We are half way through our first week of excavation at Tall el-Hammam in Jordan. We had been asked by the office of Jordan’s Crown Prince Hassan to work with a group of Jordanian high school and college students in his Youth Awards Program. A series of week-long training programs throughout the country and internationally, one was in our area. Of course, we agreed.
About a dozen students spent the first 3 days with us on the site. That first evening, I was asked to go to their facility and speak to them about archaeology and Jordan. To be honest, as a group, they did not appear very interested in what we were doing or why we were there.
So I gave a little overview about archaeology through a translator and then opened it up for questions. I thought they would be more interested in what they wanted to talk about than what I thought they might want to hear. I also figured there would be some important issues that should be addressed in our discussion.
So I was very happy to hear the first question – translated roughly as, “Why are you coming to our country to find all our gold and take it back to America with you?”