Leitch, the sixth recipient, will dig this summer at Abel Beth Maacah in Israel through a joint program sponsored by Azusa Pacific University (CA) and Hebrew University (Jerusalem). The site was extensively used in the Bronze Age. The city has never been excavated, thus Leitch will be one of the first to open the site. Leitch also plans as a part of this fellowship to spend time with this year’s Newell Lecturer, Dr. Adolfo Roitman, Lizbeth and George Krupp Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Head of the Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum (Jerusalem).
[Photo: Dane Leitch and his son Jaxen]
Leitch’s intent is not only to understand digging, but also the museum operation for significant finds. "Archaeological digs and artifacts are the primary source material for teaching," said Leitch, "but the importance of cataloging, interpreting, and transmitting information about the artifacts cannot be understated. My hope in shadowing Dr. Roitman is to learn the process of making artifacts relevant to the public."
David Neidert, Director of the Jeeninga Museum, is pleased Leitch was selected. "Dane was an undergraduate student in my archaeology course. It has been a joy watching him develop during his time as an undergraduate and now a seminary student," said Neidert. "Dane, who is a pastor of a small church in Marion, Ind., is using this opportunity to personally grow and then disciple people in that local church. This is exactly what the Jeeningas hoped for when they established the Fellowship."
Leitch will present his work to the Anderson University community in the fall of 2013.
The Gustav Jeeninga Museum Fellowship for Archaeology was established for the purpose of developing scholars in the field of archaeology and biblical studies. The intent of this fellowship is that recipients will become engaged in the field of archaeology, establish a chosen career in this field or in biblical studies, or broaden their biblical knowledge through practical experience with archaeological fieldwork.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.