Ilan Sharon, the former Nahman Avigad Chair of Biblical Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology, passed away at his home in Mevaseret Zion, Israel, on February 24 at the age of 69.
In 1980, Professor Ephraim Stern invited Sharon to join him in his excavations at Tel Dor on the Carmel coast of Israel. Sharon agreed and never looked back. He took pride that Dor was the most thoroughly excavated and publishedPhoenician site in the world. Sharon devoted great attention to the development of the site’s excavation, recording, and publication methodologies and was the driving force behind efforts to publish the great amount of data accumulated over many dig seasons. He even inaugurated a series of semiannual study seasons that took place in various locales around the world, such as Boston and Jerusalem.
In addition, Sharon published on traditional topics in the archaeology of the southern Levant (e.g., stratigraphy, architecture, and ceramics). Many of his publications involved the interface of archaeology and science, especially radiocarbon dating. These studies provided crucial data for ongoing debates over Iron Age chronology.
Besides his many academic accomplishments, Sharon was a wonderful family man, colleague, friend, lover of good wine and large dogs, an excellent cook, and a teller of long and amusing stories. He was unpretentious and took himself with a good deal of humor and humility.