Elana Neher at work processing finds from the Albright attic, excavated last summer by Christina Olson, MA student at East Carolina University, August 2017.

Johns Hopkins University-AIAR Undergraduate Archaeological Fellowship

Invaluable Experience in the Field and in the Lab by Elana Neher

Elana Neher will be entering her sophomore year at Johns Hopkins University this fall with a summer of archaeological experience under her belt. Neher was awarded the Johns Hopkins University-Albright Institute Undergraduate Archaeological Fellowship to spend this summer on an archaeological excavation in Israel, followed by a one month internship at the Albright. Neher first participated in the Jezreel Valley Regional Project’s archaeological field school at the Legionary Base of the Roman VIth Legion at Legio, Megiddo. Moving to the Albright following the dig, Neher and the JVRP/AIAR Summer Intern Matthew Vineyard began work assisting MA student Christina Olson, cataloging the mysterious baskets of archaeological material from the deepest corners of the Albright attic, excavated last summer by Olson. In preparation for replacing the roof this summer, it was time to conduct this meta excavation.

“I definitely want to be an archaeologist,” Neher said. “When I found out I got the fellowship I was so excited. I have met so many people in the field and learned about the different paths you can take within the field. It was beneficial to both dig at Legio and then come to the Albright afterwards for all the work that goes on after an excavation–the analysis. It was also exciting to be in the country for so long.” Neher declared an archaeology major at Johns Hopkins this past spring.

“I definitely want to be an archaeologist”

At Legio, Megiddo, July 2017.

The relationship between Johns Hopkins University and the Albright Institute goes all the way back to William Foxwell Albright himself, who served as director of the “Jerusalem School” for two terms, from 1920 to 1929 and again from 1933 to 1936. During his second term, Albright alternated semesters with his professorship at Johns Hopkins (King 1983: 86), where he had also completed his doctorate in 1916 (King 1983: 52).

Trustee Bjorn Lindgren and his wife Beverly funded the fellowship, investing in Neher’s career goals and in the Albright’s mission to promote the study of the Near East. We hope our friends will consider investing similarly in the Albright, ensuring we continue to be a resource for a new generation of promising scholars.

Director Matthew Adams said, “For undergraduates to be able to come and spend time in a high level academic research scenario gives them a preview of the academic world. For many like Elana it’s an essential part of her career development to get experience at this stage. I think she’ll be leaving here with renewed excitement about her career choice.”