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Meet the Dig Staff

Scott Stripling is the Director of Excavations for the Associates for Biblical Research at ancient Shiloh (2017 to present). He also serves as Provost and Director of the Archaeology Institute at The Bible Seminary in Katy, Texas. Previously, Stripling directed the ABR excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir, served as Field Supervisor at Tall el-Hammam in Jordan, Director of the Mt. Ebal Expedition, and as a supervisor of the Temple Mount Sifting Project in Jerusalem. Stripling did his graduate studies at the University of Texas (M.A.), Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (M.A.), and Veritas International University (Ph.D.). Stripling serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Near East Archaeological Society and has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, popular magazines, and books. He is a popular speaker at churches and conferences around the world and a guest on numerous television programs and documentaries such as Fox News, The 700 Club, The New York Times, TBN, History Channel, and Discovery Channel. His passion is connecting the material culture of the Holy Land with the biblical text. Scott and Janet, his wife of 40 years, have four grown children and five grandchildren.

Henry B. Smith Jr. is the Administrative Director of the Shiloh Excavations. He served as the Director of Development for ABR from 2005 through 2015. He presently serves as a staff researcher, as administrator for the Shiloh Dig, and as the co-host of ABR's television program, Digging for Truth. Henry served as a volunteer at the Hazor excavations in 2007, and was the host of both the ABR Biblical Egypt Study Tour in 2008 and ABR's Israel Tour in 2010. He was a square supervisor at the Khirbet el-Maqatir Excavations in 2012 and 2013, and at Shiloh in 2017 and 2018. Born and raised in northwestern NJ, he earned a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers in 1992. In 2015, Henry graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary with an M.A.R., emphasizing apologetics and Biblical languages. He has published dozens of articles on the ABR website, including: Canaanite Child Sacrifice, Abortion and the Bible and Cosmic Death from Adam's Fall: An Exegesis of Romans 8:19-23a. He is presently heading up the The Genesis 5 and 11 Genealogy and Chronology Research Project for ABR, authoring: Primeval Chronology Restored, The Case for the Septuagint's Chronology in Genesis 5 and 11, and On the Authenticity of Kainan, Son of Arpachshad.

Dr. Gary Byers serves on the ABR dig staff as Co-Director and Senior Archaeologist of the Shiloh Excavations, Israel. He also currently serves as Dean of the College of Archaeology, Trinity Southwest University in Albuquerque, NM. A graduate of Liberty University with a BS (1974) and MCE (1980) and Baltimore Hebrew University with a MA (thesis: “Domestic Architecture in Iron Age I Palestine”), he is currently completing his PhD at Veritas International  University – dissertation subject “The Intermediate Bronze Age Domestic Quarter on the Lower Tall at Tall el-Hammam, Jordan.”

Gary's excavation and field experience include: Assistant Director at Shiloh, Israel (2017-present); Assistant Director at Tall el-Hammam, Jordan (2006-present); Administrative Director at Khirbet al-Maqatir and Senior Archaeologist, Israel (1995-2000, 2009-2011); square supervisor at Khirbet Nisya, Israel (1993-1994) and excavation staff at Tel Miqne/Ekron, Israel (1984).

Adjunct professor at Faith Theological Seminary in Towson, MD (2013-2018), Gary is a member of the board of directors of the Near East Archaeological Society (2000-present), served on the board of directors of the Associates for Biblical Research (2004-2019) and is a member of the American Schools of Oriental Research. 

Mrs. Gayle Byers serves as the Ceramic Registrar of the Shiloh Excavations. She has also excavated at Khirbet el-Maqatir, Israel (1999) and Tall el-Hammam, Jordan (since 2005). A registered nurse, she also doubles as the Shiloh Excavation nurse.

