Volkmar Fritz, former director of the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, died in Bad Schwartau, Germany, on August 21, 2007, at the age of 69 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Fritz came to Israel in 1964 after having completed his theological studies in Tübingen, Berlin, Heidelberg, Bonn and Marburg, where he earned his Ph.D. He also studied Biblical archaeology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He served as an area supervisor under Yohanan Aharoni at the Arad excavations in the Negev. Together with his Israeli colleague, the late Aharon Kempinski, he directed the excavations at Tel Masos in the Negev from 1972 to 1975. He later directed the excavations of Tell el-Oreme/Tel Kinrot on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Fritz applied current archaeological data to the German tradition of Biblical analysis. He was the first German scholar after the Second World War to obtain a license to conduct an excavation in Israel.
The architecture of public buildings was a major focus of his research. His foremost publications, The City in Ancient Israel and An Introduction to Biblical Archaeology, were published in German and in English.
He is survived by his wife, Anke, and four children.