Graduate Students

Roi Porat

PhD Dissertation: Herodium and its surroundings during the Jewish Revolts against Rome in the 1st and 2nd centuries CE, in light of the archaeological finds
Advisor: Prof. Uzi Leibner
alla rabinovich

Alla Rabinovich
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PhD. Research: Transition from Late Bronze Age to Iron Age in the Southern Levant: A Metallurgical Perspective
Supervisors: Dr. Naama Yahalom-Mack, Prof. Yosef Garfinkel
My research focuses on the transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age as reflected in the metal industries of the Southern Levant. It is based on the metal assemblages from a number of sites, including the first complete publication of the finds from Tel Miqne-Ekron. Through typological analysis, analysis of the chemical composition and ware etc. I will study the development of the bronze and iron working and the way the transition from bronze to iron influenced or was influenced by the socio-political changes in the beginning of the Iron Age.
Abel Beth Maacah (since 2017)
Tel Asawir (University of Haifa) (since 2017)
Giv'at Ze'ev (2015-2016)
Tel Lachish (2014-2015)
Ein el-Jarba (2013-2016)
Khirbet Qeiyafa (2013)
Preparing the final report of the metal assemblages from Khirbet Qeiyafa, Khirbet A-Rai, Tel Shiloh, Tel Rehov (with N. Yahalom-Mack), Tel Miqne-Ekron, Tel Azekah.
2019 (accepted for publication) Rabinovich A., Yahalom-Mack N., Garfinkel Y., Ganor S., Hasel M. G. The Metal Assemblage from Early Iron Age IIA Khirbet Qeiyafa and Its Implications for the Inception of Iron Production and Use. In: Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research.
2018 Farhi Y., Rabinovich A. The Late Persian – Early Hellenistic Finger Rings and Seals. Pp. 321-331 in: Y. Garfinkel, S. Ganor, and M. G. Hasel, ed. by M. G. Klingbeil. Khirbet Qeiyafa Vol. 4. Excavation Report 2009–2013: Art, Cult and Epigraphy. Jerusalem.
2018 Rabinovich A. An Iron Dagger from the “Far House” in the Ophel. P. 369 in: E. Mazar and T. Lang. The Fortified Enclosure at the Ophel - The “Far House” (2 Sam 15:17): Architecture and Stratigraphy. Pp. 325–393 in: E. Mazar, The Ophel Excavations to the South of the Temple Mount 2009–2013. Final Reports Volume II. Jerusalem.
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Yehudah Rapuano

MA Thesis Topic: The Pottery from the Judean Desert Refuge Caves of the First and Second Jewish Revolts: A Sociocultural Approach
Advisor: Prof. Uzi Leibner
תמנע רז

Timna Raz

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M.A thesis: Building a methodology for the identification of ancient agricultural fields in the Jordan Valley

Advisor: Prof. Leore Grosman

Abstract:  The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture is one of the most profound and transformative changes in human history. Currently the evidence for this transition are either secondary, or indicate the end of the process, hence domesticated cultivars. This research aims to develop a new methodology for the direct identification of ancient agricultural activity in the soil. This research is based on ethnography of traditional dryland agricultural practices, building a model for geographical analysis of potential sites for ancient agriculture, and testing of Geo-archaeological methods used for the identification of agriculture in later periods and different geographical settings, on selected sites in the Jordan Valley.

Research interests:

  • The beginning of agriculture and transition to complex societies
  • Public archaeology and prehistoric tourism
  • Geo-archaeology
  • The Natufian culture
  • Prehistoric mining

Current projects:

Nahal Ein Gev II Excavation Project  since 2015

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Guilia Roccabella

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Ph.D. Dissertation Topic: Early Ottoman Galilee: Regional and Inter-Regional Networks through Ceramic Evidence. An Analytic Study of Pottery Production, Distribution and Consumption Patterns within the Liwā of Ṣafed between the 16th and the 17th centuries. 

Advisor: Dr. Katia Cytryn-Silverman.

Abstract: In the aftermath of the Ottoman conquest, wilāyat -Šarīf - sub-province of Damascus- experienced a cultural shifting encompassing economic and social growth. Historical sources testify that urban and rural settlements flourished around the province, while economic and cultural connections were held on different scales. Liwā Ṣafed, Safed district, represents the perfect case study for an in-depth archaeological investigation of the Early Ottoman renaissance in the region for several reasons: a) it held a prominent economic and cultural role within the region; b) it was setting of numerous archaeological investigations; 3) the retrieved pottery assemblages are large, variegated and from stratigraphic contexts, enhancing quality and purposes of the studies. This material must be approached through a multidisciplinary methodology involving visual analysis, petrography, quantitive analysis, GIS/A mapping and ultimately comparative discussions, in order to obtain a strong chrono-typology and better understand production, distribution and consumption patterns, their extents and the socio-economic implications.   

