Academic Staff

Nathan Wasserman

Prof. Nathan Wasserman

Head of the Civilizations of the Ancient Near East Section

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Main research interests: Akkadian literature, mainly from the Old Babylonian period (c. 1900–1500 BCE). Special attention is given to incantations, wisdom literature, and love lyrics.

Two books have recently been published: 

  • Akkadian Love Literature of the 3rd and 2nd Millennium BCELeipziger Altorientalistische Studien 4: Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 2016.
  •  The AmoritesA Political History of Mesopotamia in the Early Second Millennium BCE: Carmel Publishing House (in collaboration with Dr. Yigal Bloch. Hebrew).

Current Projects:

Two projects are in their final stages of preparation:

  • The Akkadian accounts of the Flood.

  • Akkadian Magical Literature: Akkadian Incantations of the 3rd–2nd millennium (in collaboration with Dr. Elyze Zomer, Marburg).  

Together with Prof. Michael P. Streck of the Altorientalisches Institut, Universität Leipzig, Nathan Wasserman runs the internet site Sources of Early Akkadian Literature (SEAL) which comprises a hierarchical catalogue of all Akkadian literary texts of the 3rd–2nd millennium by genres and period. SEAL contains many new editions, commentaries and glossaries. 


Nathan Wasserman teaches regularly Akkadian, Akkadian literature, and Mesopotamian history.


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Zeev Weiss

Prof. Zeev Weiss

Eleazar L. Sukenik Professor of Archaeology
Room 507. Office Hours: Mondays, 12:00-13:00
Room 507. Office Hours: Mondays, 12:00-13:00

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Zeev Weiss is the Eleazar L. Sukenik Professor of Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Trained in Classical Archaeology, he specializes in Roman and Late Antique art and architecture in the provinces of Syria-Palestine. His interests lie in various aspects of town-planning, architectural design, mosaic art, synagogues, Jewish art, as well as the evaluation of archaeological finds in light of the socio-cultural behavior of Jewish society and its dialogue with Graeco-Roman and Christian cultures. As Director of the Sepphoris excavations on behalf of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since 1990, his work has contributed greatly to the understanding of the architectural development and character of the city throughout its history. Weiss has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (IAS), Princeton University, and the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) at New York University. He has published many articles as well as two major volumes: The Sepphoris Synagogue: Deciphering an Ancient Message through Its Archaeological and Socio-Historical Contexts (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 2005) and Public Spectacles in Roman and Late Antique Palestine (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014). Weiss is currently working on his next book, Sepphoris: A Mosaic of Cultures, which will offer an unprecedented perspective of the socio-cultural history of this Galilean city and will serve as an essential reference for future study of the multifaceted life of Jewish society in late antiquity.

Rsearch Interests:

  • Roman and Byzantine art and architecture in the Syro-Palestinian provinces
  • Mosaic art
  • Synagogues in ancient Palestine
  • Jewish societyand its dialogue with Graeco-Roman and Christian cultures
  • Analysis of archaeological finds in light of Rabbinic literature


Introductry courses of Classical Archaeology, and additional courses of Roman and Byzantine Archaeology. Emphasis on architectural finds, artistic and literary sources. 

Ongoing Projects:

  • Zippori (Sepphoris) excavations
  • The Christianization of the Cities of the Galilee: Socio-Cultural, Religious,and Political Changes in Times of of Shifting Borders (Funding: ISF).


See list of publications here

Graduate Students:

  • Avener Ecker (graduated 2010)
  • Rebecca Eisenstadt (current)
  • Rona Evyasaf (current)
  • Adi Fenster (current)
  • Chen Hovers (graduated 2015)
  • Ron Kehati (graduated 2010)
  • Daniel Leviatan (graduated 2018)
  • Alex Melamed (current)
  • Shulamit Miller (graduated 2011)
  • Yuval Peleg (graduated 2006)
  • Debbi Sandhaus-Re'em (graduated 2014)
  • Naama Sharabi (graduated 2013)
  • Maya Sherman (graduated 2013)
  • Hillel Silberklang (current)
  • Mordechai Wolfson (current)

PhD Students:

  • Dr. Benny Aroubas (graduated 2019)
  • Dr. Rivka Ben-Sasson (graduated 2013)
  • Dr. Gabi Bijovsky (graduated 2011; currently at the IAA)
  • Dr. Yunus Demirci (graduated 2019)
  • Dr. Avener Ecker (graduated 2017; currently at Bar Ilan University)
  • Dr. Shulamit Miller (graduated 2019)
  • Miri Pines (current)
  • Amit Re'em (current; currently at the IAA)
  • Dr. Lior Sandberg (graduated 2018)
  • Hadas Shambadal (current)
  • Dr. Na'ama Vilozny (graduated 2010)
  • Pablo Betzer (current; currently at the IAA )


  • Dr. Yonatan Adler (2012-2014; currently at Ariel University)
  • Dr. Oren Gutfeld (2010-2011)
  • Prof. Uzi Leibner (2006-2007; Professor at the Archaeology department at the Hebrew University)
  • Dr. Itamar Taxel (2014-2016; currently at the IAA)



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Naama Yahalom-Mack

Prof. Naama Yahalom-Mack

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Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, in the Biblical archaeology department. Specialized in archaeometallurgy (the study of ancient metals) in the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Ph.D. dissertation topic: Bronze in the Beginning of the Iron Age in the Land of Israel: Production and Utilization in a Diverse Ethno-Political Setting. Advisors:  Prof. Ami Mazar (Hebrew University), Dr. Sariel Shalev (Haifa University and Weizmann Institute for Science.


