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Michal Birkenfeld


Ph. D. Dissertation topic: The Lower Galilee during the PPNB: Settlement systems and GIS applications

Advisor: Prof. Nigel Goring-Morris


My MA thesis focused spatial, functional and structural changes through the stratigraphic sequence at some areas of the PPNB site of Kfar HaHoresh, utilizing Geographic Information Systems GIS combined with field documentation. For my PhD, I am expanding the scope of the research. I will examine the PPN of the Galilee as a system. Employing data from numerous PPN sites in the Lower Galilee (Kfar HaHoresh, Yiftah'el, Munhata, Mishmar HaEmeq and other archaeological excavations and surveys). I will relate to questions such as: How was settlement arranged in relation to the natural surroundings? Can we identify types of relationships between the different sites? Is social and economic order reflected within this system? The Galilee, with many known, excavated and well-documented PPN sites, provides a unique opportunity for a detailed and synthesized study of a regional Neolithic system. The breadth of this research has the potential to further our understanding of the Early Neolithic in general, and specifically of the dynamic nature of the social organization as expressed by the arrangement of the settlement system in the Lower Galilee. Furthermore, this research will allow us to investigate how these behaviours were linked to material culture and how they can be used in future research. Ultimately this synthesis-based approach, agglomerating data from separate research avenues, represents an important departure from earlier research traditions and offers a new point of view while based on existing data sets.

Areas of interest and Projects::

  • Field manager at the Early Neolithic mortuary site of Kfar HaHoresh, Lower Galilee
  • GIS and computer applications.
  • Early complex societies & the Early Neolithic of the Southern Levant.

Curriculum Vitae
Field research
Selected Publications