Eliezer L Sukenik

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Eliezer Lipa Sukenik (1889-1953), born in Bialystok, was an Israeli archaeologist and professor of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Having arrived in Palestine in 1912 (some sources say 1911) he worked as a school teacher and tour guide. He participated in the "War of the Languages" that erupted among Zionist activists in Palestine in 1913.

He served in the British army in World War I in the 40th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers which became known as the Jewish Legion.

In addition to his excavations in Jerusalem (including the "Third Wall" and numerous ossuary tombs) he played a central role in the establishment of the Department of Archaeology of the Hebrew University. He was one of those few Israeli archaeologists who sought to protect ancient monuments and mosques. He recognized the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls to Israel and worked for the Israeli state to buy them. In 1948, he published an article tentatively linking the scrolls and their content to a community of Essenes, which became the standard interpretation of the origin of the scrolls, a theory that is still probably the consensus among scholars, but has also been widely questioned.

He was the father of soldier, politician and archeologist Yigal Yadin, the actor Yossi Yadin, and Mati Yadin, who was killed in action during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

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Yigal Yadin   • Mati Yadin

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