Mazar, Amihai

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MAZAR, AMIHAI (1942– ), Israeli archaeologist, with a specialist interest in the Bronze and Iron Ages, and the relationship between archaeology and biblical history. Born in Haifa, Mazar began his studies in 1966 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, completing his Ph.D. in 1976, and serving there as lecturer from 1977 to 1981 (as well as at the Ben-Gurion University, Beersheba). A senior lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University from 1982, Mazar was appointed associate professor in 1986 and from 1994 was the incumbent of the Eleazar Sukenik Chair in the Archaeology of Israel. Numerous academic duties included serving as head of the Institute of Archaeology (1995–98) and as a member of the Archaeological Council of Israel (1994–99) and the Council of the Israel Antiquities Authority (2001–5). Following his survey of the aqueducts of Jerusalem in 1968, Mazar conducted important excavations at Tel Qasile (1971–74, and later in 1982–90), at Tel Batash, biblical Timnah (with G.L. Kelm, 1977–89), and at Giloh near Jerusalem (1978–82). From the late 1980s Mazar directed the Beth Shean Valley Archaeo-logical Project, with excavations at Tel Beth-Shean (1989–96) and, more recently, excavations at Tel Rehov (from 1997). A frequent participant in international scientific meetings and conferences, Mazar was a prolific writer with many scientific papers, monographs, and books to his credit. He is probably best known to students of archaeology as the author of Archaeology of the Land of the Bible (ca. 10,000–586 b.c.e.), which was published in English in 1990, with subsequent translations into Portuguese, Russian, and Japanese. Important monographs have also appeared under his authorship on the Tel Qasile and Tel Batash excavations. Mazar participated in the important tenth/ninth-century chronology debate (see his paper "Iron Age Chronology: A Reply to I. Finkelstein," in: Levant, 29 (1997), 157–67). Mazar's strength in his publications was in the reasoned and balanced approach he took to archaeological materials, one which has influenced many of the younger generations of Israeli archaeologists. Mazar is regarded as a very loyal mentor to his students.

[Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)]