Israel Finkelstein cover

photo credits: Neer lect - CC-BY-SA-3.0

Israel Finkelstein

Israeli archaeologist

1949   -  

country of citizenship: Israel
educated at: Tel Aviv University, University of Chicago, Harvard University, Pantheon-Sorbonne University
occupation: anthropologist, archaeologist, pedagogue, university teacher
award received: Dan David Prize

Israel Finkelstein (Hebrew: ישראל פינקלשטיין‎, born March 29, 1949) is an Israeli archaeologist and academic. He is the Jacob M. Alkow Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University. Finkelstein is widely regarded as a leading scholar in the archaeology of the Levant and a foremost applicant of archaeological data in reconstructing biblical history. He is also known for applying the exact and life sciences in archaeological and historical reconstruction. Finkelstein is the excavator of Megiddo – a key site for the study of the Bronze and Iron Ages in the Levant. Finkelstein is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and an 'associé étranger' of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres. Finkelstein has received many prestigious academic and writing awards. In 2005, he won the Dan David Prize for his impact and radical revision of the history of Israel in the 10th and 9th centuries BCE. In 2009 he was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, and in 2010, received a Doctorate honoris causa from the University of Lausanne. He is a member of the selection committee of the Shanghai Archaeology Forum, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Among Finkelstein's books are the best sellers The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts (2001) and David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition (2006), both written with Neil Asher Silberman. Also well-known are the textbooks on the emergence of Ancient Israel, titled The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement (1988); on the archaeology and history of the arid zones of the Levant, titled Living on the Fringe (1995); and on the Northern Kingdom of Israel, titled The Forgotten Kingdom (2013).
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