Saddened this morning with the sorrowful news of the passing of Hershel Shanks, zichrono levracha (=may his memory be a blessing), who succumbed to the Corona virus at the age of 90.
Hershel, well-known for decades as the editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, was responsible in many ways for the popularization of archaeology in general and biblical archaeology in particular. His dynamic personality and infectious love of archaeology of Israel, awoke interest among thousands upon thousands of people all over the world – many of whom then joined excavations as volunteers – some going on to become professional archaeologists.
Hershel, an archaeological autodidact (and a successful lawyer by profession), was always abreast of the latest developments in the field – and of course, the gossip – and participated yearly in the ASOR and SBL conferences – asking pointed and knowledgeable questions at the end of lectures.
It was always a pleasure talking with Hershel. His deep interest in archaeology and his menschlehkeit personality was always there. And if I may add, I am deeply thankful to Hershel for facilitating over the years quite a few donations to the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project.
Hershel – rest and peace – you will be missed!