Anna Belfer-Cohen

Prof. Anna Belfer-Cohen

Dept. of Prehistory. Office Hours: Wednesday 13:00-14:00

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Research Interests: The evolution, spread and characteristics of Upper Palaeolithic entities, Burial customs of prehistoric societies, The transition from mobile hunter-gatherers to sedentary farmers, The evolution of human cognition.

Ongoing Projects:

  • The study and publication of Upper Palaeolithic assemblages from the cave of Kebara, Mt. Carmel. These were excavated between 1981-1990 as part of an international project headed by Prof. Vandermeersch (Bordeaux, France) and Prof. Bar-Yosef (Harvard, Cambridge, USA).
  • The study and publication of the Natufian assemblages from the cave of Hayonim, Galilee. Excavated between 1992-2000 as part of the aforementioned project.
  • The study of the burials and graves from the Natufian layers at Hayonim Cave and Hilazon Tachtit Cave.
  • Excavations and study of two sites in western Georgia (a joint project with Prof. O. Bar-Yosef, Harvard, and Dr. T. Meshveliani, Georgian Academy of Science):
    1. The cave of Dzudzuana (an Upper Palaeolithic sequence) .
    2. The rock shelter Kotias Klde (late Upper Palaeolithic to Neolithic occupations).

Teaching Topics:

  • Models and Theories in Prehistoric Research
  • The Natufian Culture and the Origins of Agriculture
  • Lithic Technology and Typology
  • Palaeolithic Art
  • Paleoanthropology and Human Evolution
  • The Human Skeleton
  • The Evolution of the Human Brain
  • Complex Societies
  • The Meaning of Style in the Material Culture
  • Upper Palaeolithic Archaeological Entities

Other Activities:

  • Member of the editorial board of "Qadmoniot", published by the Israel Exploration Society, Jerusalem (in Hebrew).
  • Member, the scientific editorial board of "Masa Aher", Tel-Aviv (in Hebrew).
  • Co-editor of the "Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society", Jerusalem (in English and French with Hebrew abstracts).
  • Member of the scientific editorial board of "Paleorient" (CNRS), Paris (in French and English).
  • Member of the scientific editorial board of "Journal of Eurasian Prehistory", Harvard University, Cambridge (USA) and Warsaw University (Poland).
  • Member of the scientific editorial board of "Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry - International Journal", Crete, Greece.
  • Member of the Steering Committee of the "International Union of Prehistory and Protohistory" - Commission VII - Upper Palaeolithic .



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Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor


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Amnon Ben-Tor, is professor (emeritus) at the Institute of Archaeology, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He has worked at Hazor as an area supervisor under Yigael Yadin in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Since 1990 he has been the director of the “Selz Foundation Hazor Excavations in Memory of Yigael Yadin.”
Amnon is the editor of Hazor III-IV (text), and a co-editor of Hazor V, Hazor VI, and Hazor VII. He is also the author of the recently published popular book “Hazor Canaanite Metropolis, Israelite City”.


  • Horvat Usa (1963)
  • Tel Yarmuth (1970)
  • Azor (1971)
  • Athienou, Cyprus (1971-1972; with T. Dothan)
  • Tel Qiri (1975-1976)
  • Yoqne‘am (1977-1979; 1981; 1987-1988)
  • Tel Qashish (1978-1979; 1981-1985; 1987)
  • The Selz Foundation Hazor Excavations in Memory of Yigael Yadin (1990-present)
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Naama Goren-Inbar

Prof. Naama Goren-Inbar


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Research Interests: Old World prehistory, The Lower and Middle Pleistocene, Morpho-technology and typology of stone artifacts, The Acheulian and Mousterian Technocomplexes, Paleoclimate, paleoenvironment and paleoecology of the Great African Rift Valley, The evolution of human behavior, Site formation processes, Human dispersals and colonization: Out of Africa, Pre-Pottery Neolithic quarries.

