northern Virginia (BASONOVA) and Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) sponsored student Matthew Vineyard, who was selected for the Jezreel Valley Regional Project/Albright Institute Summer Internship. He began by participating in an excavation, and then took up residence at the Albright for the slightly less dusty phase of the internship.
Vineyard is an undergraduate at The College at Brockport, State University of New York, and spent his summer digging at the third season of excavations at the base of the Roman VIth Legion at Legio, near Tel Megiddo. He’s currently at the Albright for his one-month internship, helping to process finds post-excavation, getting involved with various other projects at the Institute, visiting nearby archaeological sites and museums, and rubbing shoulders with senior scholars in residence at the Institute. We are happy to have him here and grateful to BASONOVA and BAF for their generous support!
BASONOVA provides annual grants to archaeology students, to help defray the cost of their participation in an overseas dig and “invest in the future of biblical archaeology.”
The W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)
The W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research-AIAR-was founded in 1900, as the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. Its current mission is to develop and disseminate scholarly knowledge of the literature, history, and culture of the Near East, as well as the study of civilization from pre-history to the early Islamic period.
Located in an historic 1920’s-period building, now a Jerusalem landmark, the Albright maintains residential and research facilities including a 35,000 volume library, publication offices, and archaeological workshops. Annually, 65 fellows from diverse national, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, and including Israeli and Palestinians participate in AIAR’s international fellowship program. It offers a unique opportunity for interaction and the exchange of information and ideas, and promotes intellectual integrity and respect in a friendly and convivial atmosphere. This environment is not duplicated in any other similar institution in the region.
The Institute provides support for North American archaeological excavations and surveys; it also promotes working relationships with other local and foreign institutions in Israel and fosters friendly interaction with the neighboring community.
The Albright Institute provides up to $325,000 in fellowships and special awards each year for senior, post-doctoral, doctoral, and independent scholars. These include the prestigious Seymour Gitin Distinguished Professorship, Ernest S. Frerichs Annual Professorship, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, Educational and Cultural Affairs Fellowships, Marcia and Oded Borowski Research Fellowship, Lydie T. Shufro Summer Research Fellowship, Noble Group Fellowships for Chinese Scholars, Glassman Holland Research Fellowship for European Scholars, George A. Barton Fellowship, Carol and Eric Meyers Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, and Associate Fellowships.
The Ernest S. Frerichs Program for Albright Fellows
For the past 35 years the Albright Institute has developed and expanded a unique international Fellowship program opened to scholars involved in Near Eastern studies, from prehistory to the early Islamic period. Currently 64 Fellows participate in this program annually. They come from diverse cultural, ethnic, religious and political backgrounds from all over the world, including Israel and the Palestinian Authority. All work together, exchanging information and ideas in a convivial and friendly atmosphere that promotes intellectual integrity and respect, and is not duplicated in any other institution in the region.