Biblical Archaeology Review 41:1, January/February 2015

Strata: Milestones: Yehoshua (Shuka) Dorfman (1950–2014)

Yehoshua (Shuka) Dorfman, Director General of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), passed away in July 2014 at age 64. Despite having no formal archaeological training, Dorfman led the IAA for a decade and a half. As head of the organization, he promoted conservation efforts and technology, moving the IAA into the 21st century.

Under his watch, the IAA expanded the scope of archaeological rescue excavations of sites threatened by modern construction, as well as the authority of the organization to supervise and preserve antiquities.

Firmly believing that archaeological sites should be made accessible to the public, he emphasized conservation: The completed excavation of a site did not mark the end of its teaching ability but the beginning. Enabling people to visit and explore archaeological sites greatly benefits the public, he maintained.

He also campaigned to separate archaeology from politics—to the greatest degree possible. He even wrote a book about the subject, titled Archaeology and Politics in Israel, which will be published soon, according to the IAA.

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