Orna Cohen is widely seen as one of the top conservationists in the world. In 1986, Orna Cohen became famous around the world for her skill in rescuing and preserving a first century fishing boat found in the shallow waters near Ginosar on the Sea of Galilee. This boat is now commonly referred to a the “Jesus Boat” or the “Galilee Boat.” Orna has worked as the conservator on dozens of excavations throughout Israel, including the past two summers at Huquq with Jodi Magness. There she has overseen the excavation and conservation of the now famous Samson mosaics in a fifth century Synagogue. Orna is also overseeing the conservation of the Late Bronze Age palace at Hazor and played a critical role in establishing the authenticity of the James Ossuary. She used state of the art technology to clean the hundreds of coins coming from Khirbet el-Maqatir, and will do the same at Shiloh.

Dr. Yoav Farhi specializes in numismatics. Yoav completed his PhD in Archaeology at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and is widely recognized as one of the top numismatists in Israel; he has worked at numerous sites in Israel including Khirbet Qeiyafa, Modi’in, and Ramat Rahel. Prominent archaeologists Yoram Tsafrir, Lea Di Segni, and Eilat Mazar have all employed Yoav as a research assistant. Yoav assisted the Khirbet el-Maqatir excavation in the identification and recovery of coins and other metal objects as well as providing numismatic reports for the vast number of coins excavated at Maqatir. In 2012 Yoav, in collaboration with Catherine Lorber, published a rare Ptolemaic coin from Maqatir in the American Journal of Numismatics and has published dozens of other articles over the past decade. Yoav’s role on the professional staff is critical since coins play an important role in the dating of various archaeological strata and establishing the history of the site.

Dr. Liora Freud is project coordinator at the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University. She is the registrar and pottery expert of the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition, directed by Prof. Oded Lipschits, Prof. Manfred Oeming and Prof. Yuval Gadot and is currently coordinating the publication of the finds from the renewed excavations at Ramat Rahel (2005–2010). Her Ph.D. dissertation, titled “Judahite Pottery in the Transitional Phase between the Iron Age and the Persian Period: Jerusalem and Environs”, focused on Babylonian period pottery. She started her speciality in ancient pottery, mainly of the Iron Age, while working for many years with the late Prof. Itzhak Beit-Arieh, and she participated in the publications of many sites in the Beer-Sheba Valley. She takes part in the pottery reading of Tel Shiloh and provides a ceramic report for each season on the earlier pottery at the site, from the Middle Bronze Age till The Persian Period.

Greg Gulbrandsen was the Wet Sifting Supervisor at the Shiloh Excavations for five years. He is now the Conservation & Restoration Supervisor at the Shiloh post-dig operations. His education includes a BA from Wagner College, an engineering degree from Turner School, a Masters degree from SUNY and finished his PhD as well.  Greg spent over twenty years working as an engineer at several high-tech companies and retired from SUNY in 2003 and now lives in Prescott, AZ. Greg is now involved in Biblical Apologetics ( He also teaches at various congregations on the West Coast (Islam, archaeology, and apologetics). Greg has participated in many Israeli digs including: the Temple Mount (Wet Sifting), Hazor, Gezer, Ir David, Khirbet Qeiyafa, Ai, and Mount Ebal. He also traveled and studied in Egypt, Morocco, Andalusian Spain, Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. His photograph of the Merneptah Stele was featured in the 2016 publication, “Pharaoh in Canaan” by the Israel Museum. Greg serves the ministry of ABR by promoting ABR at Christian conferences and has been an ABR Associate since April 2011.

Dr. Mark Hassler serves as director of publications and field archaeologist for the Shiloh excavations. He worked at Khirbet el-Maqatir from 2013 to 2016. Dr. Hassler is associate professor of Old Testament and director of the ThM program at Virginia Beach Theological Seminary. He is the editor of the Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin (NEASB), a peer-reviewed journal established in 1958. Mark earned his graduate degrees at The Master’s Seminary (PhD, Old Testament; ThM, Old Testament; and MDiv). In 2020 he will complete the editorial training program at the University of Chicago with a specialization in developmental editing. Previously, Dr. Hassler taught at The Master’s Seminary and Capital Seminary and Graduate School. He is the first vice president of the Evangelical Theological Society's eastern region, and he serves on the board of directors for the Near East Archaeological Society.

