Mexican Archaeologist Aspires to Bridge Countries, Cultures
As an undergraduate student in her native Mexico, Andrea Garza first visited Israel as a volunteer on an archaeological excavation after finishing her BA in archaeology in Mexico.
“I was impressed by the methodologies and the way they research,” says Garza. That experience planted the seed for pursuing an advanced degree in the field a decade later.
Thanks to scholarships from Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures and Mexican Friends of TAU, she enrolled in the master’s program in Ancient Israel Studies at TAU International. Now in her second year, she is writing a thesis about pottery production traditions in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods at Magdala in the Galilee under the supervision of TAU’s Prof. Oded Lipschits and Prof. Andrea Berlin (Boston University).
“I am very thankful for my scholarships because without them it wouldn’t have been possible to study at TAU and realize my dreams,” she says. “The scholarship allows me to focus on my studies, without having to constantly search for ways to support myself.”
“What I like about studying at TAU is that we are very well-connected to professional professors. Also, what we learn in the classroom can be applied very quickly in the field, in archaeological sites throughout Israel.”
For Garza, studying in Israel, and at TAU specifically, is a unique opportunity.
In my country, archaeology is different, says Garza; no one in Mexico studies ancient pottery or coins from the Levant, for example. Israel has an “exquisite … material culture,” she adds, people in both countries aren’t familiar with the treasures of the other. “I would love to be the bridge between these two amazing cultures.”
To this end, Garza hopes to pursue a PhD at TAU.
Her future plans underscore how crucial the scholarships have been to the success of her TAU studies.
“My doctoral studies are conditional on whether I can obtain financial support,” she explains. “Without assistance, it will be very difficult to complete my studies and focus on my research.”
Beyond her own career, she values the wide-ranging impact of scholarships for both students and the University.
“Here at TAU, you have great potential to learn a lot from faculty and in the labs and the field. There are a lot of students who want to be a part of this,” she says. “Scholarships are the link that bring them together.”
- By Melanie Takefman