Prof. Israel Finkelstein

Professor of Archaeology

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Laureate of the Dan David Prize in the Past Dimension, Archaeology, 2005:

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Director of the Megiddo Expedition and Co-Director of the European Research Project “Reconstructing Ancient Israel: The Exact and Life Sciences Perspective (2009-2014)


Author of The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement (1988), Living on the Fringe (1995), The Bible Unearthed (2001), David and Solomon (2006 – the latter two with Neil Asher Silberman) and The Forgotten Kingdom (2013, won of the Prix Delalande Guérineau, 2014, of the Institut de France, l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres)

Laureate of the Dan David Prize in the Past Dimension, Archaeology (2005); named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture (2009); Doctorate Doctorate honoris causa from the University of Lausanne (2010); 'correspondant étranger' of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles 

Archaeological Field Work

1971:   Educational excavation at Tel Beer-sheba, under Prof. Y. Aharoni

1972-1974: Archaeological surveys in Sinai, under Dr. Z. Meshel

1973-1979: Field Supervisor, Tel Aphek excavations, under Prof. M. Kochavi

1976-1978: Field Director, the Izbet Sartah excavations, under Prof. M. Kochavi

1976-1978: Director of the archaeological survey of Byzantine monastic remains in

Southern Sinai

1977:  Director of the rescue excavations at the mound of ancient Bene-Beraq

1979-1980: Co-director of the Tel Ira excavations (with Prof. I. Beit-Arieh)

1980-1987: Director of the Southern Samaria Survey

1981-1984: Director of the Shiloh excavations

1985-1986: Director of the Kh. ed-Dawwara excavations

1987:  Director of the Dhahr Mirzbaneh excavation

1995, 1999  Co-director, the Megiddoregional survey (with Prof. B. Halpern)

1992-present: Co-director, the Megiddo Expedition (with Prof. D. Ussishkin)

2005-present: Geo-archaeology project, the Negev Highlands (with Dr. Ruth Shachak-Gross)

2009-present: Various small field works related to the European Research Council project

titled “Reconstructing Ancient (Biblical) Israel: The Exact and Life Sciences


Current Projects 

  • Geoarchaeological investigation in the Negev Highlands


Selected Publications

Selected Articles



Finkelstein, I. Ussishkin, D, and Cline, E. 2013. Megiddo V: The 2004-2008 Seasons (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University 31), Winona Lake 2013, ca. 1400 pages in three volumes.
Finkelstein, I.2013. Le Royaume Biblique Oublié, Paris (Odile Jacob for the College de France).

Finkelstein, I. 2008. Un archéologue au pays de la Bible. Paris (collection of articles updated and translated to French).

Finkelstein, I. and Mazar, A. 2007. The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archaeologyand the History of  Early Israel, Atlanta.

Finkelstein, I., Ussishkin, D. and Halpern, B. (eds.). 2006. Megiddo IV: The 1998-2002 Seasons. (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University No. 24). Tel Aviv.

Finkelstein, I. and Silberman, N.A. 2006. David and Solomon, In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition. New York.

Finkelstein, I. and Silberman, N.A. 2001. The Bible Unearthed, Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origins of Its Sacred Texts. New York.

Finkelstein, I., Ussishkin, D. and Halpern, B. (eds.). 2000. Megiddo III: The 1992-1996 Seasons. (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University No. 18) Tel Aviv.

Finkelstein, I. 1995. Living on the Fringe: The Archaeology and History of the Negev, Sinai and Neighbouring Regions in Bronze and Iron Ages. (Monographs in Mediterranean Archaeology 6). Sheffield.

Finkelstein, I. and Na'aman, N. (eds.) 1994. From Nomadism to Monarchy: Archaeological and Historical Aspects of Early Israel. Jerusalem.

Finkelstein, I., Lederman, Z. and Bunimovitz, S. 1993. Highlands of Many Cultures The Southern Sumaria Survey: The Sites. (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University No. 14). Tel Aviv.

Finkelstein, I. (ed.) 1993. Archaeological Survey in the Hill Country of Benjamin. Jerusalem.

Finkelstein, I. (ed.) 1993. Shiloh: The Archaeology of a Biblical Site. (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University No. 10). Tel Aviv.

Finkelstein, I. 1988. The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement. Jerusalem.

Finkelstein, I. 1986. IzbetSartah: An Early Iron Age Site Near Rosh Haayin, Israel. (BAR International Series 299). Oxford.


Research Students

MA Students

Alon Shavit, 1992. The Ayalon Valley and Its Vicinity during the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Dan Gazit, 1995. The Besor Region in the Iron Age I according to Analysis of the Pottery from Stratum VIII at Tel Sera'.

Aharon Sasson, 1996. The Pastoral Element in the Economy in Intermediate Bronze and Iron I Sites in the Highlands: An Archaeological-Ethnographic Perspective.

Edtal Levi, 1998. Geographical Information System for Analysis of Spatial Distribution of Sites: Development, Programming and Application in Archaeological Data (co-supervisor - Itzhak Benenson).

Yuval Gadot, 1999. The Wadi 'Ara Pass as an International Highway during the Bronze Age, Iron Age and the Persian Period, in the Light of the Settlement Patterns (co-supervisor - David Ussishkin).