Brent Hoefling serves as the Shiloh Director of Information technology, and has served on site as a volunteer and assistant square supervisor. Brent has been Pastoring in North-East Texas since August of 2013 and has been active in the ministry since 1982. Brent has worked in IT support/management and IT project management for the last two decades as well. He has been married since 1998, and has two grown children and two grandchildren. Brent attended Shalom Bible College and Seminary in Des Moines. He received his Bachelor of Theology in 1999 and dual Master’s degrees in Christian Education and Technology in 2002 (Suma Cum Laud). Pastor Brent is currently attending The Bible Seminary seeking another degree in Church History and Archaeology. Over the past 30 years of ministry, Brent has also served as treasurer, building administrator, deacon, elder, clerk, youth pastor, and many other ministries director positions. For the last dozen years, Brent has been actively helping with technologies and media for his church organization’s World Missions, and Ladies Retreats in various central and southern United States regions. Pastor Brent also serves as a member of the Communications and Creative Services Ministry Advisory Team for the church organization’s main offices in Cleveland, Tennessee. He is active in his local city council meetings and events committees.

Ms. Ellen Jackson- Shiloh Metal Detectorist. Ellen serves with Wycliffe Bible Translators as the Language and Culture Learning Coordinator for SIL International based in Dallas, Texas. Ellen has an MA in linguistics from UCLA and lived in Cameroon, Africa more than 20 years. Now as an international coordinator, she visits other organizations offering Biblical training in Israel. She took up metal detecting as a hobby in 2010. Recognizing the value of metal detecting for archaeology, Ellen volunteered at Khirbet el-Maqatir in 2013 and has participated ever since, helping to recover more than 1400 coins and other metal artifacts. She says: “God weaves our lives together in amazing ways, and you never know where you’ll end up using the different skills and interests He has given you over the years.”

Dr. Kevin Larsen is a square supervisor at Shiloh, since 2018. He began working with ABR in the summer of 2015 at Kh. el-Maqatir as a volunteer. That same summer he worked with the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon. He returned to Maqatir in 2016 as an assistant square supervisor and served in the same capacity at Shiloh in 2017. Kevin has earned degrees from Nebraska Christian College (B.A. in Pastoral Ministry); Cincinnati Christian University (M.A. in Biblical Studies [New Testament] and M.Div. [Theology]); and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. His primary avenue of ministry is working for Mid-Atlantic Christian University in Elizabeth City, NC, where he serves as the vice president for academic affairs and professor of New Testament. Kevin is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Schools of Oriental Research, and the Catholic Biblical Association. Since 2005 he has been a consulting editor for the Stone-Campbell Journal. He has had articles published in such journals as the Christian Standard, Trinity Journal, Restoration Quarterly, and Currents in Biblical Research. In similar fashion he has had numerous book reviews published in various academic journals. His dissertation was published by the University Press of America. Kevin contributes to the local church by regularly supply-preaching and leading workshops and seminars for local congregations.

Mrs. Suzanne Lattimer serves as Administrative Director at Shiloh during the excavation season. Searching for the X on the ground has been a life-long passion and a driving goal. In search for her buried treasures, she attended Bryan College in Dayton, TN and received her B.A. in Bible and Piano Performance, with a minor in Koine Greek. She then went on to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) in Deerfield, Illinois and received her M.A. in Near Eastern Archaeology and Semitic Languages. Suzanne was a lowly peon in ABR's excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir during the 1999 and 2000 seasons, fulfilling her parent’s request to try archaeology before paying for a degree. With degree in hand, she served as a square supervisor (affectionally known as a slave driver) from 2010 through 2013, and as a Field Archaeologist from 2014 through the inaugural season at Shiloh. She has also dug at Tel Dor, Israel in 2004, and in the Great Smoky Mountains with the National Park Service in 2001. She is on the Board of Directors for the Near East Archaeological Society and has served as its treasurer since 2011. In the off season, Suzanne holds down the home front for her husband serving in the Navy, homeschools their daughter, sings in the church choir, and tackles home projects that seem to never end. She has written articles for children in Bible and Spade, and has spoken to many children and adult Sunday School classes about the importance of archaeology.

