… this Festschrift is born from and intends to honour Israel Finkelstein the teacher. Each of the twelve contributors to this volume was at one time a graduate student of Israel, mostly at Tel Aviv University. While continuing to conduct new research, publish excavation reports, and meet the arduous task of organizing the Megiddo project, Israel never loses sight of his students. Generous with his time and infectious with his energy, throughout the years Israel has done everything possible to hone the skills of his students and we have all benefited immeasurably from his focused guidance. Just as importantly, Israel has encouraged each of us to find our own paths in the field and to formulate our own opinions. It is a tribute to his integrity that Israel takes pride in the fact that some of his students’ views are overtly opposed to his own. As a result, it should come as no surprise if the authors of the papers in this volume not infrequently disagree with their teacher on matters of archaeological method, historical interpretation or chronology. In essence, this lack of consensus is the best imaginable way to pay tribute to two of our teacher’s guiding principles: intellectual honesty and a healthy skepticism of communis opinio.
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