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Dr. Smadar Gabrieli


Topic of research: Daily Life in the Holy Land: Hand-Made Pottery of the 12-16th Centuries.

Research abstract

The aim of the project is to examine the local economy and daily life in the Holy Land during the lifetime of the Crusader Principalities through a study of the material culture of food and foodways. Food and foodways are fundamental aspects of daily life that persisted regardless of political upheavals. Written sources have little to say about food and crops, and they rarely survive in the archaeological record, but we can gain insight into food habits through the ceramics which is used for food preparation, consumption and storage. Since food production, distribution and consumption form the basis for local economic systems, the outcome will contribute to understanding these systems, and in this particular case also to the range and intensity of contacts between the Franks and the indigenous population.


2000- 2006 PhD., Department of Classical Archaeology, University of Sydney. Silent Witnesses: The Evidence of Domestic Wares of the 13th-19th Centuries in Paphos, Cyprus, for Local Economy and Social Organisation.
1994-1998 MPhil (distinction), Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Western Australia. Research Project: The Kitchen Ware of the Roman Kiln Deposit in Pantanelo, Metaponto (Basilicata, Italy).
1987 Scientific Principles of Conservation Course, ICCROM, Rome.
1981-1985 B.A., Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. Majored in Prehistory and Biblical Archaeology.
1978-1980 Undergraduate studies in Biology, Technion, Haifa, Israel.
Currently: Lady Davis Research Fellow, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Current projects

  • Daily Life in the Holy Land: hand-made pottery of the 12th-16th centuries. The aim of the project is to establish a chronological typology for the hand-made pottery of the Crusader and Mamluk periods, to identify systems of production and exchange, and to use the results to examine relations between the communities in the area of the Crusader principalities.
  • Excavation of the Cistercian convent of St Theodore, Nicosia. Responsible for publication of the ceramics. In addition to the study of the material culture of daily life in the convent, the research extends to an investigation of production centres and distribution networks within Cyprus.
  • Paphos Theatre Excavation, Cyprus (University of Sydney). Co-director. Coordinator of the publication of the final report. Responsible for publication of the cooking wares of the Hellenistic, Roman, Medieval and Ottoman periods.
  • Kourion City Gate Excavation, Cyprus (Brock University, Canada). Responsible for publication of Early Roman cooking wares.
  • Excavation of Ayioi Pente Basilica, Yeroskipou, Cyprus (University of Cyprus). Responsible for publication of the Late Roman cooking wares.

Previous projects since 2000

  • Troodos Archaeological and Environmental Survey Project, Cyprus (University of Glasgow). Responsible for publication of the Medieval and Ottoman coarse wares.
  • University of Texas at Austin, excavation and survey project at the area of the Greek Colony of Metaponto, Magna Graecia.


  • Objects conservator, trained in the Israel Museum as archaeological conservator, later when moved to Australia, ethnography and modern art.
  • Worked for various museums and private collections in Israel and Australia including:
  • The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Art Gallery of Western Australia; Berndt Museum of Anthropology, Western Australia.

Grants and Scholarships

2009-11 Lady Davis Post-Doctoral Fellowship
2009 Council of American Overseas Research Centres' Middle East and Mediterranean Basin Research Exchange Fellowship Program Award
2009 The University of Western Australia, Research Developement Awards
2008 Sir Zelman Cowen Universities Fund Exchange Fellowship,
2007 British Academy/Association of Commonwealth Universities collaborative grants for international collaboration 2007/2008
2007 Leventis Foundation, Paris, Special Grants
2005 Australia-Israel Scientific Exchange Foundation (AISEF) Postgraduate Fellowship
2005 Carlyle Greenwell Award, University of Sydney,
2003 Anita Cecil O'Donovan Award, CAARI, Boston
2002 James Kentley Memorial Scholarship, University of Sydney
2002 Hellenic Club Scholarship in Classical Archaeology, University of Sydney
2002 Postgraduate Research Support Scheme, University of Sydney
2001-2004 Australian Post Graduate Award


Gabrieli, R.S. (2009) 'Stability and change in Ottoman coarse ware in Cyprus'. In: B. Walker (ed.), Reflections of Empire: Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives on the Pottery of the Ottoman Levant and Beyond. 67-77.

Gabrieli, R.S. (2008) Towards a chronology - the Medieval coarse wares from the tomb at Icarus Street, Kato Pafos. RDAC. 423-454

Gabrieli, R.S. (2007) 'A region apart: Coarse ware of Medieval and Ottoman Cyprus'. In: B. B?hlendorf-Arslan, A.O. Uysal & J Witte-Orr (eds) Late Antique and Medieval Pottery and Tiles in Mediterranean Archaeological Contexts. Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Late Antique, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman Pottery and Tiles in Archaeological context (?anakkale, 1-3 June 2005). Istanbul. 399-410.

Gabrieli, R.S. (2004) 'Under the surface: Decoration and shape of the coarse ware of Medieval and post-Medieval Cyprus'. In: C.D. Barker, L. Beaumont, E.A. Bollen (eds) Studies in Honour of J. Richard Green. Sydney. 287-298.

Gabrieli, R.S. (2003) 'Ancient tastes'. In: J.C. Carter (ed.) Living Off the Chora. Diet and Nutrition at Metaponto. Institute of Classical Archaeology. The University of Texas at Austin. 23-28.

Gabrieli, R.S. (in press, accepted October 2004) 'Greek and Republican Roman cooking wares'. In J.C. Carter and A. Prieto (eds), The Chora of Metaponto: Archaeological Field Survey I. Bradano to Basento. Austin: Institute of Classical Archaeology.

Gabrieli, R.S., Jackson, M.P.C., Kaldeli, A. (2007) 'Stumbling into the darkness - trade and life in post-Roman Cyprus'. In: M. Bonifay & J.-Ch. Treglia (eds). Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Late Roman Coarse Wares, Cooking Wares and Amphorae in the Mediterranean: Archaeology and Archaeometry. (Aix-en-Provence-Marseille-Arles, 13th-16th april 2005). 791-801.

Gabrieli, R.S., McCall, B., Green, J.R. (2001) 'Medieval kitchenware from the Theatre Site at Nea Paphos'. RDAC. 335-356.

Gabrieli, R.S., Merryweather, A.D. (2002) 'Preliminary study of Hellenistic and Roman kitchen ware from Nea Paphos'. In: F. Blond?, P. Ballet & J.-F. Salles (eds) Ceramiques hellenistique et romaines, productions et diffusion en Mediterranee orientale (Chypre, Egypte et cote syro-palestinienne). Travaux de la Maison de l'Orient mediterraneen. Lyon. 33-41.

Green, J.R., Barker, C.D. & Gabrieli R.S. (2004) Fabrika an Ancient Theatre of Paphos. Moufflon Publications Ltd. Lefkosia.