Professor Don Wimmer

Posted in: ASOR, Obituary
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By: Owen Chestnut, originally from his blog Roses and Razorwire

Don Wimmer passed away on Monday, May 23rd. He was 80 years old, former professor at Seton Hall University, and director of excavations at Tall Safut.

Don began excavating at Tall Safut in 1982 and I first met him 25 years later in the summer of 2007. He had been in touch with my Ph.D. adviser Randall Younker during the fall of 2006 in an effort to find a doctoral student to wade through material he had excavated over the course of 10 seasons at the site. I jumped at the opportunity to work on an actual site and on actual pottery that I could hold in my hand. That summer in 2007, I spent a week at Don’s house going through the Safut material and loading it up in a Uhaul to take back to the archaeology lab at Andrews University. During that week, there were bad storms and we had to deal with a blackout that lasted several days. Some of my favorite memories of Don involved illuminating the broken pieces of a storage jar by candlelight in the basement and then later enjoying a glass of wine (or two) on his back deck as the night slowly enveloped us.Truck Full of Safut


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2 Comments for : Professor Don Wimmer
    • John
    • May 28, 2013

    I'm so sorry to hear about the death of Prof. Wimmer. One of the fondest memories I have, is of the time I volunteered at Tel Safut in the late 90s. Not only was I able to meet and learn from him, but I also met his sister who was on the site that summer. Both were wonderful people! 

    From the picture above I can still see the area where we dug that year (on the bottom right, right of the pathway). While uncovering an outer wall, we were lucky enough to find a bronze spear point, a large seal with a serpent on it and a sling stone. And, as we weren't part of the seasonal volunteers and were only there for a week, I think Prof. Wimmer was pleasantly surprised at our good fortune.

    Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord

    and let perpetual light shine upon him.

    May he rest in peace.


    John McBryde

    • Abdel Karim Awwad
    • August 2, 2013

    I am really sad that prof. Don passed away. I have volunteered with prof don when I was 15 years old. I was a child that days back in 1995 and I was appreaciting what he done for us in Jordan to highlight our history. I kept in contacts with prof don for so many years. And I am happy to say that he shaped my future to become a successful business man. For sure not only me who will miss you. But all people's who lives in Safut and who were waiting to see him every summer.

    Rest in peace

    Abdelkarim Awwad

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