Ms. Abigail Leavitt serves as the Assistant Dig Director for the Shiloh excavations for ABR. She has been involved with archaeology since 2007, working at several archaeological projects including The Temple Mount Salvage Operation, Khirbet el Maqatir, Mount Zion and Tel Shiloh. She served as square supervisor and objects registrar on the Khirbet el Maqatir excavation, and as assistant registrar on the Mount Zion excavation. Abigail has co-authored two articles on the subject of Judean Pillar Figurines. ‘A Headless Judean Pillar Figurine From Tel el-Ful’ was published in in the Near Eastern Archaeology Society Bulletin, and ‘The Mystery of the Headless Statue’ was published in Bible and Spade magazine. Abigail has also co-authored an online article entitled ‘ABR Researches Jerusalem Tombs for the Shroud of Turin Project’ published on the ABR website. Abigail hails from Lewiston, Idaho, but is currently residing in Texas, where she is currently a student at The Bible Seminary.

Dr. K. Lynn Lewis is the Director of Photography at Shiloh, and the Producer of Shiloh Network News. Lynn is a seasoned entrepreneur with a diverse professional background in business, education, and ministry. Currently serving as President of The Bible Seminary in Katy, Texas, he began his professional career as a hydrologist and dam engineer, transitioned into full-time ministry as a Senior Pastor for nearly a decade, and then founded the media communications company, InspireUSA, Inc. in 1997. He also served as Director of Institutional Advancement at a large private K-12 Christian school, as Board President and CEO of a pregnancy care center, on the board of a Christian academy, as Founding Executive Board member of an adventure ministry, as Board Chair of a counseling center, and on the Executive Board of the University of Georgia Wesley Foundation. He served as a short-term missionary in Bolivia, Haiti, India, and Korea. Author of Boss Like God: A Blueprint for Elite Workplace Performance, the Meat and Potatoes for the Soul series (2013, 2015), fiction novel Plight (2010, 2015), children’s book and audiobook The Little Giraffe (2010), and dissertation Christian Communication in the Twenty-first Century: Patterns and Principles Relative to the Effective Use of Internet-based Communications (2002), his productions and publications include numerous articles, the cable TV show “Trinity Today” (1993-97), The Raider (2005-11) and The Sentinel (2012-present) magazines, musical Any Day (2011), cantata Surely This Man Is the Son of God (1992), and songs, web sites, and videos (including the recent Shiloh series, “What A Dig Needs,” “What A Dig Does,” and “What A Dig Means.”)

Mr. Tim Lopez is a Square Supervisor at Shiloh. Born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and Spanish father, Tim lived in both countries during several periods of his life. With a passion for archaeology from boyhood, Tim attended Uppsala University in Sweden, where he received his B.A. in Ancient History, with minors in ancient and modern Hebrew. In 2009, he completed his M.A. in Classical Archaeology at the Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain. His archaeological experience includes excavations in Sweden with the Dalarnas Museum, the Greek/Roman city of Empùries (Spain), and the ancient city of Oxyrrhynchus in Egypt. During an eight year hiatus from archaeology, Tim worked in a translation agency in Barcelona (Spain) for 5 years, and served as youth pastor in Falun (Sweden) for 2 years. Tim joined the ABR team for the inaugural excavation at Shiloh in 2017, serving as an Assistant Square Supervisor.

Tommy Chamberlin serves as a square supervisor at Shiloh and as ABR’s Vice President of the Board of Directors. He lives in Pikeville, Kentucky with his wife, Erin, daughter, Annah, and family pet, Ellie the labrador. Tommy is the Chief Assistant Pike County Attorney. He graduated in 1996 from University of Pikeville with a degree in history before completing a law degree at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. Currently, he is pursuing a Masters of Arts in Biblical History and Archaeology at the Bible Seminary in Katy, Texas. He is a regular presenter at churches and schools in his region where he shares ancient artifact displays and explains how archaeology illuminates our understanding of the biblical text. 

