Philip C. Hammond (1924–2008)

Philip C. Hammond, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Utah and adjunct professor of anthropology at Arizona State University, passed away on February 24 after a lengthy illness. He was 83 years old.

Hammond’s archaeological work included sites in Jordan and Egypt such as Nag Hammadi, Hebron (Tell er-Rumeide) and Petra.

From 1963 to 1966 he directed the American Expedition to Hebron, which carried out the first excavations of the site where the traditional patriarchal burial cave of Machpelah is located.1 The Six-Day War of 1967, however, forced Hammond to postpone and ultimately abandon his work at the West Bank site.

Hammond subsequently turned his attention to Petra in Jordan. He and his wife, Lin, led several excavations at the site over the years, and he became an expert in the archaeology, history and culture of the Nabataeans.2

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Hammond was a decorated World War II veteran and a graduate of Brothers College and Drew Theological Seminary at Drew University. He studied at the American School in Jerusalem (now the W.F. Albright Institute) in 1954–1955 and earned his Ph.D. in archaeology from Yale in 1957.

Before coming to the University of Utah in 1969, Hammond also taught at Lycoming College, Princeton Theological Seminary and Brandeis University. He retired in 1994.

Professor Jeffrey R. Chadwick of Brigham Young University, who inherited Hammond’s Hebron research, described the “generous and genuine” support of his teacher and colleague. “Phil Hammond was a fascinating and friendly individual for whom archaeology was a passion as much as a profession. His work at Hebron was groundbreaking, and his accomplishments at Petra are enjoyed by every visitor to the ‘rose red city.'”—D.D.R.


1. See Jeffrey R. Chadwick, “Discovering Hebron,” BAR, September/October 2005.

2. See Philip C. Hammond, “New Light on the Nabateans,” BAR, March/April 1981.

Posted in Archaeologists, Biblical Scholars & Works.

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