by Darla Martin Tucker

It was midnight in Germany when an archaeology event highlighting ancient discoveries began streaming live from 6,000 miles away at La Sierra University. But Evanthia Hatziminaoglou, an astrophysicist with the European Southern Observatory in Garching bei München, decided to view as much of it as energy levels would allow.

Hatziminaoglou had connected 10 years ago with La Sierra archaeologists while serving as a dig site volunteer in Jordan. She also delivered a joint presentation in Italy in 2019 on research into astronomy and archaeology with archaeologist Doug Clark, director of La Sierra’s Center for Near Eastern Archaeology (CNEA). On Nov. 14 she watched virtually from Germany as Clark and other La Sierra archaeologists delivered the center’s 12th Annual Archeology Discovery Weekend in a condensed, three-hour format. Typically an in-person event, the program was pushed online by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 200 people registered from around the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Portugal, Brazil and Jordan to attend the webinar-style presentation over Zoom video conferencing. Titled “A Passion for Preserving the Past: Showcasing Archaeology at La Sierra University,” it was held 3 – 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and featured illustrated presentations with Q&A offering insights into the center’s decades-long, ongoing excavations in Jordan, use of new high-tech tools, current research activities and publication of extensive research findings, and a virtual tour of the center’s archaeology lab as well as highlights of some of its thousands of ancient artifacts.Attendees also were proffered a glimpse at future plans for a university museum project.