In 1979, the University’s then-Center for Maritime Studies could only send its researchers and students on a study voyage to the shores of western and southern Turkey. By 2000, the Turkish government was inviting the now-named Recanati Institute of Maritime Studies to carry out underwater archeological excavations in conjunction with the University of Ankara. This acknowledgment of the Institute’s reputation was due in no small measure to Assoc. Prof. Avner Raban, who suffered a fatal heart attack while on sabbatical in England in February.
Raban was introduced to marine archeology by Dr. Elisha Linder, and the two of them went on to put the University in the first ranks in this field worldwide. Raban served as chair of the Department of Maritime Civilizations and Head of the Recanati Institute at various times during his years with the University. His major project was maritime Caesarea, the ancient port built by Herod and whose treasures he was still revealing. During the Six Day War, the IDF sent Raban to the Straits of Tiran to ascertain whether they were mined. After the war, he returned to the location to lead an underwater dig because he had discovered sunken ships there dating back to the 17th century. Raban was born and lived all his life in Kibbutz Ramat David. He leaves a widow and four children. éäé æëøå áøåê
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