From the Geneseo Republic (Geneseo, Illinois):
Sara Patterson spent her summer searching for the Romans.
The Geneseo native was part of a team that traveled to Dhiban, Jordan, to participate in an archeological dig.
â€œWe were looking for evidence of Roman occupation,â€ she explained. â€œAn inscription was found in the 1960s, and a lot of Roman pottery has been found, but we havenâ€™t found a single Roman dwelling yet.â€
â€œWe were also looking for things from the Ironâ€ˆ Age. One of the reasons Dhiban is so important is because the Mesha Stele was found there.
â€œThe Mesha Stele is a stone that dates from the 850s. It was written by Mesha, King of the Moabites about the conquering of their enemies, particularly the Israelites. Itâ€™s one of the first references to the Israelites outside of the Bible, which is why itâ€™s so important,â€ she said.
Patterson is a 2005 Geneseo graduate. In May, she graduated fromâ€ˆ Knox College with degrees in history and chemistry.
â€œIâ€™d heard about the trip from a friend of mine who was taking a class from professor Danielle Steen Fatkin,â€ she said.
Steen Fatkin and fellow professor Katherine Adelsberger had received a $12,000 grant from the Associate Colleges of the Midwest to study at the archeological site.
â€œShe was looking for a student interested in museum studies because they needed someone to also work with the museum in Madaba, Jordan, to revamp its exhibit on Dhiban,â€ said Patterson.
She volunteered for the experience. â€œTo prepare, those of us who were going had to take a spring term class where we studied archeological theory. We learned about archeological techniques and learned some Arabic phrases.â€
Students also were encouraged to take a Biblical history class to better acquaint themselves with the region.