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The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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Archaeology of the Biblical Period
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Ravid Ekshtain


Ph.D. dissertation topic: Reconstructing Middle Paleolithic Mobility in The Levant: A Raw Material Perspective

Advisors: Dr. Erella Hovers (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Dr. Shimon Ilani (The Geological Survey of Israel)


The identification of raw material sources, selection of raw materials and their transport over the landscape were part of the technological decision making and problem solving tactics of prehistoric hominins. These aspects of technological organization and their links with mobility and settlement patterns have been modeled and studied in many parts of the world but have been given less attention in Levantine Middle Paleolithic studies, where both Neandertals and Anatomically Modern Humans were the authors of Mousterian lithic assemblages 170 - 50 Ka. The proposed study aims to test current models and hypotheses of mobility, territoriality and site use during this period, and how (if) these behaviors differed between the two populations, through the analysis of raw materials and the information they provide about exploitation territories, transport distances and the types of artifacts that had been moved around sites’ territories. Towards this goal I will conduct geological surveys, matching studies of sources and artifacts through petrographic and geochemical (ICP-AES, ICP-MS) analyses, and lithic technological studies, to link between variability in raw material exploitation patterns and technological characteristics. Several cave (Qafzeh, Amud, Kebara, Hayonim) and open-air sites (Ein Qashish, Quneitra) in northern Israel will be sampled and analyzed.

Personal Pages


  • Participation in the study and publication of the excavations of the Middle Paleolithic site of Amud Cave
  • Area supervisor in the excavations at the Lower Paleolithic site of Revadim
  • Flint in the Galilee
  • Co-director of excavations in the Middle Paleolithic open-air site of 'Ein Qashish'
Curriculum Vitae