Nehme Elie Abou Rjeily - 2020 - AUB Scholar

Archeology is a passion that I started to develop over the last 3 years and it has become today a goal on which I am working hard to achieve.
In the academic year (2020 – 2021), I was subscribed in the third year of the Archaelogy Bachelor degree, at the Lebanese University Faculty of Letters and Human Science department of Art and Archeology Branch 2 – Fanar, this program is dedicated to teaching research and training in arts, archeology, and museology.

I’ve also attended a Minor in Marine Science and Culture sponsored ‎‎by the Honor Frost Foundation (HFF) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), in which I have been ‎‎introduced to Maritime Archeology and explored human interaction with the sea in antiquity, in ‎‎addition to investigating and recording these past activities with a multi-disciplinary approach that ‎‎combines oceanography, archaeology, cultural heritage and modern technology used in the field. ‎Maritime Archeology became my passion a year ago, and an ambition that I’m fulfilling with hard work ‎and acquaintances developed by attending related webinars sponsored by the Nautical Archeological Society and an online course: Hulk Recording – “Knackered Boats & how ‎to record them” ‎, as well by ‎accomplishing an open water diving course with the Scuba Schools International (SSI) at ‎Bubbles, Club for Divers.‎

Following Beirut’s port explosion on 4 august 2020, I volunteered in a mission to rescue the damaged furniture and households of the old houses and palaces of Beirut that have a value on the heritage scale. Launched by the Lebanese University Faculty of Letters and Human Science department of Art and Archeology Branch 2 – Fanar in cooperation with Biladi NGO and supervised by Dr. Grace Homsy and Dr. Nada Kallas. This volunteering period, allowed me to put into practice what I learned during the course of Preventive Conservation, thus putting my knowledge to the benefits of devastated homes, as we preserved different types of items and furniture like books, ceramic, glassware, paintings, wood furniture. Moreover, I’ve participated in a mission to rescue the museums and heritage of Beirut after the port explosion with UMAC and ICOM, that required to assess the condition of museums and buildings and write reports to finally give first aid to them.

I also followed a traineeship with Dr. Jeanine Abdul Masih in Batroun, an excavation project that took place in site BAT 1350-1351. In this project, I learned different excavation techniques, and I put into practice learned theories from my previous courses such as plans and sections drawings, taking pictures, taking levels, and reporting. After a few days of training, I started working on a specific area in which I was responsible to excavate and reporting its findings to the site manager.

This training gave me a good experience in the field of movable and immovable heritage and revealed to me the importance of preserving them. It also gave me a good experience in the archeological field that remains the basis for underwater excavations.