Dr. Raz Kletter


Raz Kletter, an archaeologist, has lectured at several universities in Israel and Europe and is since 2009 Docent for Near Eastern Archaeology at Helsinki University. Formerly he was senior archaeologist and head of SPR Unit at the IAA. Kletter has directed c. two dozen salvage excavations all over Israel, with a wide range of periods and remains – all fully published (with the exception of Yavneh, an ongoing project). Yavneh project is generously supported by a Shelby White – Leon Levi Grant, received by Kletter in 2008.

Kletter’s best achievements are yet to come: a final report about a site that does not exist (it is not difficult, but one should choose the site carefully to ensure proper scientific results); and a monograph titled “fifty ways to make money in archaeology” (so far he has 17 ideas).

Main Fields of Interest

The Southern Levant in the Bronze and Iron Ages

History and Theory of Archaeology

Religion and Cult and in the Southern Levant

Weights and Ancient Economy

Coroplastic Art (Figurines)

Daily Life in Antiquity.

Publications - Books

1996 The Judean Pillar Figurines and the Archaeology of Asherah. Oxford.

1998 Economic Keystones. The Weight System of the Kingdom of Judah. Sheffield. Sheffield Academic Press.

2006 Just Past? The Making of Israeli Archaeology. London: Equinox.

2010 (with I. Ziffer, and W. Zwickel). Yavneh I. The Excavation of the “Temple Hill” Repository Pit and the Cult Stands (OBO Archaeological Series 30).

Selected Articles

2002 People without Burials? The Lack of Iron Age I Burials in the Central Highlands of Palestine and Its Significance. Israel Exploration Journal 52: 28-48.

2003 A Very General Archaeologist: Moshe Dayan and Israeli Archaeology, 1951-1981. Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 4. http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/JHS

2003 Iron Age Hoards of Precious Metals in Palestine – an ‘Underground Economy’? Levant 35: 139-152.

2004 Low Chronology and United Monarchy: a Methodological Review. Zeitschrift des Deutsche Palästina Vereins 120: 13-54.

2006 Can a Proto-Israelite Please Stand Up? Notes on the Ethnicity and Iron Age Israel and Judah. In: I will Speak the Riddle of Ancient Time. Studies in Honor of Amihai Mazar. Winona Lake, Eisenbrauns: 573-586.

2006 (with W. Zwickel) The Assyrian Building at Ayyelet Ha-Shahar – After 50 Years. Zeitschrift des Deutsche Palästina Vereins 122: 151-186.

2007 To Cast an Image: Iron Age Masks from Judah and the Biblical ‘Masekah’. In: “Up to the Gates of Ekron”: Essays … in Honor of Seymour Gitin. Eds. S.W. Crawford et als. Jerusalem. Albright Institute: 189-208.

2009 Comment: Computational Intelligence, Lmlk Storage Jars and the Bath Unit in Iron Age Judah. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 16: 357-365.

2009 Weights and Measures in: The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (NIDB). Ed. K.D. Sakenfeld. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Vol. V: 831-841.

2010 (with I. Ziffer) Philistine Incense Burning Rituals: From the Fire Pans of Yavneh to the Sect of Korah. Israel Exploration Journal 60/2: 166-187.

2011 (with K. Saarelainen) Judean Drummers. Zeitschrift des Deutsche Palästina Vereins 127: 11-28.