Aren Maeir (b. 1958), after serving in the IDF as an officer in an elite unit, studied archaeology and Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and completed his PhD in archaeology (1997; summa cum laude). From 1991 he has taught archaeology at Bar-Ilan University (in Ramat-Gan, Israel), at the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology. He serves as the Head of the Institute of Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University, directs the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project (gath.wordpress.com), co-directs the Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times (aramisrael.org), directs the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies (Bar-Ilan University), co-edits the Israel Exploration Journal, and is a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute.
His primary research and central field work is the archaeological project at Tell es-Safi/Gath, the study of a major site in Israel (ongoing for the last 27 years), is one of the largest and well-known excavations of Bronze and Iron Age cultures conducted in recent decades in Israel. Utilizing broad and groundbreaking multidisciplinary research and collaborations with scholars from Israel and abroad, he trail-blazed transformative research on many topics. His research serves as a model for collaborative, interdisciplinary studies, enabling new insights and paradigm changing results. In particular, changes in the interpretative narrative on the Philistines and their culture, stand out.
His research touches upon broad issues, bridging between disciplines and topics, cultures and periods. He has published some 20 volumes and over 330 papers, and has received more than $9M in research funding from Israeli and foreign competitive granting agencies.