Throughout the years there have been many research studies which contributed to our knowledge of the country in every conceivable aspect. Yet, the significance of the history of the research was hardly recognized. In recent years there has been a great increase in the studies addressing the history of the Land of Israel and its archaeology, and a range of issues relating to this field has expanded. Nevertheless, despite the increasing volume and importance of these issues, so far there has been no center combining contemporary research in the field.

A Chair dedicated to the study of the history of the knowledge of Land of Israel and its archaeology would enable us, for the first time, to seek answers to questions regarding the factors that drove the research. The changes, overtime, in the study of a specific theme as well as the reciprocal relationship among researchers studying the same field. The answers may serve as an additional layer shedding light on the research, and open a porthole into a deeper, more complex comprehension of the research process itself.

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About Zev Vilnay

Zev Vilnay was born in 1900 in Kishinev, Russia (now Moldova). His family immigrated to Israel when he was six years old and he grew up in Haifa. In high school Vilnay studied at the Hebrew Reali School and then in the Teachers’ Seminary in Jerusalem. Continuing his studies, he went to the University of London, as well as the Dropsie University in Philadelphia where he completed his Ph.D. in 1938. Vilnay grew up during the years of the Second Aliyah when connecting to nature and the landscape was a key component of Zionist education. He was greatly influenced by the activities of touring the country and courses of knowing the land (‘Yediath Ha’Aretz’), which became very popular during the 1920’s. From then and onwards, for sixty years Vilnay devoted his life to spreading knowledge of the land and love of the country through tours, lectures, and publications. He believed that the right way of bequeathing these values was by walking in the various areas of the country, and the motto that had guided him was “by the sweat of your feet you will know the land.” He attracted thousands of travelers and formed the courses of the knowledge of land of Israel. In his many publications he had addressed a variety of issues related to knowing the land. He collected hundreds of stories and folklore stories and compiled them in the book: ‘Legends of the Sacred Land’. He also documented settlements and regions in the ‘Israel Guide’ and ‘Ariel Encyclopedia’. Vilnay was a member of the naming committee of Israel in which he contributed his vast knowledge to the creation of dozens of names of new settlements.

Even if there were those who preceded Vilnay in the engagement of knowledge of the land, there is no doubt that he can be viewed as the pioneer who had paved the way for dealing with this subject over the years. His preoccupation in knowing the land was popular to a great extent, but the tours he had led and the books he had written formed the basis for the scientific engagement in the field. Vilnay won the Israel Prize for his contribution to imparting knowledge of the land and the love of the country in 1982. To his dying day in 1988, Vilnay continued leading and promoting the study of knowing the land.

