Urman, Dan

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URMAN, DAN (1945–2004), Israeli archaeologist and historian. Born in Haifa, Urman completed his military service (1963–65), and began studying archaeology and history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Between 1965 and 1968, Urman made a countrywide investigation of the archaeological remains within abandoned Arab villages. Following the 1967 war, Urman was appointed the staff officer for the antiquities of the Golan Heights, and in the following years he studied many ancient sites there, notably at Rafid, including salvage excavations at some of them. On completing his M.A., Urman undertook his doctoral studies at New York University. His Ph.D. dissertation was completed in 1979 with distinction and published in 1985 as The Golan: A Profile of a Region During the Roman and Byzantine Periods (bar Int. Series, Oxford). In 1979 Urman joined the faculty of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev at Beersheba. Urman conducted numerous excavations, but he is best remembered for his excavations at the Byzantine site of Nessana in the Negev between 1987 and 1995. Among his numerous publications, one should note his books Ancient Synagogues: Historical Analysis and Archaeological Discovery (1995, co-edited with P.V.M. Flesher) and Jews, Pagans and Christians in the Golan Heights (1996, co-authored with R.C. Gregg), and, just before his death, the first volume of his excavation report Nessana (2004).


V. Avigdor Hurowitz and S. Dar, "Obituary: Dan Urman (1945–2004)," in: Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society, 22 (2004), 83–85.

[Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)]