Dr. Eilat Mazar, a pioneering archaeology professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology, passed away on Monday. She was 64.
Mazar was a third-generation Israeli archaeologist who participated in digs from a young age, as the granddaughter of Professor Benjamin Mazar who excavated the Land of Israel during the British Mandate period.
Eilat Mazar specialized in the Phoenician culture of Israel’s northern coastal plain and directed excavations in the City of David and the Temple Mount’s southern wall.
Mazar discovered the possible remnants of King David’s palace and a portion of an ancient city wall presumed to be built by King Solomon.
In 2013, Mazar unearthed a trove of gold coins and a rare Byzantine medallion with a menorah (candelabra) etched into it.
Most recently, Mazar made headlines when she unearthed clay seals “Belonging to Hezekiah, (son of) Ahaz, King of Judah” and later, seals that may have belonged to the Prophet Yeshayahu.
She also exposed dozens of coins from the last year of the Great Revolt in 135 CE and found a fragment of a plaque that is the oldest written document ever discovered in Jerusalem.