Eleazar Sukenik, 1951
12 August 1889|
Belostok, Grodno Governorate, Russian Empire
28 February 1953 (aged 63)|
|Institutions||Hebrew University in Jerusalem|
Eleazar Lipa Sukenik (12 August 1889, Białystok – 28 February 1953, Jerusalem) was an Israeli archaeologist and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is best known for helping establish the Department of Archaeology at Hebrew University and being one of the first academics recognizing the age and importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He also oversaw the uncovering of the Third Wall in Jerusalem. He also was the director of the Museum of Jewish Antiquities.
Sukenik was born on August 12, 1889 in Białystok, Grodno Governorate, Russian Empire. In 1912, he immigrated to Palestine where he worked as a school teacher and tour guide. He studied archaeology at Hebrew Teachers Seminary in Jerusalem. He obtained a degree from the University of Berlin in 1923 and in 1926 his Doctorate from and Dropsie College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He was the father of soldier, politician and archaeologist Yigael Yadin, the actor Yossi Yadin (born Joseph Sukenik, 1920-2001), and Mati Sukenik, one of the first pilots of the Israeli Air Force, who was killed in action during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
In addition to his important 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 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. In 1950, he received the Solomon Bublick Award of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for this work.
He and his wife, Chassia, were buried in the Sanhedria Cemetery near the Tombs of the Sanhedrin which he researched. Unlike the other graves in the cemetery, which are covered by uniform limestone blocks, the couple's gravestones are uniquely decorated with carvings and motifs of the Second Temple era.
He was the paternal uncle of Herbert Sukenik.
- Ancient Synagogues in Palestine and Greece (Schweich Lectures of the British Academy for 1930). London, 1934.
- The Third Wall of Jerusalem: An Account of Excavations. Jerusalem: University Press, 1930
- The Ancient Synagogue of Beth Alpha. An Account of the Excavations conducted on behalf of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Jerusalem: Oxford University Press: London, 1932.
- Samaria-Sebaste Reports of the Work of the Joint Expedition in 1931-1933, and of the British Expedition in 1935. London, 3 volumes 1938, 1942, 1957.
- The Dead Sea Scrolls of the Hebrew University. Magnes Press, Hebrew University: Jerusalem, 1955.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eleazar Lipa Sukenik.|
- "August 12: Eleazar Sukenik and the Dead Sea Scrolls". Jewish Currents. 2013-08-12. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
- "Eliezer Sukenik | Israeli archaeologist". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
- "Yossi Yadin". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
- Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am, At Tel Aviv Port, once the gateway into the Land of Israel, Times of Israel, December 19, 2015
- Sukenik, Eleazar Lipa (1932). The Ancient Synagogue of Beth Alpha: An Account of the Excavations Conducted on Behalf of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Gorgias Press. p. 5. ISBN 9781593330781.
- "Hotel hermit got $17M to make way for 15 Central Park West". New York Post. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- Goldman, Bernard (1966). The Sacred Portal: a primary symbol in ancient Judaic art. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. A book on an important synagogue mosaic discovered by Sukenik in 1928.