Dr. Alon Shavit initiated the establishment of the Israel Institute of Archaeology and has served as its director since its inception. Shavit graduated from the Departments of Archeology and Land of Israel Studies at the University of Haifa. He completed his master’s degree at Tel Aviv University, under the supervision of Prof. Israel Finkelstein. Thesis title: “The Ayalon Valley and its surroundings in the Bronze and Iron Ages “. Shavit’s doctoral thesis was also carried out under Finkelstein’s direction and is titled: “The array of settlements on the southern coastal plain of the Land of Israel during the Iron Age II”.
Dr. Shavit is a qualified tour guide and for many years taught archaeology in tour guide courses. He worked at the Israel Antiquities Authority from the day it was established and for four years, during which he served as an archaeologist for the Central District and the Tel Aviv District. Shavit carried out the pre-planning survey of the city of Modi’in (in 1990-1991) and the survey was preceded by the planning of the Trans-Israel Highway (in 1993-1994). After his retirement from the Israel Antiquities Authority, he served as the coordinator of the archaeological rescue excavations along Route 6, one of the largest national projects in the country’s history. In those years, Shavit worked to open the contract archaeology market to competition.
In 1996-1998 he taught the archaeological survey course in the Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University.
Dr. Shavit directed archaeological excavations at the sites of Lod, Tel Malot, Tel Hamid, Netiv Ha’asara and at the Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem.
In 2005, Shavit initiated the Ancient Lod Community Archaeological Project, one of the largest projects of its kind in the world, and has been managing it ever since.
Shavit is the editor of the archaeological entries in the online Hebrew encyclopedia and is also the founder and editor of the Lod Journal, “Diospolis – City of God”. In 2022, Shavit’s book “The Devil Walks in the City of God” was published in Hebrew (soon to be published in English). The book includes the latest summary about the history of the city of Lod, one of the most important cities in the history of the Land of Israel. In the book there is a preliminary summary that presents the field of community archaeology. The other chapters of the book describe the community archaeological project in Lod, a project that has been ongoing since 2005 and is the largest of its kind in Israel and the largest of its kind in the world.