Mr. Jordan McClinton is a square supervisor at Shiloh. He began volunteering with ABR in 2018 and has dug multiple seasons at Shiloh, and also worked on the Mount Ebal sifting project in 2020. Jordan lives in Katy Texas with his wife, three daughters and multiple pets. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Houston and a Masters Degree in Biblical History and Archaeology from The Bible Seminary. Jordan has worked in numerous corporate roles over the past 20 years as well as has served on staff as an Associate Pastor at The Waters Church in Katy Texas since 2012. Jordan has a passion for biblical history, the ancient near east and how archaeology illuminates both of them.

Dr. Leen Ritmeyer is an archaeological architect and even casual followers of Biblical Archaeology are familiar with his work. Dr. Ritmeyer has served as conservator or architect at dozens of excavations in Israel “from Dan to Beersheva,” including sites as prominent as Arad, Bet Shean, Ashdod, and Banias. His most important contribution, and that which brought him worldwide acclaim, was in Jerusalem where he worked with renowned archaeologists Benjamin Mazar (Temple Mount) and Naaman Avigad (Jewish Quarter). Other Jerusalem projects included the Byzantine Cardo and the Herodian/Roman villas. While responsible for numerous publications, his opus magnum was The Quest (2006). This comprehensive history of the Temple Mount has become required reading and the standard text for all archaeologists and archaeological students. In 1983, Leen and his wife Kathleen founded Ritmeyer Architectural Design, an archaeological architecture firm providing expertise on numerous and varied projects. Leen currently serves on the editorial board of Biblical Archaeology Review and on the archaeology faculty of Cardiff University; he has provided all of the excellent architectural renderings for Khirbet el-Maqatir, and for ABR’s current excavation at Shiloh. 

Mr. Steven Rudd is the Special Projects Coordinator at Shiloh, and served as a Square Supervisor and worked at Khirbet el-Maqatir from 2011 to 2016. Steve also served as the dig photographer at Maqatir during winter seasons. He is part of the active Noah's ark excavation team and has twice worked at the summit (2012, 2013). Past excavations include a variety of "day digs" in Jerusalem including the pool of Siloam, Hezekiah's wall, David's Palace, the Temple Mount Sifting Project, and Joshua's altar on Mt. Ebal. A native Canadian who has served as the full-time minister of the Hamilton Church of Christ for over 30 years, Steve is keen to participate first hand at digging up Bible stories as evidence that scripture is an accurate record of true world history.

Dr. Charles Savelle has served as square supervisor and assistant square supervisor at Shiloh, since 2018. He also worked at Tel Gezer in 2017. He has a BA in Biblical Studies from The Criswell College and a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has taught at Dallas Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, The Criswell College, The Bible Seminary among others. Charles has also ministered overseas in the Philippines, Korea, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Hungary and has helped lead several tours to the Holy Land. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Institute for Biblical Research, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Schools of Oriental Research, and the Near Eastern Archaeological Society.

Dr. Boyd Seevers joined the Khirbet el-Maqatir team in January 2015, serving as a Square Supervisor. Boyd also supervised the Iron Age I excavations and publications, serving in that same capacity at Shiloh. He works as Professor of Old Testament Studies at the University of Northwestern—St. Paul and has authored three books including Warfare in the Old Testament: The Organization, Weapons, and Tactics of Ancient Near Eastern Armies. He has also written more than one hundred articles and chapters for numerous historical and theological books and journals. Prior to teaching he lived in Israel for eight years. Boyd serve four years on the Board of Directors of Jerusalem University College where he did a year of graduate study that included archaeological courses taught by Drs. Amihai Mazar, Gabriel Barkay, and Ronnie Reich, all distinguished Israeli archaeologists. Boyd has excavated for parts of four seasons at Bethsaida, as well as at Tiberias and Har Tuv. Degrees: B.A. in Biblical Studies, Wheaton College; Th.M. in Old Testament, Dallas Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Old Testament, Trinity International University.

