From the decision of the review committee:
Israel Finkelstein is widely regarded as a leading scholar in the archaeology of the Levant and as a foremost applicant of archaeological knowledge to reconstructing biblical Israelite history. He excels at creatively forging links between archaeology and the exact sciences and he has revolutionized many of these fields, either by participating in research groups that study such issues or by contributing to them significantly…
Finkelstein has had an impact on radically revising the history of Israel in the 10th and 9th centuries BCE. He has transformed the study of history and archaeology in Israeli universities, moving from a “monumental” to a “systemic” study of the archaeological evidence … The study of these periods is never again going to be what it once was…
Israel Finkelstein has proven to be creative, generating scholarship no less than discussion, launching ideas and stimulating debates, fearlessly but with imagination and grace.
For the full text of the review committee see: http://www.dandavidprize.org/laureates/2005
Read more on the Dan David Prize: http://www.dandavidprize.org/
Laureates of the Dan David Prize, 2005, with Mr. and Mrs. David and Prof. Itamar Rabinovitz, President of Tel Aviv University
Laureates of the The Dan David Prize for the Past Dimension, Archaeology, 2005: Prof. Graeme Barker of Cambridge University and Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University.