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Eilat Mazar

Dr. Eilat Mazar


Ph.D. 1997 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Research and Projects:

The Temple Mount Excavations Publication Project

Since the death of Benjamin Mazar in 1995, the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University nominated E. Mazar to head the publication of the wealthy amount of finds from his Temple Mount excavations (from 1968 to 1978). Several books have been published already, in Qedem's monograph series (Vols. 43, 46, and 52). The Temple Mount Excavations Publication Project is an ongoing one, supported by Roger and Susan Hertog, with a planned publishing of up to 10 more volumes of the excavation reports.

Achziv Excavations

In a series of seasons beginning in 1988, Eilat Mazar headed up excavations at the cemeteries of the ancient Phoenician city of Achziv, on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The excavations and publications were funded since 2000 by Sam Turner. Her excavations were conducted in the southern, eastern, and northern cemeteries of Achziv. Dozens of Phoenician family tombs were revealed, along with a unique biblical Tophet site, where dozens of cremation burials and a crematorium structure were discovered. The majority of the finds are dated to the 10th to 6th centuries BCE.

City of David Excavations

Between 2005 and 2008, Eilat Mazar headed the excavations at the summit of the City of David, on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology of Hebrew University of Jerusalem. These excavations were funded by Roger and Susan Hertog, and were supported by the Shalem Center and the Elad Foundation. There, she discovered what may have been the palace of King David, which she referred to as the Large Stone Structure. Within the structure, she found a clay bulla (seal impression), bearing in ancient Hebrew lettering the name Jehucal, son of Shelemiah, son of Shovi: an Israelite high-ranking official mentioned twice in the Bible (Jeremiah 37:3 and Jeremiah 38:1). In July 2008, she found a second bulla only a few meters away from the first, belonging to Gedaliah, son of Pashur, who is also mentioned as a high-ranking official together with Jehucal (or "Jucal") in Jeremiah 38:1. On the eastern side of her City of David excavations, E. Mazar uncovered what she suggested was Nehemiah's wall.

Ophel Excavations

In 1986-87 Eilat Mazar excavated along with her grandfather prof. Benjamin Mazar at the Ophel (the biblical acropolis of First Temple Period Jerusalem), on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The results from their excavations are published in Qedem 29 (1989).

Since then, she has conducted several excavation seasons at the Ophel site, revealing First Temple Period monumental structures, including a city gate, towers, and a royal structure, suggested by her to be part of the city wall of Jerusalem, built during the 10th century by King Solomon, as described in 1 Kings 3:1. According to E. Mazar, "It means that at that time, the 10th century, in Jerusalem there was a regime capable of carrying out such construction."

Since 2009 the Ophel excavations and publications have been funded by Daniel Mintz and Meredith Berkman. Many students from Herbert W. Armstrong College in Edmond, Oklahoma, have volunteered in these excavations, and participated in the subsequent processing of finds. Outstanding results from the new Ophel excavations are presented at the internet site established by Mazar and the College: This is in continuation of a close relationship between the College and the Mazars, going back to the 1960s, at that time in association with her grandfather Benjamin Mazar's Temple Mount Excavations.

Scientific Biography
List of Publications