Courtesy Albright Institute/American Schools of Oriental Research

All-star lineup. Avraham Biran stands at far right in a group portrait taken in 1935 at the American School of Oriental Research, in Jerusalem. Other notables include the illustrious William Foxwell Albright (fourth from left in the far back row), under whom Biran received his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins and after whom the school in Jerusalem is today named. Mrs. Albright sits at far left. Clarence Fisher, who led a University of Chicago excavation team at Megiddo, stands third from left in the middle row (with handkerchief in pocket).

Biran, then still known as Bergman, was just beginning a two-year stint as a Thayer Fellow at the American School. In the years that lay ahead, he would work with or meet most of the leading excavators in Near Eastern archaeology.