The John Wesley Fellowship began in 1977, with Steve Harper and yours truly being two of the first John Wesley Fellows chosen. I have told the story of Ed Robb and AFTE this past Fall on the blog so I will not repeat it. Here are some of the senior fellows attending the meeting. […]
Having spent parts of the last two summers in Turkey, one of the dismaying things is seeing the Biblical sites which desperately need to be excavated but are untouched. One such site which has never been dug is Colossae. The city was destroyed by earthquake in the mid 60s A.D. and has lain pretty much untouched since then. It is a small but manageable sized mound and would not take years and years to uncover. You can see the outlines of an Odeon on one side of the tel, and farmers are still planting wheat on the other side of the tel. It is pristine and crying out for excavation. Something needs to be done and soon, because recently someone has tried to dig a trench or hole in the site to find antiquities and pilfer them. The site is fortunately now guarded at least part of the time, but the only way to really protect this precious site is to excavate it and bring it under the protection of the antiquities authorities in Turkey.
The Turkish government is happy to have a proper foreign team dig the site though they require quite naturally the supervision of a Turkish archaeologist, they charge a $50,000 for permission to dig, and of course the artifacts need to go to Turkish museums. I am wondering if there is someone or someones out there in cyberspace who would be willing to underwrite one season’s worth of digging, to see what we can find and whether it is worth pursuing for a longer period of time. If there are such folks, I have the contacts in Turkey, and would be glad to help facilitate this. I would love to take a team from Asbury and elsewhere over there for a dig, and we have many students who would go and dig as long as they had sustenance to help with this project by providing cheap labor. If anyone is interested, contact me via my email address— firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a project worth doing for sure, and who knows what lies beneath the surface of that mound? It could be, as Paul says in Colossians, a revelation.