Professor Avner Raban, founding member of the Institute for Maritime Studies and the Department of Marine Civilizations at University of Haifa passed away untimely on February 11th, 2004. This web site is dedicated to him.


Professor Raban was one of the pioneers of both underwater archaeology in Israel and the Union of Underwater Research in the 1960's, where he also acted as secretary general for many years.


He began his academic endeavors as a student of the Plastic Arts at Oranim Collage. His studies continued at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he received a B.A. in Archaeology and Geography. Later, he received his PhD in Archaeology.


In the beginning of the 1970's Prof. Raban was an active founding member of both the Institute for Maritime Studies and the Department of Marine Civilizations at Haifa University. The general idea of these two bodies was to emphasize multi-disciplinary teachings and research. For many years, Prof. Raban acted as both the Director of the Institute as Chair of the Department of Marine Civilizations. As one of the leading instructors in the department, he oversaw and directed numerous Master's and Doctoral students. His status contributed to international recognition in both Departments.


As a multi-disciplinary researcher, Prof. Raban attained international recognition, mainly in the field of ancient ports/harbors. He participated or headed many excavations both on land and at sea in Israel and abroad. Prof. Raban's long-standing research at Caesarea (both on land and at sea) is a milestone in both archaeological research and collaboration with scholars from other countries.


Prof. Raban published a vast and diverse amount of material, much of which was related to maritime studies. Some of these included: publications on archaeological methods and research; development of ancient water-faring vessels; ports, harbors, anchorages, and marine installations; fluctuations in sea level, etc. In addition, Prof. Raban was occupied by various surveys and excavations, over which he also presided on behalf of the Institute for Maritime Studies. His books and publications are widely used both by students and researchers alike as milestones in the many studies they deal with.


Professor Raban represented the State of Israel in various international symposia dealing with marine archaeology. He was awarded honors by both the Italian government and UNESCO for his contributions to the field of nautical Archaeology.