Benedikt Isserlin, linguist, historian and archaeologist, died on October 23, 2005, at the age of 89.
Isserlin directed excavations at Jaffa and Mikhmoret (Israel) and at Motya (Sicily), as well as leading an expedition to Malaga (Spain). His 1998 book The Israelites was praised as an exhaustive and accessible presentation of the latest and best scholarship on ancient Israel.
Born in Munich in 1916, Isserlin studied history at the universities of Bern and Zurich, earned a Masters degree in history and archaeology at Edinburgh University and completed his doctorate in Oriental languages at Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1960 he became head of the department of Semitic studies at the University of Leeds, where he stayed until his retirement in 1981.