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Top: CBU student Cassandra Hanlin shows an artifact uncovered during the archaeological dig last summer. Bottom: The archaeological dig site near Tel Rehov, located north of Jerusalem.

CBU student explores her field through archaeological dig

RIVERSIDE (March 5, 2013) - From scorpions crawling out of dirt banks to carrying away buckets of soil in 120-degree heat, CBU student Cassandra Hanlin spent last summer digging for biblical history in Israel.

The sophomore anthropology and psychology major got the opportunity when her grandparents put her in contact with Dr. Sandra Richter, an Old Testament professor at Wesley Biblical Seminary. Richter leads archeology digs every couple of years.

The summer first took Hanlin on a CBU International Service Project (ISP) with a team to South Asia for three weeks. She had two weeks at home in California before boarding a plane for Israel.

Hanlin said the ISP training she received to prepare for different cultures helped her make the transition.

“God had just rocked my world in South Asia,” Hanlin said. “I had finally said ‘Oh my gosh, Lord. You lead my life.’ I got home and was still discovering what that looks like in routine. Then I get to Israel and had to get up at 4 a.m. to read my Bible.”

After Bible study at 4 a.m., Hanlin dug from 5 a.m. until noon near Tel Rehov, a site located north of Jerusalem believed to hold artifacts dating back to the David-Solomon period. The team of diggers ventured to a mound near the city believing it to be the biblical town of Rehob.

Over the course of the three-week dig, Hanlin and the team found artifacts including an Assyrian arrowheads, pottery pieces and a chair with the name “Elijah” inscribed on it, where people would have sat to be prayed over, she said.

“(Digging) was really cool because you could see it level by level, which would be time period by time period,” Hanlin said. “You could see how the town had been destroyed and rebuilt, destroyed and rebuilt, whether through fire or war.”

The dig confirmed Hanlin’s desire to pursue an education in anthropology at California Baptist University.

“It really gave me a more wholistic outlook on what my major consists of and how many routes it consists of,” Hanlin said.

 Hanlin still claims to be a far cry from the movie character that she often gets compared to.

“People ask me, ‘Like Indiana Jones?’ And I’m just like. ‘I wish I had fought off bad men and met this cool, muscular man who saved me from the Nazis.’ But unfortunately you are just covered in dirt and there are scorpions coming out of the wall.” 

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Article written by Grace Ferrell