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Dothan, Moshe


DOTHAN, MOSHE (1919–1999), Israeli archaeologist. After graduating from high school in his native Cracow, Dothan received an entry permit to study in Palestine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He arrived in 1938 but his studies were soon interrupted by the outbreak of World War ii. He spent two years in kibbutz Nahsḥonim (today kibbutz Ma'apil) and then joined the British army in 1942. His service took him to Malta, North Africa, and Italy. When in Italy, he first felt an interest in archaeology.

In 1946 he returned to Palestine and completed a master's degree in archaeology and Jewish history and while working from 1950 in the Department of Antiquities in Jerusalem was able to conclude his doctorate. His thesis (1959) was on the Late Chalcolithic period (4000–3000 b.c.e.) and much of his research was based on his findings at Tel Asor (near Nahal Iron), a site where a mass grave from that period was discovered.

He headed numerous excavations including Tel Afula (1951); Mezer in Naḥal Iron; the 1956 survey of Kadesh Barnea in northern Sinai of the Israelite town of the tenth century b.c.e.; Tel Mor, the ancient port dating from 1600 b.c.e. where Ashdod port stands today; the excavations of the important Philistine town of Ashdod (1960–77); Hammath Tiberias (1962) where the excavations revealed an early synagogue dated approximately 250 c.e. under other synagogues which had been constructed on top of it; and Tel Acre (1972–89) where he headed excavations whose finds went back to the tenth century b.c.e.

From 1972 to 1988 Dothan was a professor at Haifa University where he founded the department of maritime civilization and in 1976 the department of archaeology. He was the Encyclopaedia Judaica departmental editor for Bible realia.

He published over 150 articles, primarily in English. He was married to Trude *Dothan.

[Elaine Hoter]

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