Renovation of the Institute of Archaeology

Institute of Archaeology Image


Renovation of the Institute Of Archaeology

Dating back to 1934, Hebrew University scholars and students at the have played a central and guiding role in archaeological exploration and research in Israel. As the veteran archaeological research and teaching institute in Israel, the Institute of Archaeology has initiated and been involved in most of the major, formative excavations in Israel and beyond. Excavations at sites such as the biblical cities of Hazor, Megiddo, Dan, Lachish, Jerusalem, and the main phases of excavations in Masada, Sepphoris, the Hasmonean Palaces in the Jordan Valley, Herodium, and many others, all carry its hallmark. The Institute of Archaeology is housed in a complex of three buildings on the Mount Scopus Campus. The oldest, an outstanding Bauhaus structure dedicated in 1937, was designed by leading architect Erich Mendelsohn and is now a registered national landmark. However, this edifice and the labs within it are in dire need of renovation for safety purposes, to enable the vital work of the archaeology labs to continue, and to provide state-of-the-art research and teaching environments where new generations of scholars and archaeological leaders can be nurtured.


A Comprehensive Facelift

The Institute of Archaeology has the largest number of archaeology scholars (17) at an Israeli university, and pursues research across diverse locations (in Israel, Ethiopia, China, Kirghizstan, Georgia and Turkey), chronologies (prehistoric through to Napoleonic) and languages (Sumerian, Akkadian, ancient Egyptian). The Institute has developed a multifaceted development plan whose main thrusts are the renovation, structural reinforcement and modernization of its oldest building; the training and education of new generations of top scholars who will become the vanguard of Israeli archaeology; and the ongoing development of the archaeological sciences, a flourishing new field of knowledge in which Institute scholars are developing and using new scientific tools in pioneering specialist laboratories they have established in areas such as 3D computational archaeology and microstructure-chemical-isotopic analyses of archaeological metals and other materials.

The planned renovation will see the Mendelsohn building undergo structural reinforcement and the creation of technologically efficient spaces for the specialist Computational Archaeology Laboratory and for 10 excavation-based laboratories where advanced students and postdoctoral fellows can pursue their research alongside Institute members. The excavation labs are grouped in four subject clusters: Judah & Jewish (three labs); Israelite & Neighbors (four labs); Classical & Later Periods (three labs); and the Computational Archaeology.