Dear Friends,

As we approached the new millennium, the status of the Center for Maritime Studies was changed and we became the (Leon) Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, hence the new logo, R.I.M.S., which you have probably noticed. There has also been a change of guard. Ehud Spanier has concluded his tenure as the director of the Institute and I, Michal Artzy, have taken over. Laura Cohen has replaced Ruth Hoffman as the Institute secretary.

This year has been the year of the younger members of the Institute. Dorit Sivan, Ya'acov Kahanov, and Ezra Marcus have joined the ranks of lecturers. Hassan Khalilieh was awarded a fellowship to Harvard's Dumbarton Oaks Institute and is spending the present academic year in Washington, D.C. Our younger members are not only sharing the burdens of the growing Institute, but are also joining the senior researchers in being awarded competitive grants.

The Department of Maritime Civilizations, headed by Avner Raban, was granted the right to award the Ph.D. Degree, and we already have a number of candidates. During the past year we assisted the academic department in the planning and execution of a sailing trip to the southwest coast of Turkey. We all continue with our varied research, each member in his or her own field or fields. This year however, as a team, we became involved in an underwater project at Liman Tepe, near Izmir, together with a Turkish team headed by Prof. Hayat Erkanal from Ankara University. This undertaking was reminiscent of the past, when we, from different disciplines, would join our efforts in various projects. We enjoyed working with the Turkish team and look forward to our ongoing association.

The building and renovation process at the Institute continues. Several of our researchers have now moved into new offices and we hope that in the near future additional office space will be available for more researchers. The restoration and metallurgy laboratories have taken up residence in their new facilities and we are already working on the plans for various additional Laboratories including the wood preservation laboratory, which has been in mothballs since it was removed from its previous quarters. A geological laboratory is being planned together with different archaeological laboratories. A wet classroom, where some of the marine biology, underwater archaeology and geology classes are to be held, is on the planning board as well as a special workshop for the construction of ship models. Our aim is to merge all the Institute's researchers under one roof. Hopefully that day is not too far off and we will be one unit, not only in spirit but also physically.

Fig. 1. Sir Maurice and Lady Irene Hatter with the recipients of last year's Research prizes. From left to right: Oz Goffman, Dafna Kadosh, Inbar Hai-Baruch, Maurice and Irene Hatter, Yosi Zilbiger; absent, Isabel C. Rivera

Over the last year we have been aided by many of our dear friends. Fruits from The Maurice Hatter Endowment Fund were used to grant five fellowships to outstanding students (Fig. 1). As in the past, this year, Sir Maurice and Lady Irene Hatter also helped us with other activities,
for which we are extremely grateful.

In 1999 our long-time friends and supporters the Recanati Family established a special endowment fund, the fruits of which enabled us to bestow two grants (Fig. 2). An outstanding MA student studying at the Department of Maritime Civilizations received her second installment of the three-year subsistence fellowship made possible by Mr. Richard Scheuer of New York and the Scheuer Foundation (Fig. 3).

The Thanks to Scandinavia Inc. Scholarship Fund made available a special scholarship that was awarded to a young scholar studying Maritime Studies in our institute.

fig. 2. Mr. Ariel Recanati awarding Mrs. Irit Zohar the Jacob Recanati Research Fellowship in Maritime Studies, Mrs. Mina Potasman was also a recipient of this fellowship.

 The Liman Tepe project received assistance from the Salomon Lipschutz and the Mirkin, Barak, Chen, and Fisher advocate offices. The University also supported this project and we would like to thank Prof. Yehuda Hayuth, President of the University, Prof. Gad Gilbar, past Rector and Prof. Yosef Chetrit, past Dean of Humanities. The support permitted our participation in this important international project.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our many friends, both in Israel and around the world, without whose assistance many of our various projects and activities would not have been realized.

The coming year, despite the regional problems, promises to be very fruitful, and in our next newsletter we look forward to reporting on our activities.

    Michal Artzy

fig. 3. Oranit Gilad-Skoog, the recipient of the Scheuer Fellowship addressing the audience.

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