Current Projects:

  • Head of Israel Science Foundation "Centers of Excellence" grant entitled: The effect of climate change on the environment and hominins of the Upper Jordan Valley between ca. 800Ka and 700Ka ago as a basis for prediction of future scenarios.
  • Taphonomy of large mammals at Gesher Benot Ya'aqov; with R. Rabinovich, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJ), S. Gaudzinski-Windheuser and Lutz Kindler, Rצmisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz, Germany (German-Israeli Foundation - GIF)
  • Evidence of fire and its possible control at Gesher Benot Ya'aqov; with N. Alperson-Afil (HUJ)
  • Evidence of controlled fire and thermoluminescence dating at the Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov; with D. Richter, Max Planck, Leipzig, Germany [GIF])
  • Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the Early-Middle Pleistocene Hula Valley: a multidisciplinary study of stable isotopes and paleontology; with S. Ashkenazi, B. Spiro and H. Mienes (HUJ)
  • Reconstruction of the Early-Middle Pleistocene Hula Valley vegetation and the hominid diet - the paleobotanical remains; with Y. Melamed and M. E. Kislev (Bar-Ilan University)
  • The ichthyological assemblages (taxonomy and paleoecology) of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov; with I. Zohar (HUJ)
  • The Acheulian lithic assemblages of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov with N. Alperson-Afil and G. Sharon (HUJ)
  • A database of Acheulian sites in Israel; with N. Alperson-Afil (HUJ)
  • Beyond biface morphology: a new approach (3D) to the analysis of biface morphotype variability; with G. Sharon, L. Grosman and U. Smilansky (HUJ)
  • 3D digitized archive of the bifacial tools of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov; with G. Sharon (HUJ)
  • Pre-Pottery Neolithic quarries - the case of Kaizer Hill, Modi'in; with L. Grosman (HUJ)
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Jan Gunneweg

Dr. Jan Gunneweg


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Research Interests: Provenance studies of ancient pottery by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) and of textiles by Synchrotron Radiation and High Power Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) at the ESRF at Grenoble’s ESRF.

Ongoing Projects:

  • The identification of parchment by computed tomography (CT) at the ALS in the Ernst Lawrence Lab, Berkeley California USA and with the Oak Ridge Lab at Tennessee, USA.
  • The identification of Frankincense of the Dead Sea area, the Negev, and Greece by Fourier Transformed Infra-Red (FTIR) synchrotron light at the newly built SESAME Synchrotron at Allan, Jordan.
  • The study of the Activation set of NAA Data from 1966-1996 performed at the Ernst Lawrence Laboratory under the direction of I. Perlman (Manhattan Project), Fr. Asaro, and Helen Michel (KT Boundary iridium project, the extinction of the Dinosaurs).
  • Further ongoing Neutron Activation research together with Dr. Marta Balla at the Nuclear Center of the University of Technology and Economics in Budapest, Hungary.
  • Member of two COST Actions of the European Community: COST Actions-G-8 Cultural Heritage (CH), and D-42 on Restoration and Preservation of CH.

Other Activities:

  • Member of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS, 2007-2008) together with the Technical University in Delft, and the Lorentz Institute of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Leiden while organizing the “Holistic Qumran and the Dead Sea Scroll” Congress (April 2008).
  • Author, co-author, and co-editor of over hundred scientific papers and seven books during the years 1984-2020.

Website: http://micro5.mscc.huji.ac.il/~msjan/gunneweg.html

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Prof. Lee Israel Levine


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Research Interests: The ancient synagogue, Jewish art in antiquity, The history and archaeology of Jerusalem, The Patriarchate in Late Antiquity, Judaism and Hellenism, The Rabbinic Class in Roman Palestine.

Ongoing Projects:

Visual Judaism: Art, History, and Identity in Late Antiquity. The project attempts to explain the dramatic and extensive appearance of Jewish art in Late Antiquity (third–seventh centuries CE), particularly in light of the triumph of Christianity.

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Prof. Amihai Mazar


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Main research interests: The archaeology of Israel and its neighbors in the Bronze and Iron Ages, The relationship between archaeology and biblical history, Ancient Near Eastern art and architecture, Historical geography of the biblical period.

Main ongoing projects:

The Beth Shean Valley Archaeological Project. This regional project includes the publication of the Tel Beth Sheen excavations (1989-1996), ongoing excavations at Tel Rehov, and publication of Tel Rehov excavations.

