Prof. Oded Lipschits is a professor in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near East Studies at the Tel-Aviv University, where he also serves as the Director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology. He also heads the Ancient Israel Studies MA program.
Tell us about your background, Professor Lipschits.
I was born in Jerusalem in 1963, served in the IDF between 1981 and 1985 (in reserve until 2008), and discharged with the rank of major.
I began my studies of archaeology and Jewish history in the Tel Aviv University in 1985 and received my Ph.D. in 1997, from the Department of Jewish history, Tel Aviv University. The subject of my doctoral dissertation was: “The ‘Yehud’ Province under Babylonian Rule (586-539 B.C.E.): Historic Reality and Historiographic Conceptions”, which I wrote under the supervision of Prof. Nadav Na'aman. The work was later published as a book.
In 1998 I became a Lecturer; in 2002 I received the title of Senior Lecturer with tenure from the Department of Jewish history, Tel Aviv University; in 2007 I became Associate Professor; and in 2012 I was appointed Full Professor at Tel Aviv University.
I headed the archaeological project in Ramat Rachel, near Jerusalem, between 2004 and 2010, and since 2008 I have been heading the archaeological project in Tel Azeka.
What makes your program unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
Our Archaeology program is set in a unique geographical location, allowing our students to explore the land of the Bible where the biblical events actually took place, and has a unique set of academic staff, comprised of some of the best scholars in the field. These two qualities allow for the best schooling, in an environment rich with research opportunities.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful program?
To never stop evolving! Our teachers are all leading scholars in the scientific discourse and are well versed in the latest discoveries and developments.
Do you have a favorite story from a returning student?
On one of our excavations, one of my young students found a stamp impression on a jar handle, the find was a great addition to our previously unearthed discoveries, and was of great use in further research.