Dr. Eilat Mazar, one of the most prominent scholars of ancient Jerusalem and an expert on Phoenician culture, passed away on May 25, 2021, at the age of 64, after a long struggle against an illness. For many years, Eilat had been a research fellow with the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and conducted excavations on its behalf at the Phoenician cemetery at Achziv and in Jerusalem’s City of David and Ophel. She also published the large-scale excavations of her grandfather, the late Professor Benjamin Mazar, president of the Hebrew University and one of the founders of Israeli archaeology, at the foot of the Temple Mount’s southern wall.
Eilat’s doctoral dissertation at the Hebrew University was about Phoenician culture. Her excavations at Achziv contributed significantly to the understanding of Phoenician burial practices and culture along the northern coast of Israel. However, most of Eilat’s recent archaeological activities were concentrated in Jerusalem. Eilat published with her grandfather, Benjamin Mazar, the first report of his 1968–1978 excavations in the Ophel area of ancient Jerusalem, southwest of the Temple Mount. This volume also included the results of excavations conducted by Eilat between 1986 and 1988 in the southeastern part of the Opel, where the remains of a city wall and a gate were uncovered, which she dated to the days of King Solomon.
After her grandfather passed away in 1995, Eilat launched a long and complex project to complete the publication of his original Ophel excavations. To date, four additional volumes dealing with remains from the Herodian to Byzantine periods have appeared.