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Prof. Tallay Ornan


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Research Interests: Ancient Near Eastern art, Iconography of Israel/Palestine during the Middle-Late Bronze and Iron (Biblical) periods, Ancient Near East glyptic art: iconography and workmanship of cylinder and stamp seals, Second-millennium metal statuary from the Levant, Religious and political constructs as reflected in the visual art of the ancient Near East.

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Joseph Patrich

Prof. Joseph Patrich


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Research Interests: Greco-Roman and Byzantine archaeology, The archaeology of the Near East in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods.

Ongoing Projects:

  • Excavations and Study of Caesarea Maritima
  • Survey and excavations of caves in the Judaean Desert
  • Monasteries and churches of the Holy Land
  • Nabataean archaeology
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Ilan Sharon

Prof. Ilan Sharon

Head of the Section of Archaeology of the Biblical Period

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Research Interests: Archaeological method and theory, Computers, mathematics, statistics in archaeology, The Iron Age in the Levant.

Ongoing Projects:

  • Excavation: Tel Dor Expedition (Director); with Haifa University, Weizmann Institute, University of California, Berkeley; University of Washington, Seattle; Pennsylvania State University.

  • The Hellenization of the Levant (with A. Stewart and B. Martin, University of California, Berkeley; S. Stroup, University of Washington, Seattle). Funding: The Getty Foundation.

  • Mathematical characterization of artifact profiles (with A. Gilboa, Haifa University; U. Smilanski, Weizmann Institute; and I. Saragusti, A. Karasik, T. Goldman – postdoctoral scholars and students). Funding: Bikura.
  • Absolute dating of the early Iron Age in Israel (with A. Gilboa, Haifa University; E. Boaretto, Weizmann Institute). Funding: ISF.

Advanced Students and their Research:

  1. Leore Grossman (with Anna Belfer-Cohen). Mathematical modeling of the beginning of agriculture in the Levant.
  2. David Ben Shlomo (with Aren Maeir, Bar Ilan University). Pottery production centers in Philistia in the Iron Age – a provenience study.
  3. Avshalom Karasik (with Uzy Smilansky, Weizmann Institute and Ayelet Gilboa, Haifa University). Computerized typology of ceramics.
  4. Svetlana Matskevich (with Catriel Beeri – School of Library Science and Informatics). Archaeological documentation and meta-models – electronic publication of archaeological excavation reports.
  5. S. Rebecca Martin (at University of California, Berkeley – with Andrew Stewart). Dor as a case study for the Hellenization of the Levant.
  6. Talia Goldman (with Uzy Smilansky, Weizmann Institute and Ayelet Gilboa – Haifa University). Stylistic change in pottery forms – cognitive factors and motor habit patterns.
  7. Yiftah Shalev (with Ehud Netzer). Town planning at Dor in the Persian–Roman periods.
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Prof. Joseph Yellin


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Joseph Yellin is Professor Emeritus at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He received his PhD in experimental Physics from the University of California, Berkeley and Bachlors’ degrees in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Delaware. He is the author of 100 scholarly articles in physics and archaeological science. He has been visiting Professor/Scholar at UCLA, UC-Berkeley, Harvard and Columbia. His current research is centered on the use of nuclear science methods to determine the origin of ancient pottery from archaeological excavations in Israel.

Research Interests:

Archaeological Science, Neutron Activation Analysis, Pottery/Obsidian origin studies.

Graduate Students

Sharon, I., 1990, Statistical Methods to Clarify the Compositional Analysis of Ceramics, M.A. thesis. Current position Professor Hebrew University.

Boas, A., 1991, A Provenience Study of Some Fine Table Wares Imported into the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, M.A. thesis. Current position Professor Haifa University.

Gilboa, A., 1992, Pottery of Dor under Assyrian rule, M.A. thesis. Current position Professor Haifa University.


Selected Publications

INAA and Material Analysis, Joseph Yellin in: SAS Encyclopedia of Archaeological Science, Sandra Lopez Varela and Jullian Thomas (editors), Wiley (2018).

