by Salem Arvin

by Salem Arvin.

Living in a new place can pose many challenges, and whether emotional or physical this has the tendency to throw off even the best of us. However, in my journey to Israel for an archaeological field school at the Tel Akko site there was one thing I wasn’t expecting to feel. That feeling? Out of my element. Here I am, digging through the dirt and making discoveries in ways I couldn’t have imagined, but when it all comes down to it I have felt like a fish out of water. You see, at Miami I’ve taken courses on both Latin American and North American archaeology, I’ve taken the archaeology capstone, and I’ll even be UAing for ATH 212, the introductory archaeology class. I know the discipline, but what I didn’t realize is how much knowledge I didn’t have, and how much I could learn here at Akko.

In all honesty I know almost nothing about Old World or Biblical archaeology. While I am certified in Spanish and have worked for years on my accent and grammar, I know almost no Hebrew. I know little of other religions, and especially of the bible. I didn’t know about the chronology, the ceramics of the area, the vegetation, even the history. That was, until I started digging and attending lectures. The staff here at Tel Akko have really opened up my eyes to the history of Akko in ways I didn’t think possible at the start. It was easy to get frustrated and think “Oh, well this isn’t my specialty so I’m not worried about it”, but over time my attitude changed, and I became more and more intrigued with my surroundings and what I could learn here.

As academics-in-training it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that we don’t, in fact, know everything. And that is OKAY, because even more valuable than always being right or always being the smartest person in the room is being willing and able to absorb new information and maintain a positive attitude. My time at Akko has taught me not only about its Crusader history or the history of the Ottomans, of religious practice and of Israel as a whole, but also how to better myself. And with that in mind, I will continue to cherish my time here and work to further my own understanding of the archaeology of Akko.


Happy digging!

Salem Marie Arvin


Salem Arvin
About Salem Arvin
Aspiring archaeologist and president of the Anthropology Club at Miami University.

1 Comment

  • Cindy Jiménez De Cabrera
    4:52 AM - 14 July, 2018

    So proud of all your exploration and accomplishments. Keep it up Salem!

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Sifting Through my Thoughts: How to better oneself