John Basil Hennessy, professor of Near Eastern archaeology at the University of Sydney in Australia, passed away on October 27, 2013, at age 88.
His contributions to the archaeology of the Near East were myriad: He participated in the 1951 excavation season at Jericho, the first directed by Kathleen Kenyon. Later Kenyon would supervise his dissertation The Foreign Relations of Palestine During the Early Bronze Age at Magdalen College of Oxford University.
Following the completion of his dissertation, Hennessy served as director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem from 1966 to 1970. During his appointment, he had the opportunity to supervise numerous archaeological expeditions, including the excavation of Damascus Gate in Jerusalem and the Amman Airport Temple.
Hennessy served as the Edwin Cuthbert Hall Professor of Near Eastern archaeology at the University of Sydney from 1970 until his retirement in 1990. For more than a decade, he directed the excavation of Pella in Jordan, which was recently featured in a BAR article titled “The Christian Flight to Pella: True or Tale?” by Steven Bourke, his successor as Pella’s dig director.*
* Steven Bourke, “The Christian Flight to Pella: True or Tale?” BAR, May/June 2013.
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