Michele Piccirillo
1944-2008
Michele Piccirillo
Amos Kloner
1940-2019
Amos Kloner
Yoram Tazfrir
1938-2015
Yoram Tazfrir
Ofer Bar-Yoseff
1937-2020
Ofer Bar-Yoseff
Ehud Netzer
1934-2010
Ehud Netzer
Ephraim Stern
1934-2018
Ephraim Stern
Moshe Kochavi
2008 – 1928
Moshe Kochavi
Ram Gophna
1928-2021
Ram Gophna
Trude Dothan
1922-2016
Trude Dothan002_wikimediacommons
Trude Dothan
Yohanan Aharoni
1919-1976
Yohanan Aharoni Wikimediacommons
Yohanan Aharoni
Virgilio Canio Corbo
1918-1991
Virgilio Canio Corbo
Yigael Yadin
1917-1984
Yigael Yadin_Wikimediacommons
Yigael Yadin
Ruth Amiran
1914-2005
Ruth Amiran_private collection_06
Ruth Amiran
Claire Epstein
1911-2000
Claire Epstein_Wikimediacommons
Claire Epstein
Jacob Kaplan
1911-1989
Jacob Kaplan Wikimediacommons
Jacob Kaplan
David Amiran
1910-2003
David Amiran
Pessah Bar-Adon
1907-1985
Pessah Bar-Adon
Benjamin Mazar
1906-1995
Bejamin Mazar_excavations near southern wall of temple mount_The National photo collection
Benjamin Mazar
Dimitri Constantine Baramki
1909 -1984
Dimitri Baramki_Private Collection
Dimitri Constantine Baramki
Kathleen Kenyon
1906-1978
Kathleen Kenyon_public domain
Kathleen Kenyon
Judith Krause-Marquet
1906-1936
Judith Krauze-Marquet_wikimediacommons
Judith Krause-Marquet
Nahman Avigad
1905-1992
Nahman Avigad
F. Bellarmino Bagatti
1905-1990
Bellarmino-Bagatti_Studium-Biblicum-Franciscanum_001
F. Bellarmino Bagatti
Olga Tufnell
1905-1985
Olga Tufnell_Wikimediacommons
Olga Tufnell
Georg Haas
1905-1981
Georg_Hass_wikimediacommons
Georg Haas
Michael Avi-Yonah
1904-1974
Michael Avi Yonah_uknown source -min
Michael Avi-Yonah
Michael Evenari
1904-1989
Michael Evenari
Roland De Vaux O.P.
1903-1971
Le père Roland de Vaux_École Biblique
Roland De Vaux O.P.
Nehemia Tsori
1902-1991
Nehemia Tsori_Meitar Collection, The Pritzker Family National Photography Collection, The National Library of Israel
Nehemia Tsori
Yehuda Leo Picard
1900-1997
Yehuda Leo Picard
Naomi Feinbrun-Dothan
1900-1995
Naomi Freinbrun-Dothan_wikimediacommons_Daniel Dothan
Naomi Feinbrun-Dothan
Nelson Glueck
1900-1971
Nelson_Glueck_Wikimedicommons
Nelson Glueck
Zev Vilnay
1900-1988
Zev Vilnay_Private Collection
Zev Vilnay
Moshe Stekelis
1898-1967
Moshe Stekelis_Meitar Collection, The Pritzker Family National Photography Collection, The National Library of Israel
Moshe Stekelis
Michael Zohary
1898–1983
Michael Zohary_unknown source
Michael Zohary
Na’im Makhouly
1894-1976
Naim Makhouly_001_Private Collection
Na’im Makhouly
Alexander Eig
1894 – 1938
Alexander Eig
Eleazar Lipa Sukenik
1889-1953
Eleazar Lipa Sukenik_alchetron_com
Eleazar Lipa Sukenik
James Leslie Starkey
1895-1938
James Starkey_Filming Antiquity
James Leslie Starkey
Dorothy Garrod
1892-1968
Dorothy Garrod_Newnham College, Cambridge (wikimediacommons)
Dorothy Garrod
William Albright
1891-1971
William Albright
Samuel Klein
1886-1940
Samuel Klein
Philip Langstaffe Ord Guy
1885-1952
Philip L.O. Guy_Private collection
Philip Langstaffe Ord Guy
Israel Aharoni
1882-1946
Israel Aharoni_wikimediacommons
Israel Aharoni
F. Felix Marie Abel O.P
1878-1953
F. Felix Marie Abel__École biblique
F. Felix Marie Abel O.P
Aaron Aaronsohn
1876-1919
Aaron Aaronsohn
John Garstang
1876-1956
John Garstang_Palestine Exploration Fund
John Garstang
Louis Hugues Vincent
1872-1960
Louis Hugues Vincent Ecole Biblique
Louis Hugues Vincent
Gottlieb Schumacher
1857-1925
Gottlieb Schumacher _ wikimediacommons
Gottlieb Schumacher
Sir William Flinders Petrie
1853-1942
Sir William Flinders Petrie _Wikimediacommons
Sir William Flinders Petrie
Charles Clermont-Ganneau
1846-1923
Charles Clermont-Ganneau
Ernst Johann Schmitz
1845-1922
Ernst Johann Schmitz
Charles Jean Melchior Marquis De Vogüé
1829-1916
Charles Jean Melchior Marquis De Vogüé
Henry Baker Tristram
1822-1906
Henry Baker Tristram
Conrad Schick
1822-1901
Conrad Schick_wikicommons
Conrad Schick
Victor-Honore Guérin
1821-1890
Victor-Honore Guérin
Titus Tobler
1806-1877
Titus Tobler
Edward Robinson
1794-1863
Edward Robinson_Wikimediacommons
Edward Robinson