Alexander Fantalkin, 2000. Mesad Hashaviahu: Analysis of the Material Culture and Its Contribution to Historical Reconstruction at the end of the Iron Age (co-supervisor - NadavNa'aman).

Yifat Thareani-Sussely, 2002. Core and Periphery - A Case Study: The Arad Beersheba Valley at the End of the Iron Age. (co-supervisor - Nadav Na'aman).

Eyal Buzaglo, 2004. Petrographic Investigation of Iron Age Pottery Assemblages from Megiddo and the North (co-supervisor - Yuval Goren).

Eran Arie, 2004. "Then I went down to the potter's house": Intra-site Spatial Analysis in the Pottery of Megiddo VIA.

Elena Zahavi-Cogan. 2007. The Assyrian Residency at Ashdod (co-supervisor - Nadav Naaman).

Shirly Ben-Dor Evian, 2008. Inter-relations between Egypt and Israel: The Egyptian Pottery in Iron 1-2b Strata.

Inbal Samet, 2009. Canaanite Rulership in Late Bronze Age Megiddo.

Keren Ras, 2010. The Impact of the Assyrian Rule on Rural Countryside in Northern Palestine: Settlement Dynamics under Imperial Domination.

Sivan Einhorn, 2011. Microfinds from Destruction and Abandonment Layers in Tel Megiddo (co-supervisor – Ruth-Shahack Gross of the Weizmann Institute of Science).

Roni Zuckerman, in preparation, Archaeozoology of an early Iron age Rural Village: A View from 'Izbet Sartah' (co-supervisor - Guy Bar-Oz).

Yaniv Agmon, in preparation, The Middle Bronze/Late Bronze Transition in the Shephelah (co-supervisor Deborah Sweeney).

Assaf Kleiman, in preparation, Tel Aphek and the Central Coastal Plain during the Iron Age IIA: The Archaeological Assemblage and its Historical Implications

Ph.D. Students

Yitzhak Meitlis, 1997. The Judean Hill Country in the Middle Bronze Age.

David Ilan, 1999. Northeastern Israel in the Iron Age I: Cultural, Economic and Political Structures and Transformations.

Assaf Yasur-Landau, 2003. Social Aspects of Aegean Settlement in the Southern Levant at the End of the Second Millennium BCE (co-supervisors - Shlomo Bunimovitz and Irad Malkin).

Alon Shavit, 2004. Settlement Patterns in the Southern Coastal Plain in the Iron II.

Yuval Gadot, 2004. Tel Aphek at the End of the Late Bronze Age and the Beginning of the Iron Age: Typological, Chronological and Cultural Implications. (co-supervisor - Moshe Kochavi).

Aharon Sasson, 2004. The Faunal Assemblage from Iron II Beer-Sheba (co-supervisors - Tamar Dayan and Ze'ev Herzog).

Norma Franklin, 2006. State Formation in the Northern Kingdom of Israel: Some Tangible Symbols of Statehood (co-supervisor - NadavNa'aman).

Liora Kolska-Horwitz, 2006. A Diachronic Study of Patterns of Animal Exploitation in the Sinai Peninsula (co-supervisor - Eitan Tchernow).

Alexander Fantalkin, 2008. The Contacts between the Greek World and the Southern Levant, ca. 1000-538 BCE (co-supervisor - Irad Malkin).

Deborah O. Cantrell, 2008. The Horsemen of Israel: (Vanderbilt University; readers: Jack Sasson, Douglas Knight, Robert Drews, Israel Finkelstein, Robin Jensen).

Arad Haggi, 2009. Harbors in Phoenicia, Israel and Philistia in the 9th - 7th Centuries BCE: Archaeology Finds and Historical Interpretation (Haifa University, co-supervisor – Michal Artzi).

Amir Sumakai-Fink. 2009. The History and Archaeology of Alalah in the Late Bronze Age (co-supervisor - Nadav Na'aman).

Yifat Thareani-Sussely, 2010. A Town in the Desert: Geographical, Economic and Sociopolitical Perspectives (co-supervisor - Nadav Na'aman).

Eran Arie, 2012. "In the Land of the Valley": Settlement, Social and Cultural Processes in the Jezreel Valley from the End of the Late Bronze Age to the Formation of the Monarchy.

Arie Shaus, in preparation. Analysis of Hebrew Inscriptions of the First Temple Period via Clusteringand Handwrite Recognition Algorithms (co-supervisor – Eli Turkel).

Shirly Ben-Dor Evian, in preparation. Egypt and Philistia in the early Iron Age: The Historical Record and the Archaeological Remains (co-supervisor – Deborah Sweeney).

David Friesem, in preparation. Formation Processes Related to the Degradation of Mud Brick Structures and their Archaeological Implications (co-supervisor Ruth Shahack-Gross of the Weizmann Institute of Science).

Michael Toffolo, in preparation. Correlating the Iron Age in the Eastern Mediterranean: Contexts, Site-Formation Processes and Chronology (co-supervisor Elisabetta Boaretto of the Weizmann Institute of Science).

Elon Heymans, in preparation. The Early History of Money and Monetary Exchange in the Eastern Mediterranean Iron Age (co-supervisor Irad Malkin).

Last updated: 22.06.2014