Archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar passes away

We just learned today that Dr. Eilat Mazar passed away in Jerusalem. No details have been released except that she will be buried tomorrow. She became widely known in the archaeological world for her discovery of “David’s Palace” in Jerusalem, among other biblically-related finds.

Here is a release from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she taught.

(Jerusalem, May 25, 2021)—Dr. Eilat Mazar, a pioneering archaeology professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology died today, she was 64.  Mazar was a third-generation Israeli archaeologist who participated in digs from a young age, as the granddaughter of Benjamin Mazar who excavated the Land of Israel during the British Mandate period.  Eilat Mazar specialized in the Phoenician culture of Israel’s northern coastal plain and directed excavations in the City of David and the Temple Mount’s southern wall. 

During her tenure, Mazar discovered the possible remnants of King David’s palace and a portion of an ancient city wall presumed to be built by King Solomon. In 2013, Mazar unearthed a trove of gold coins and a rare Byzantine medallion with a menorah (candelabra) etched into it.  Most recently, Mazar made headlines when she unearthed clay seals “Belonging to Hezekiah, (son of) Ahaz, King of Judah” and later, seals that may have belonged to Isaiah the Prophet. 

Mazar is survived by a daughter and three sons.

In March of 2019, I had the privilege of meeting Eilat Mazar in Jerusalem. Ferrell Jenkins and I were visiting the archaeologist with whom I have worked, Prof. Yossi Garfinkel, who introduced us. May her family find comfort in this difficult time.

(L to R) Luke Chandler, Prof. Yossi Garfinkel, Dr. Eilat Mazar, Ferrell Jenkins in the pottery lab at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2019.

About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister with the North Terrace Church of Christ and has participated in multiple archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke leads popular study tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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