Professor Ofer Bar-Yosef

18 March 2020

Georgian National Museum and the Georgian National Academy of Sciences inform with the deepest sorrow that one of the greatest archaeologists of our days, Professor Ofer Bar-Yosef has passed away at the age of 83. The foreign member of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences and the loyal friend of Georgia has played a great role in the development of the field of prehistoric science in Georgia. 

Prof. Ofer Bar-Yosef graduated from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and became a professor of the same University in 1967. From 1988 he became the professor of Harvard University, USA. He was a widely recognized scientist and member of both - the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and British Academy.    

His scientific interests were multidisciplinary and wide, he is the author of more than 400 scientific publications. Prof. Ofer Bar-Yosef has studded archeological sites of the Near East, China and Georgia, conducted research about the ancient stone industries, origins of the modern human and its biological adaptations, the connection of the modern humans and Neanderthals in Europe and Asia and transaction from the hunter-gatherers to an agricultural society. 

In 1993 Prof. Ofer Bar-Yosef and his colleagues visited Georgia for the first time and since that collaboration and friendship with the Georgian scientists have been uninterrupted. He participated in the expeditions of the Georgian National Museum every year and with his initiative, many leading scientific institutions and laboratories were involved in prehistoric studies of Georgia.

Prof. Ofer Bar-Yosef participated in great discoveries of the Georgian prehistoric studies such as finding the oldest Wild Flax Fibers (2009, Science, 30,000-Year-Old Wild Flax Fibers) as well as the definition of the two waves of the modern type human out of Africa 45 000 and 25 000 years ago and definition of one of the main links of the modern European's DNA, unknown before (2015, Nature communications, Upper Paleolithic genomes reveal deep roots in modern Eurasians).

Prof. Ofer Bar-Yosef was a wide-scale scientist and a great person, he helped youth and opened the doors of high science to many young scientists from all over the world including Georgia.   

His studies represent the treasury for scientists studying the past of mankind all over the world.  

Photo: Kris Snibbe/Harvard News Office