Success Story – Sara Soltani

Sara SoltaniAs a rising senior, 17-year-old Sara Soltani already knows what career she “digs.” Sara is profoundly deaf and uses a hearing aid and a cochlear implant to hear. This summer, she traveled to Israel to participate in an archaeological dig with George Washington University.

How did you become a part of the dig?
I went to George Washington University a few weeks before the trip for an interview with the professor. I just wanted to see what the school was like and he invited me to Israel.

What happened at the dig?
They taught you how to conduct an archaeological dig and how to preserve remains and vessels. We actually stumbled across a storage room of vessels and it was very cool. There were about 30 or 40 vessels. It was very rewarding. There was a person in the ground that we found, degraded because it was exposed to the elements. We called him Kenny the Canaanite. You could tell a lot about him. He was in his mid-50s when he died and he was about 2,000 years old.

What got you interested in archaeology?
I’ve been interested in this since I was 5. I’d go out in the backyard and find these bones everywhere and these animals and I’ve always wanted to know more about the anatomy of an animal and a person. It tells something about the person even after they’re gone. You can tell how they lived their life. It’s like they aren’t forgotten. You’re bringing them back to life. That’s really what I want to do. You can tell all of these things about their life based on their bones, and you know, you can tell if they had any diseases or if they had any pain. You can tell if they had malnutrition. And that’s why I want to do archaeology—to bring that person back, and make their life live again and to know them, even if the people that knew them are long gone.
Shared for 25th Anniversary Gala, 2012

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