Queen of the Philistines: Trude Dothan (1922–2016)

Trude Dothan BAR articles publicly available


Trude Dothan, the doyenne of Philistine archaeology. Photo: Hershel Shanks.

Trude Dothan, the doyenne of Philistine archaeology, passed away recently at the age of 93. A pioneer in Israeli archaeology, Dothan was a world-renowned expert on the Philistines. She excavated at Athienou (Cyprus), Hazor, Ein Gedi, Tel Qasile, Tell ‘Aitun, Deir el-Balah and Tel Miqne (Biblical Ekron). The excavations at Tel Miqne, which she codirected with Seymour Gitin between 1981 and 1996, unearthed evidence that proved to be dramatically significant to our understanding of Philistine history and culture.

Dothan, who had been a Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, published many studies on the Philistines, on the emergence of the Sea Peoples in the eastern Mediterranean and on the appearance of iron in Philistia. Her landmark work is The Philistines and Their Material Culture (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1982).


Two hoards dating to the seventh century B.C.E. were uncovered in the excavations at Tel Miqne, directed by Trude Dothan and Seymour Gitin. The hoards, which contained 19 silver ingots and 66 pieces of silver, give a glimpse of the wealth enjoyed by Biblical Ekron. Photo: Ilan Sztulman.

She was married to fellow Israeli archaeologist Moshe Dothan, one of the founding members of the Department of Maritime Civilizations and the Department of Archaeology at the University of Haifa, from 1950 until his death in 1999.

In commemoration of Trude Dothan’s pioneering achievements, the following Biblical Archaeology Review articles have been made free and publicly available:

Trude Dothan, “What We Know About the Philistines,” Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 1982.

Trude Dothan and Seymour Gitin, “Sea Peoples Saga: Ekron of the Philistines,” Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 1990.

Trude Dothan, “Sea Peoples Saga: Ekron of the Philistines, Part I: Where They Came From, How They Settled Down and the Place They Worshiped In,” Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 1990.

Hershel Shanks, “The Philistines and the Dothans: An Archaeological Romance, Part 1,” Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 1993.

Hershel Shanks, “The Philistines and the Dothans: An Archaeological Romance, Part 2,” Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 1993.

Trude Dothan, “Cultural Crossroads,” Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 1998.

Trude Dothan, “Philistine Fashion,” Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2003.

Hershel Shanks, “Queen of the Philistines: BAR Interviews Trude Dothan,” Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2010.

As the point where three of the world’s major religions converge, Israel’s history is one of the richest and most complex in the world. Sift through the archaeology and history of this ancient land in the free eBook Israel: An Archaeological Journey, and get a view of these significant Biblical sites through an archaeologist’s lens.

6 Responses

  1. Scott l. Rolston says:

    We only had time for lunch and a walk to some sites around Amman, but I learned a great deal from her. A Gracious person with dedication.

  2. D.R. says:

    Rest in peace Prof. Trude Dothan! It is so sad to know that You passed away!

  3. johanes saragih says:

    Rest in peace Prof.Trude. Your remarkable dedication in the Bible archaelogy reflect Psalm 92:13-16.

  4. Elena says:

    I am so sad to hear of her passing. She brought the enemy to life with her work and gave us greater understanding of the ANE. May she rest well in the Arms of God!

  5. Dennis E. Groh says:

    Trude was a dynamic teacher, as well as a great archaeologist. At a crowded conference of archaeologists you could always locate her easily, even though she was of diminutive stature, simply by finding a circle of students and colleagues and looking in the middle. There would be Trudy chatting away about her beloved field.

  6. David Feder says:

    Baruch Dayan HaEmet — very sad news, although she lived an amazingly rich, long life. Only the very smallest handful of archaeologists, biblical or otherwise, managed to accomplish as much as she did.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend