I’ve known Bill Dever for a quarter century. I first met him when I knocked—unannounced—on the door of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem in 1972. Bill, who directed the institute, answered and graciously invited me in for coffee. Later that year, when my family and I were spending a self-created sabbatical in the city, my wife Judy ran into Bill at Chaim the Butcher’s. We quickly became reacquainted, and Bill introduced us to Jerusalem’s archaeological community.
Bill Dever is without question one of the most widely respected senior archaeologists today. In addition to directing the Albright for four years, he chaired the Committee on Archaeological Policy for the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), the umbrella group for Near Eastern archaeologists. He also edited ASOR’s scholarly journal and served for six years as ASOR’s vice president—but never as its president, a fact discussed in our interview.