June 6, 2020

Digging deeper: Professor Walton discusses archaeology

Dr. Walton isn’t just a professor, he’s also an archaeologist who’s been digging for roughly 17 years now (and he absolutely loves it).
From meeting some of his best friends to meeting his wife, this profession has brought great joy to Dr. Walton’s life.
In 2011, in Southern Israel, Dr. Walton met his wife of four years and his best friends.
“After 16 -17 years of digging with same people, you become close,” he said.
But archaeology isn’t just meeting new people, obviously. It can be a tough environment to work in.
“I don’t enjoy the heat, but I don’t mind the dirt. The Middle East in the summer isn’t the most fun place,” Walton said.
Walton digs in a lot of burial sites in southern Israel. During the summer, he typically works on three digging sites. The first is Tell es-Safi, a biblical gath that was a Palestinian village.
“We dug early Bronze Age city, 2500 B.C. before Abraham and I worked on that for eight years,” he said.
Walton also works on Ashkelon, the biggest port city in southern Israel. Dr. Walton said that the place they dig in was around 1175 B.C. to 604 B.C., which was around the time of Judges in the bible to the King Nebuchadnezzar.
Tel Shimron is the third site Dr. Walton digs at which was the Iron Age around the 8th century, and is the same site that Capital students have the opportunity to do archaeology work over the summer. The program is called Tel Shimron Excavations and there’s a 6-week dig June 22 to Aug. 3 and two, three-week digs during that time. This program allows students to get 3-6 credit hours and it’s $1,600 for three weeks and $3,200 for the full six weeks.
Dr. Walton really enjoys his job and has made a lot of great memories digging.
“Digging is a fun social experience, it’s a summer camp type of vibe. It’s fun working with good friends,” he said. “It’s really cool being the first person to see something for thousands of years — 3,000-5,000 [years] ago. It’s also a fun creative exercise.”

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