By Shelley Neese
The coronavirus has been unkind. Many have experienced loss – whether a death of a loved one, a business going bankrupt, harsh quarantines, or a high school senior who will miss graduation. Here is one more hurting sector you can add to the list: biblical archaeology. Archaeologists in Israel are still processing the casualties the pandemic has wrought. Foremost among these are ransacked ancient sites that fell prey to looters taking advantage of minimal surveillance. Next in line is the disbanding of one of the foremost archaeological programs in the United States. Lastly, and arguably most heartbreaking, was the cancellation of almost every volunteer-based excavation scheduled to take place in the summer of 2020.