Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content


Jacob Speelman

Join Calvin’s archaeology program, and you’ll realize it can open exciting doors for you that you’ve never even considered.

As a double major in Philosophy and Mechanical Engineering, I may seem an unlikely candidate for Calvin’s archaeology program. My experience with it began with the 2009 field season in Umm el-Jimal, Jordan with Dr. Bert de Vries. Over the course of the interim class I was involved in the virtual reconstruction of the ruins. I naturally fell into that role because of my engineering background; thus my first experience of archaeology was as a truly interdisciplinary discipline. Immediately following the interim, I was brought on as a research assistant in Calvin’s archaeology lab by Dr. de Vries to continue working on the 3-dimensional reconstruction of the ruins at Umm el-Jimal by computer, using the data we collected in January. Shortly afterward, I added an archaeology minor to my degree.

The reconstruction process has continued this term (Fall 09), and this coming January I will be returning to Jordan with Dr. de Vries, my colleagues from the archaeology lab, and a team of other students for another field season. Meanwhile, I am continuing my studies in philosophy and engineering, much of my time being taken up by my engineering senior design project. My passion for the Middle East, common to many who pass through the doors of the archaeology lab, has led me to become heavily involved in Calvin’s Middle East Club. Following graduation, I hope to study Arabic and continue my education either in Middle East studies or in philosophy.

Opportunities for Current Students

Find out more about archaeology field work for current students.