Michele Piccirillo
1944-2008
Michele Piccirillo
Amos Kloner
1940-2019
Yoram Tazfrir
Yoram Tazfrir
1938-2015
Yoram Tazfrir
Ofer Bar-Yoseff
1937-2020
Ofer Bar-Yoseff
Ehud Netzer
1934-2010
Ehud Netzer
Ephraim Stern
1934-2018
Ephraim Stern
Moshe Kochavi
2008 – 1928
Moshe Kochavi
Ram Gophna
1928-2021
Ram Gophna
Trude Dothan
1922-2016
Trude Dothan
Trude Dothan002_wikimediacommons
Yohanan Aharoni
1919-1976
Yohanan Aharoni
Yohanan Aharoni Wikimediacommons
Virgilio Canio Corbo
1918-1991
Virgilio Canio Corbo
Yigael Yadin
1917-1984
Yigael Yadin
Yigael Yadin_Wikimediacommons
Pessah Bar-Adon
1907-1985
Pessah Bar-Adon
Benjamin Mazar
1906-1995
Benjamin Mazar
Bejamin Mazar_excavations near southern wall of temple mount_The National photo collection
Ruth Amiran
1914-2005
Ruth Amiran
Ruth Amiran_private collection_06
Jacob Kaplan
1911-1989
Jacob Kaplan
Jacob Kaplan Wikimediacommons
Claire Epstein
1911-2000
Claire Epstein
Claire Epstein_Wikimediacommons
David Amiran
1910-2003
David Amiran
Dimitri Constantine Baramki
1909 -1984
Dimitri Constantine Baramki
Dimitri Baramki_Private Collection
Kathleen Kenyon
1906-1978
Kathleen Kenyon
Kathleen Kenyon_public domain
Judith Krause-Marquet
1906-1936
Judith Krause-Marquet
Judith Krauze-Marquet_wikimediacommons
Nahman Avigad
1905-1992
Nahman Avigad
F. Bellarmino Bagatti
1905-1990
F. Bellarmino Bagatti
Bellarmino-Bagatti_Studium-Biblicum-Franciscanum_001
Olga Tufnell
1905-1985
Olga Tufnell
Olga Tufnell_Wikimediacommons
Georg Haas
1905-1981
Georg Haas
Georg_Hass_wikimediacommons
Michael Avi-Yonah
1904-1974
Michael Avi-Yonah
Michael Avi Yonah_uknown source -min
Michael Evenari
1904-1989
Michael Evenari
Roland De Vaux O.P.
1903-1971
Roland De Vaux O.P.
Le père Roland de Vaux_École Biblique
Nehemia Tsori
1902-1991
Nehemia Tsori
Nehemia Tsori_Meitar Collection, The Pritzker Family National Photography Collection, The National Library of Israel
Yehuda Leo Picard
1900-1997
Yehuda Leo Picard
Naomi Feinbrun-Dothan
1900-1995
Naomi Feinbrun-Dothan
Naomi Freinbrun-Dothan_wikimediacommons_Daniel Dothan
Nelson Glueck
1900-1971
Nelson Glueck
Nelson_Glueck_Wikimedicommons
Zev Vilnay
1900-1988
Zev Vilnay
Zev Vilnay_Private Collection
Moshe Stekelis
1898-1967
Moshe Stekelis
Moshe Stekelis_Meitar Collection, The Pritzker Family National Photography Collection, The National Library of Israel
Michael Zohary
1898–1983
Michael Zohary
Michael Zohary_unknown source
Na’im Makhouly
1894-1976
Na’im Makhouly
Naim Makhouly_001_Private Collection
Alexander Eig
1894 – 1938
Alexander Eig
Eleazar Lipa Sukenik
1889-1953
Eleazar Lipa Sukenik
Eleazar Lipa Sukenik_alchetron_com
James Leslie Starkey
1895-1938
James Leslie Starkey
James Starkey_Filming Antiquity
Dorothy Garrod
1892-1968
Dorothy Garrod
Dorothy Garrod_Newnham College, Cambridge (wikimediacommons)
William Albright
1891-1971
William Albright
Samuel Klein
1886-1940
Samuel Klein
Philip Langstaffe Ord Guy
1885-1952
Philip Langstaffe Ord Guy
Philip L.O. Guy_Private collection
Israel Aharoni
1882-1946
Israel Aharoni
Israel Aharoni_wikimediacommons
F. Felix Marie Abel O.P
1878-1953
F. Felix Marie Abel O.P
F. Felix Marie Abel__École biblique
Aaron Aaronsohn
1876-1919
Aaron Aaronsohn
John Garstang
1876-1956
John Garstang
John Garstang_Palestine Exploration Fund
Louis Hugues Vincent
1872-1960
Louis Hugues Vincent
Louis Hugues Vincent Ecole Biblique
Gottlieb Schumacher
1857-1925
Gottlieb Schumacher
Gottlieb Schumacher _ wikimediacommons
Sir William Flinders Petrie
1853-1942
Sir William Flinders Petrie
Sir William Flinders Petrie _Wikimediacommons
Charles Clermont-Ganneau
1846-1923
Charles Clermont-Ganneau
Ernst Johann Schmitz
1845-1922
Ernst Johann Schmitz
Charles Jean Melchior Marquis De Vogüé
1829-1916
Charles Jean Melchior Marquis De Vogüé
Henry Baker Tristram
1822-1906
Henry Baker Tristram
Conrad Schick
1822-1901
Conrad Schick
Conrad Schick_wikicommons
Victor-Honore Guérin
1821-1890
Victor-Honore Guérin
Titus Tobler
1806-1877
Titus Tobler
Edward Robinson
1794-1863
Edward Robinson
Edward Robinson_Wikimediacommons