The Edmond Sun

Features

May 3, 2007

Students dig through history

EDMOND — Three Edmond theology students have placed their hands on the past while unearthing one of the most significant archeological digs of modern history. The sights and smells of history blend with their Christian faith.

Brent Nagtegaal, Edwin Trebels and Jeremy Cocomise left the Herbert W. Armstrong College in October for Jerusalem to assist for five-months in an ongoing archeological dig of what is believed to be King David’s Palace. They will be among the six men and three women who will make the journey this summer for the third phase of the dig.

Locating King David’s Palace is significant because its history marks King David’s reign when he captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites as explained in 2 Samuel of the Bible, said Trebels, a native of the Netherlands.

Eilat Mazar of Hebrew University made international news in 2005 when she unearthed a large wall near the Kidron Valley. Funding allowed the prominent Israeli archeologist to begin the second phase of her dig, which involved the three male students.

About 20 percent of the excavation is considered complete, said Cocomise, of Chicago. The third phase of the dig will be a larger undertaking.

“A lot of the edge of the wall was pushed over into the valley in later periods, so a lot of data was lost,” Trebels said. “Now because we’re going more inland, we’ll have a better chance to find more of the very significant vessels from King David’s period.”

Without any experience in archeology, the Edmond students were able to assist archeologists excavate from recent-day Jerusalem down through layers of history. The archeological site is in central Jerusalem beneath homes and layers of other historic ruins, Trebels said. They sifted through the Islamic period, the time of Christ to when King David ruled the area 3,000 years ago. Some of the excavation unearthed material from the time of Abraham, Trebels said.

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