Ph.D. Dissertation Topic: The Judean Desert during the Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages (Sixth-First Millennia BC): Desert and Sown Relations in light of Settlement Patterns in a defined Desert Environment.
Advisor: Prof. Amihai Mazar
My primary research interests revolve around the interaction between humans and the natural environment using the framework of Landscape Archaeology. More specifically, I am focusing on the archaeological significance of peripheral landscapes – arid regions, natural caves, cliffs and other wildscapes – to the study of complex societies. The main advantage of studying these ‘peripheries’ lays in their tendency to record human activity patterns as well as cultural and environmental changes which may not be recorded in the ‘core zones’ (i.e. the densely settled landscapes). As such, they offer a different perspective to examine societal, economic and political processes which may be overlooked otherwise. Both my doctoral research and main research projects examine the role of peripheral landscapes in various socio-cultural contexts within the late prehistoric and early historic cultural sequence of the Southern Levant.
My PhD dissertation revolves around the part played by the Judean Desert in the multifarious relations between the desert and the sown in the Southern Levant during the Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages (ca. 5000-500 BC), while acknowledging its immediate proximity to the settled lands and specific combination of environmental traits. The study was based on comprehensive re-analyses of archaeological data gathered in past fieldwork in all site types dated to this time-span, as well as on new data originating in 1) systematic, high-resolution field survey in the southern portion of the region (Masada and Har Badar Maps Survey); 2) systematic survey of natural caves with late prehistoric and early historic materials; and 3) renewed surveys and excavations in previously-explored sites.
My main research themes, other than the doctoral research, are three-fold: 1) The role of violence in pre-urban societies as evidenced by refuge events in the Judean Desert; 2) The emergence of terrace agriculture in the Judean Highlands; and 3) Cave use patterns in large natural caves in the context of early complex societies.
Key research interests:
Landscape archaeology; Human-environment interaction; Archaeological surveys; Early complex societies in the Southern Levant.
List of Publications