Dr. Michael Avi-Yonah (September 26, 1904 – March 26, 1974) was an Israeli archaeologist and historian. During his career he was a Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as secretary of the Department of Antiquities as well.
Born in Lemberg, Austria-Hungary (today Lviv, Ukraine), Avi-Yonah moved to the Land of Israel with his parents in 1919 during the Third Aliyah. He first studied at Gymnasia Rehavia in Jerusalem, then he went to England and studied history and archeology at the University of London. Upon his return to the Land of Israel, he studied at the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. His first archaeological excavations were at Tel el-Ajjul, near Gaza, and Jerusalem Ophel. At the end of his studies, he joined the Department of Antiquities of the British government of Palestine. He worked as a librarian and archivist. After the independence of the state of Israel, he became secretary of the Department of Antiquities.
In 1949, he conducted excavations at Givat Ram in Jerusalem during the construction of the International Convention Center, where he was the first to discover a brick factory of the Legio X Fretensis. He participated in the first survey that preceded the Masada excavations, and conducted a limited excavation north of Caesarea Maritima where he discovered an ancient synagogue.
He was awarded the Bialik Prize in 1955 for his book Antiquities of our land. Avi-Yonah died in Jerusalem in 1974.
- Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land
- Jerusalem the Holy
- The Art of Mosaics (cowritten with Richard L. Currier)
- Holy Land
- Ancient Scrolls
- History of Israel and the Holy Land
- Views of the Biblical World. Jerusalem: International Publishing Company J-m Ltd, 1959.
- Avi-Yonah, M. (1976). Gazetteer of Roman Palestine. QEDEM 5. Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
- "Michael Avi-Yonah, PhD". ProCon.org.
- Avi-Yonah, Michael; Stern, Ephraim (1978). Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land. Prentice-Hall. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-13-275115-5. Retrieved 11 April 2013.