Frankie Snyder has volunteered with ABR at Khirbet el-Maqatir and Shiloh since meeting the group at the Temple Mount Sifting Project (now, the Archaeological Experience at Emek Tzurim) in 2008. Her 12 years of archaeological wet-sifting experience have given her wide-ranging expertise in the identification of small finds. Frankie moved to Israel in 2007 with plans to retire. Retirement never happened. Her volunteering at the Sifting Project turned into a paying job, then a full-time career. With a BS in mathematics from Virginia Tech, an MA in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College in Boston, and a lifelong love of rocks, she launched a “niche” career in analyzing King Herod’s ornate opus sectile floors created from polished multicolored stone tiles cut in a variety of geometric shapes. She assisted in reconstructing an opus sectile floor for the 2013-2014 exhibit at the Israel Museum, Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey. She has worked with Herodian-era opus sectile tiles from Banias, Caesarea, Cypros, Herodium, Jericho, Machaerus, Masada, Tiberias, the City of David and Temple Mount; Byzantine-era tiles from several sites in Israel; Crusader-era tiles from the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem; and discovered that an opus sectile floor in the Dome of the Rock is actually a Crusader-era floor. Her publications can be found on

Mr. Gary Urie serves on the ABR dig staff as a square supervisor, the dig photographer, and as the drone pilot for the Shiloh Excavations in Israel. He is a graduate of the University of Houston with a BA in history (2003), Dallas Theological Seminary with a MA in Biblical Studies (2011), and The Bible Seminary with a MA in Biblical History and Archaeology (2022), thesis – “A Reexamination of the Danish Excavations at Tel Shiloh. He is currently a PhD student at Veritas International University studying Biblical History and Archaeology – dissertation subject “The Transition of the Late Bronze I to Late Bronze II Material Culture in the Central Highlands of Israel. Gary's excavation and field experience include:  Khirbet al-Maqatir (2011); Shiloh, and Mt. Ebal Dump Site project (2019–2020); assistant square supervisor, dig photographer, and drone pilot at Shiloh (2022); Field School graduate and Assistant Square Supervisor at the Tall el-Hammam excavations in Jordan (2023). Gary is retired from the Houston Police Department (1985-2017). He lives in Temple, Texas and attends Temple Bible Church. Gary is a member of the Near East Archaeological Society (2019-present) and a member of the American Society for Overseas Research (2022-present).

Ms. Leah Tramer serves as the Pottery Restorer for the Shiloh Dig. The work of the archaeologist doesn’t end when the dig is over. The real work comes once the finds have been transferred back to the lab for analysis. Ms. Leah Tramer, who holds a degree in archaeology and fine art, brings back to life these ancient artifacts by meticulously putting together the shards to form full relics. Using techniques and skills that she has acquired working with various Israeli universities and the Israeli Antiquity Authority, Leah sorts through shards of all sizes and is able to bring a shattered piece of history back to life. Leah has worked on several restoration projects for the Institute of Archaeology at Ariel University. Leah also teaches pottery with an emphasis on the Guanche techniques from the Canary Islands.

Dr. Anna De Vincenz serves as a ceramic typologist (late periods). She’s done archaeological fieldwork and has been a pottery specialist in Israel on sites dated to the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman periods. Currently she is a pottery specialist at the stepped pilgrim street in the City of David, Jerusalem. Dr. Anna De Vincenz was involved in the Miqne-Ekron publication project and has had her own publications on Ottoman-period ceramics and porcelain from the Ottoman Police Station and other Ottoman-period sites in Jaffa (see Atiqot 100). She received her Ph.D at the Department of Near Eastern Languages, Civilizations and Archaeology of the Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples, Italy, thesis topic “Political use of Archaeology in Israel”. 

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