Ussishkin, David

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USSISHKIN, DAVID (1935– ), Israeli archaeologist, expert on the Iron Age of the Land of Israel. Born in Jerusalem, Ussishkin studied archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1955–66) after completing his army service. In 1961 he obtained his M.A. with distinction, writing a thesis on Macalister's excavations at Gezer. Ussishkin received his Ph.D. in 1966 and his thesis "The Neo-Hittite Monuments, Their Dating and Style," was written under the supervision of Y. Yadin. From 1966 Ussishkin taught archaeology at Tel Aviv University, and from 1996 was the incumbent of the Austria Chair in Archaeology of the Land of Israel in the Biblical Period at the Institute of Archaeology. Ussishkin's excavation experience spans close to 50 years, with his first experience in the field as a staff member on the Chalcolithic Beersheba digs (1956–65); Hazor (1958); Azor (1958); Kültepe, Turkey (1959); Megiddo (1960, 1965); Judean Desert, Cave of Letters (1960–61); En Gedi (1961–62); Masada (1964–65). His own directorial experience began with the work at Tel Eton and Beth Yerah (1967–68) and the Silwan Village survey (1968–71) and continued with the major project conducted at Tel Lachish between 1973 and 1994, which has been fully published. Following smaller excavations conducted at Bethar (1984) and at Tel Jezreel (1990–1996), Ussishkin was a co-director of the renewed excavations at Tel Megiddo from 1992. Ussishkin took on many different administrative duties over the years, including the directorship of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv (1980–84), serving also as a member of various councils (the Israel Exploration Society, the Israel Archaeological Council) and as editor of the journal Tel Aviv (1975–2004). Ussishkin was a prolific writer of scientific papers and research articles (more than 100). His books include The Conquest of Lachish by Sennacherib (1983) and The Village of SilwanThe Necropolis from the Period of the Judean Kingdom (1993), and he is the main author and editor of the five-volume final report on the Lachish excavations (2004).

[Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)]