Ephraim Stern

Ephraim Stern was the doyen of Israel archaeologists. As such he was, for 11 years, the chairman of The Archaeological Committee of Israel. Other chairs that he occupied in the past were that of the board of directors of the Israel Exploration Society as well as the renowned Ben Zvi Institute, named in honor of Israel’s second President. The committees chaired by him or in which he participated are too numerous to mention here.

His major activities, however, had always revolved around his fieldwork, when he led, or participated in, many digs, most prominently at Ein Gedi on the shores of the Dead Sea, at Tel Mevorakh and at Tel Dor, the ancient port city on the Mediterranean coast. He paid special attention to the cultural aspects of the Phoenicians. Notably he issued final reports for these and other sites and subjects.

About him it can truly be said that only busy people can find the time to do so many things. In addition to his fieldwork and teaching chores, his public activities and participation, he served also as editor for a great variety of professional books, and periodicals such as the Encyclopedia Biblica and Qadmoniot. Notably he headed the huge team that produced the monumental 4-volume The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, published by Carta and the Israel Exploration Society, and volume 5, a 10-year update published by IES and the Biblical Archaeology Society.

In addition to his epic volume of professional literature, Ephraim published a number of academic titles for the general public. 

Over his long career he received many awards, among them the EMET prize on behalf of the Israeli Prime Minister and also from Yad Ben-Zvi, the American Society of Biblical Archaeology, The Israel Museum and Beer Sheva University.


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