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Miriam Tadmor (1926–2009)

Posted By Biblical Archaeology Society Staff On February 20, 2010 @ 5:17 pm In Archaeologists, Biblical Scholars & Works | No Comments

Miriam Tadmor, archaeologist and curator emeritus of the Israel Museum, died on November 12, 2009. She was 83 years old.

Born Miriam Skura, she studied archaeology under Benjamin Mazar and earned her master’s degree in 1950 from the Hebrew University. There she met her future husband, then named Hayim Frumstein, who was also to become a prominent scholar and archaeologist in his own right. The two were married in 1953 and, as was often done at the time, together they chose a new Hebrew last name: Tadmor (the Hebrew form of Palmyra, a major city in Syria).

After participating in the Tell Qasile excavations, Miriam worked for the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums (now the Israel Antiquities Authority, or IAA), excavating at Rosh Haniqra and Beth Yerah. She and Hayim also spent two years (1955–1957) at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, where she studied Mesopotamian and Egyptian archaeology. Her research focused on ancient art, especially of the Chalcolithic and Late Bronze Age.

She started her nearly 40-year curatorial career at the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums. With a UNESCO scholarship, she studied at several museums in London. She was then appointed to the steering committee that planned the archaeological galleries of the newly established Israel Museum, and when the museum opened in 1965, Tadmor stayed on as curator of the early periods. In 1973 she was appointed chief curator of archaeology at the museum.

Following her retirement in 1991, Tadmor was named coeditor of the Israel Exploration Journal, a post she held at her death.


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