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Photo courtesy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Benjamin Mazar (June 28,1906September 9, 1995), born Binyamen Maisler in Ciechanowiec, Poland, was a leading Israeli biblical archaeologist. Educated in Germany, first at Berlin and then at Giessen universities, he emigrated to Palestine at age 23. In 1943 he joined the faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he served as Professor of Biblical History and Archaeology of Palestine from 1951 to 1977. He became Rector of the University in 1952 and served as its president in 1953. His tenure as president lasted for eight years. Mazar oversaw the revival of the university at a new site in west Jerusalem after as the Mount Scopus campus had become isolated in Jordanian-controlled Jerusalem following the 1948 first Arab-Israeli war. He served as secretary of the Jewish Palestine Exploration Society now the Israel Exploration Society.

Mazar earned a formidable academic reputation through leadership of a school of thought combining a positive appreciation of biblical history, critically evaluated, with archaeological evidence. Extensive excavations under the direction of Professor Mazar were undertaken in the Ophel and the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount 1968–1978. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Exploration Society together with Ambassador University completed the excavations. The site was inaccessible to Israeli archaeologists until the capture of the Old City from Jordan in the Six Day War of 1967. Work began on the site early in 1968.

Page last edited: 04/06/06 09:18 PM

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