Hebrew U. Prof. Amihai Mazar Wins Israel Prize for Archaeological Research

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[img_assist|nid=652|title=HU Prof. Mazar|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=260|height=350]Hebrew U. Prof. Amihai Mazar wins Israel Prize for archaeological research


February 24 - Hebrew University Prof. Amihai Mazar will be awarded the Israel Prize 2009 for his research in archaeology, the Education Minister Prof Yuli Tamir announced this week.

In explaining their decision, the awarding panel stated that, Prof. Amihai Mazar of the Hebrew University's Institute of Archaeology ''is among the leading archaeologists today in Israel active in research and in teaching and world renowned in the field of biblical archaeology. His research is the foundation stone to understanding the history of the Land of Israel over a wide range of periods, from the Bronze Age to the end of the First Temple period.''

Amihai Mazar was born in 1942 in Haifa. When he was a young boy, his parents would take him to visit excavations and as he got older, he would volunteer at archaeological digs at Ramat Rachel and Ein Gedi.

On completing his army service in 1963, Prof. Mazar began his academic studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He finished his B.A. in archaeology and Jewish history in 1966, received his M.A. in archaeology in 1972 and completed his Ph.D. in 1977. Following his studies, Prof. Mazar participated in some of the most important archaeological excavations taking place in Israel in the 1960's. After the Six Day War, he participated as a team member at the excavations at Tel Ashdod and in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

In 1968, he conducted a survey of the aqueducts to Jerusalem and in the early 1970's began excavations at Tel Kasila which occupied him for many years. At this excavation, he unearthed a series of Philistine temples that formed the basis of his doctoral thesis. He then turned to three excavation projects, among the most important in Israel in recent decades – the excavations in Tel Batesh/Timna; the renewed excavations at Beit She'an; and the ongoing excavation project at Tel Rehov which has headed since 1997.

Prof. Mazar began teaching in 1977 as a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and became a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University in 1982. In 1986, he was appointed an associate professor, and eight years later full professor, from which he was appointed to the Eleazar L. Sukenik Professor of Archaeology of the Land of Israel. As an enthusiastic, devoted and stimulating teacher, Prof. Mazar inspired and trained generations of Israeli archaeologists.

From 1995-1996, Prof. Mazar served as the head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University. He has edited numerous publications, professional journals and semi-popular magazines, was a member of the Israeli Archaeological Council, and since 2001, has been a member of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Prof. Mazar is married to Orna and has three children – Sigal, Ran and Yotam.

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