Minimizing Sample Sizes While Achieving Accurate Elemental Concentrations in Neutron Activation Analysis of Precious Pottery, S. Landsberger and J. Yellin, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 20, pp 622-625 (2018).

The Origin of Tel Batash-Timna Pottery of the Late Bronze Age, Joseph Yellin

In: Tell it in Gath: Studies in the History and Archaeology of Israel Essays in Honor of A. M. Maeir on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday, edited by Itzhaq Shai, Jeffrey R. Chadwick, Louise Hitchcock, Amit Dagan, Joe Uziel and Chris McKinny. Ägypten und Altes Testament 90. Zaphon: Munster (2018).

Provenience of LBA II Pottery from the Cultic Repository of Tel Qashish, Joseph Yellin, Matthew T. Boulanger  and Michael D. Glascock, Atiqot (in press).

A Commentary on Two Scientific Studies of the RUMA (רומא) Jar from Qumran, Joseph Yellin, Dead Sea Discoveries 22, pp 147-161 (2015).

The Origin of Egyptian-Style Ceramics from Deir El-Balaḥ: Conclusions from Neutron Activation Analysis, Chapter 3, pp 57-75, Joseph Yellin and Ann E. Killebrew in: Deir El-Balah: Excavations in 1977-1982 In The Cemetery and Settlement, Trude Dothan and Baruch Brandl, Qedem 50 (2010).

Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis of Two Vessels from Tel Yin'am, Harold Liebowitz and Joseph Yellin, Leiden Journal of Pottery Studies 25, 103-118 (2009).

Four Decades of Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis and its Contribution to the Archaeology of the Ancient Land of Israel, J.Yellin and A.M. Maeir, Israel Journal of Earth Science 56, pp 123-132 (2007).

Instrumental Neutron Activation Based Provenance Studies at The Hebrew University Of Jerusalem, With a Case Study on Mycenaean Pottery from Cyprus, Joseph Yellin, Archaeometry 49, 2, pp. 271-288 (2007).

Rosette Stamped Handles: Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis, Joseph Yellin and Jane M. Cahill, Israel Exploration Journal 54, no. 2, pp 191-213 (2004).

Pottery from Qumran and Ein Ghuweir: The First Chemical Exploration of Provenience, Joseph Yellin, Magen Broshi and Hanan Eshel, BASOR, 321, pp. 65-78 (2001).

Neutron Activation Analysis, Joseph Yellin, in: The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology of the Near East, p. 130, Eric M. Meyer, Editor, Oxford University Press (1997).

New Evidence on Prehistoric Trade Routes: The Obsidian Evidence from Gilat, Joseph Yellin, Thomas E. Levy and Rowan York, Journal of Field Archaeology 23, 361-368 (1996).

Trace Element Characteristics of Central Anatolian Obsidian Flows and its Relevance to Pre-History, Joseph Yellin, Israel Journal of Chemistry 35, 175-190 (1995).

On the Provenience of the Lmlk Jars, H. Mommsen, I. Perlman and J. Yellin, J. Israel Exploration Society 34, 89-113 (1984).

Gamma-ray Spectral Map of Standard Pottery, Part 1, J. Yellin, Radiochimica Acta 35, 107-119 (1984).

High Precision Trace Element Analysis in Tektites and Crater Glasses-Th, U and K, J. Yellin, I. Perlman, W. Gentner and O. Muller, J. Radioanalytical Chemistry 76, 35-47 (1983).

Comparison of Neutron Activation Analysis from the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and The Hebrew University, J.  Yellin, I. Perlman, F. Asaro, H. V. Michel and D. F. Mosier, Archaeometry 20, 95-100 (1978).

g, F., 1993, Analysis of Prehistoric Flint Products and Sources in Israel by Neutron Activation, M.A. thesis.

Maeir, A., 1997, Provenience of Pottery from the Jordan Valley in the Late Bronze Age, Ph.D. thesis. Current position Professor Bar Ilan University.

Salmon, Y., 2001, Collared-rim Jars from the Coastal Site of Tel Nami at the End of the Late Bronze Period, M.A. thesis, Haifa University.



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