  • 2002–present. Guest student of the Kimmel Center for Archaeological Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot.
  • 1998–present. Member of the Beth Shean Valley Archaeological Project, including excavations at Tel Rehov (directed by Prof. A. Mazar).
  • 2001–present. Preparation and publication of small finds from Tel Batash, Tel Beth Shean and Tel Rehov excavations.

Head of The Laboratory for Archaeological Materials and Ancient Technologies at the Institute of Archaeology


Alla Rabinovich (m.a.)

Tzilla Eshel (m.a. and PhD)


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Yossi Zaidner

Dr. Yossi Zaidner

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Research interests:

Human cultural and behavior evolution during the Lower and the Middle Paleolithic; Modern humans & Neanderthals interactions; origins of modern humans; early hominins dispersals and colonization of the Levant; origin of the Levallois technology.

Recent teaching:

  • Prehistory of the Near East

  • The Lower Paleolithic

  • The Middle Paleolithic
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Lithic technology
  • Hunting sites in prehistory

Ongoing projects:

  • Excavations at Tinshemet Cave, a Middle Paleolithic site in central Israel.

  • Humans and their cultural, spatial and symbolic behaviors during the Middle Paleolithic of the Levant (150-100 ky ago); project supported by Israel Science Foundation grant, 2018-2022. Study of lithic technology, use of fire, ground stone tools production technology, sources and use of ochre, use of space, subsistence and hunting strategies at the Middle Paleolithic sites of Nesher Ramla and Tinshemet Cave, central Israel.

  • Mousterian lithic technology and site use at Nesher Ramla (170-80 ky BP), Israel); project supported by Israel Science Foundation grant, 2015-2018. Study of the lithic technology, raw material sources, function of stone tools, mobility and site function at Nesher Ramla, central Israel.
  • Paleogeography, paleoclimate and the Lower Paleolithic archaeology at the fringe of the desert: a multidisciplinary study at the Early Pleistocene site of Bizat Ruhama and the Middle Pleistocene site of Nahal Hesi, southern coastal plain of Israel.
  • Lower to Middle Paleolithic boundary in the Levant: study of Acheulo-Yabrudian and Early Mousterian lithic technology at Misliya Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel.


Graduate students

MA students

Reuven Kapul (graduated in 2014)

Mayan Shemer (graduated in 2016)

Oz Varoner (graduated in 2018)

Yona Riemer-Gafni

Kathryn Pocklington

PhD students

Marion Prévost

Laura Centi

Zohar Turgeman

Alyssa Pietraszek


Dr. Ravid Ekshtain

Selected publications

  • Zaidner Y., Porat N., Zilberman E., Herzlinger G., Almogi-Lubin H., Ruskin Y., 2018. The geo-chronological context of the open-air Acheulian site at Nahal Hesi, Israel. Quaternary International 464: 18-31.
  • Zaidner Y., Centi L., Prevost M., Shemer M. and Varoner O., 2018. An open-air site at Nesher Ramla, Israel, and new insights into Levantine Middle Paleolithic technology and site use. In: Akazawa T. and Nishiaki Y (eds), The Middle and Upper Palaeolithic Archaeology of the Levant and Beyond, Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans Series. Springer, Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series, pp. 11-35.
  • Hershkovitz I, Weber G. W., Quam R., Duval M., Grün R., Kinsley L., Valladas H., Mercier N., Arsuaga J. L., Martinón-Torres M., María Bermúdez de Castro J., Fornai C., Martín-Francés L., Smith P., Sarig R., May H., Krenn V. A., Slon V., Rodríguez L., García R., Lorenzo C., Carretero J. M., Frumkin A., Shahack-Gross R., Bar-Yosef Mayer D., Cui Y., Wu X., Peled N., Groman-Yaroslavski I., Weissbrod L., Yeshurun R., Tsatskin A., Zaidner Y., Weinstein-Evron M., 2018. The  earliest modern human outside Africa. Science 359: 456–459.  
  • Guérin G., Valladas H., Joron J-L., Mercier N., Reyss J-L. and Zaidner Y., 2017. Apports de la datation par la luminescence des sites du Proche-Orient et résultats préliminaires du site de Nesher Ramla (Israël). L'Anthropologie 121: 35-45.
  • Weinstein-Evron M. and Zaidner Y. 2017. The Acheulo-Yabrudian – Early Middle Paleolithic Sequence of Misliya Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel. In: Hovers, E., Marom, A. (eds.), Human Paleontology and Prehistory: Contributions in Honor of Yoel Rak. Springer, Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series, pp. 187-202.
  • Zaidner Y., Shahack-Gross R., Friesem D., Frumkin A. and Tsatskin A. 2016. Landscapes, depositional environments and human occupation at Middle Paleolithic open-air sites in the southern Levant, with new insights from Nesher Ramla, Israel. Quaternary Science Reviews 138: 76-86.
  • Groman-Yaroslavsky I., Zaidner Y. and Weinstein-Evron M. 2016. Mousterian Abu Sif Points: Foraging tools of the Early Middle Paleolithic Site of Misliya Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 7: 312-323.
  • Zaidner Y. and Evron M. 2016. The end of the Lower Paleolithic in the Levant: the Acheulo-Yabrudian lithic technology at Misliya Cave, Israel. Quaternary International 409: 9-22.
  • Zaidner Y. and Grosman L. 2015. Middle Paleolithic scrapers were resharped or recycled? A view from Nesher Ramla. Quaternary International 361: 178-187.
  • Frumkin A., Zaidner Y., Na'aman I., Tsatskin A., Porat N. and Vulfson L. 2015. Sagging and collapse sinkholes over hypogenic hydrothermal karst in a carbonate terrain. Geomorphology 229: 45-57.
  • Zaidner Y., Frumkin A, Porat N., Tsatskin A., Yeshurun R., Weisbrod L. 2014. A series of Mousterian occupations in a new type of site: The Nesher Ramla karst depression, Israel. Journal of Human Evolution 66:1-17.
  • Friesem D., Zaidner Y. and Shahack-Gross R. 2014. Formation Processes and Combustion Features at the Lower Layers of the Middle Paleolithic Open-air Site of Nesher Ramla, Israel. Quaternary International 331:128-138.
  • Weissbrod L. and Zaidner Y. 2014. Taphonomy and paleoecological implications of fossorial microvertebrates at the Middle Paleolithic open-air site of Nesher Ramla, Israel. Quaternary International 331: 115-127.
  • Tsatskin A. and Zaidner Y. 2014. Geoarchaeological context of the later phases of Mousterian occupation (80-115 ka) at Nesher Ramla, Israel: Soil erosion, deposition and pedogenic processes.  Quaternary International 331: 103-114.
  • Zaidner Y. and Weinstein-Evron M. 2014. Making a point: The early Mousterian toolkit at Misliya Cave, Israel. Before Farming [online version] 2012/4: article 1.
  • Zaidner Y. 2014. A new open-air Middle Paleolithic site at Nesher Ramla, Israel. Stratum Plus 2014/1:29-44.
  • Zaidner Y. 2013. Adaptive flexibility of Oldowan hominins: secondary use of flakes at Bizat Ruhama, Israel. PLoS ONE 8(6): e66851. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0066851
  • Valladas H., Mercier N., Hershkovitz I., Zaidner Y., Tsatskin A., Yeshurun R., Vialettes L., Joron J-L., Reyss J-L. and Weinstein-Evron M. 2013. Dating the Lower Middle Paleolithic transition in the Levant: a view from Misliya Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel. Journal of Human Evolution 65: 585-593.
  • Barsky D., Garcia J., Martínez K., Sala R., Zaidner Y., Carbonell E. and Moyano I. T. 2013. The significance of flake modification in Early and Early-Middle Pleistocene stone tool assemblages of Western Europe. Quaternary International 316: 140-154.
  • Weinstein-Evron M., Tsatskin A., Zaidner Y., Bar-Oz G., Yeshurun R., Shahack-Gross R., Weiner S., Lev-Yadun S. and Frumkin A. 2012. A window onto Early Middle Paleolithic human occupational layers: The case of Misliya Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel. PaleoAnthropology 2012: 202-228.
  • Zaidner Y. 2011. The Core-and-Flake Industry of Bizat Ruhama, Israel: Assessing Early Pleistocene Cultural Affinities. In: LeTensorer, J.-M., Jagher R., Otte, M. (Eds.), The Lower and Middle Palaeolithic in the Middle East and Neighboring Regions. Etudes et Recherches Archéologiques de l’Université de Liège (ERAUL), pp. 13-24.
  • Mallol C., VanNieuwenhuyse D. and Zaidner Y. 2011. Depositional and paleoenvironmental setting of the Bizat Ruhama Early Pleistocene Archaeological Assemblages (Northern Negev, Israel): A Microstratigraphic Perspective. GeoArchaeology 26: 118-141.
  • Yeshurun R., Zaidner Y., Eisenmann V., Martínez-Navarro B. and Bar-Oz G. 2011. Lower Paleolithic Hominin Ecology at the Fringe of the Desert: Faunal Remains from Bizat Ruhama and Nahal Hesi, Northern Negev, Israel. Journal of Human Evolution 60: 492-507.
  • Zaidner Y., Yeshurun R. and Mallol C. 2010. Early Pleistocene hominins outside of Africa: Recent excavations at Bizat Ruhama, Israel. PaleoAnthropology 2010: 162-195.



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