Research Interests:

  • Material culture of the Islamic periods
  • Ottoman pottery – chrono-typology, production, distribution and consumption
  • Pottery database
  • GIS and GIA
  • Economic and social history of the Late Islamic periods
  • Historical sources in the archaeological research


  • National Treasures, Israel Antiquities Authority - Curator of the archaeology collection of Islamic and Crusader periods (2015-currently)
  • Mamluk-Early Ottoman pottery from Kafr Kanna. In progress
  • Mamluk and Ottoman pottery from Mughrabim, Jerusaelm. In Progress
  • Mamluk and Ottoman pottery from Ohel Yitzchak, Jerusalem. In Progress
  • Crusader, Mamluk and Ottoman Pottery from excavations in Safed. In Progress
  • Islamic pottery from Bethlehem of Galilee. In progress
  • The Ancient Jerusalem Sifting Project - Publication staff member, expert for the Crusader and Late Islamic periods pottery (2014-2015)
  • Qara Qorum Archaeological Excavations - Field archaeologist and ceramic found illustrator (August 2014)
  • Tiberias Archaeological Excavations - Field archaeologist (July 2012 and February 2013)
  • Giv’ati Parking Lot Archaeological Excavation, Area M4 and M5 - Field archaeologist and staff member participant in publication for area M4 and M5 (2012-2014)
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Roi Sabar

Roi Sabar

PhD Dissertation Topic: Northern Israel During the Hellenistic Period (4 – 1 c. B.C.E): Geopolitical Changes and Settlement History in Light of the Fortified Sites
Advisor: Prof. Uzi Leibner

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Hellenistic Galilee project, research assistant

Khirbet El-Eika, area supervisor

Nahal Aviv Caves excavations 2015, 2017

Acco Train-station project

Tel Qedesh



Sabar, R. (2018) ‘Josephus’ “Cydasa of the Tyrians” (Tel Qedesh) in eastern Upper Galilee’, Journal of Roman Archaeology 31: 387–405.

Sabar, R., Leibner, U., Davidovitch, U. and Langford, B. (2018) ‘The Mount Nitai Cave Survey,’ In: U. Leibner (ed.), Khirbet Wadi Ḥamam: A Roman Period Village and Synagogue in the Lower Galilee, Jerusalem: 286–303.

Wachtel, I., Sabar, R. and Davidovitch, U. (2017) ‘Tell Gush Halav during the Bronze and Iron Ages’, Strata 35: 115–134.

וכטל, ע', צבר, ר' ודוידוביץ', א' (2018). 'גוש חלב בתקופת המקרא', ארץ ישראל, 33: 129-140.

צבר, ר', ליבנר, ע', דוידוביץ', א', ולנגפורד, ב' (2015). 'סקר המערות במצוקי הר ניתאי', קדמוניות, 149. עמ' 46- 50.


In preperation: 

Sabar, R. ‘The Hellenistic Pottery’, in: Streit, K. (ed.) in prep. Ein el-Jarba: Excavations in the fields of Hazorea, Jezreel Valley. From the Pottery Neolithic to the Hellenistic Period. Austrian Academy of Sciences.



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Shai Scharfberg

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M.A. thesis subject: Settlement Complexity and Site Catchment Analysis of Early Bronze Age Cities in the Southern Levant: The Case of Tel Qedesh in the Upper Galilee.


Advisor: Dr. Uri Davidovich

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Heeli Schechter
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PhD dissertation topic: The Social, Economic and Symbolic Uses of Marine Mollusks in the Neolithic of the Southern Levant.

Advisor: Prof. Nigel Goring-Morris, with Dr. D. Bar-Yosef Meyer, Tel Aviv University.

Abstract: The shells of marine molluscs are among the oldest ornaments used by humans. Shells were instrumental in past economic life, as a component in exchange networks, connecting individuals and communities from distant regions. They carry symbolic meaning as artefacts of personal adornment and act as social and personal identity agents. During the Neolithic period in the Levant, shells were used as beads, pendants and inlays, produced by different technological manufacturing procedures, and used in various ways. 

The aims of this project include composing a comprehensive overview and synthesis of shells in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B of the Mediterranean Levant, focusing on the use of shells in different life situations – private, public, mortuary, and intra-site context. An additional aim is to incorporate microscopic methods in the study of manufacturing technology and use-wear, never before carried out in this region.
The materials for this study include both newly excavated shell assemblages and reanalysis of published material. The sources to be used include previous reports on mollusc assemblages; different guides to taxonomic research; published methodological research concerning bead-making technology and macro- and microscopic use-ware analysis; theoretical literature concerning personal adornment, use of space, social and economic interaction, identity and more.


  • Schechter, H.C., Gopher, A., Getzov, N., Rice, E., Yaroshevich, A. and I. Milevski. 2016. The Obsidian Assemblages from the Wadi Rabah Occupations at Ein Zippori, Israel. Paléorient 42(1): 27-48.
  • Agam, A., Walzer, N., Schechter, H.C., Zutovski, K., Milevski, I., Getzov, N., Gopher, A. and R. Barkai. 2016. Organized waste disposal in the Pottery Neolithic? A Bifacial Workshop Refuse Pit at Ein Zippori, Israel. Journal of Field Archaeology 41(6): 713-730. 
  • Schechter, H.C., Marder, O. Barkai, R., Getzov, N., and A. Gopher. 2013. The obsidian assemblage from Neolithic Hagoshrim, Israel: pressure technology and cultural influence. In: F. Borrell, J. J. Ibñáez, M. Molist (eds.) Stone Tools in Transition: From Hunter-Gatherers to Farming Societies in the Near East. Bellaterra (Barcelona): Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Pp. 509-528.
  • Gopher, A., Lemorini, C., Boaretto, E., Carmi, I., Barkai R., and H.C. Schechter. 2013. Qumran Cave 24, a Neolithic-Chalcolithic site by the Dead Sea: a short report and some information on lithics. In: F. Borrell, J. J. Ibñáez, M. Molist (eds.) Stone Tools in Transition: From Hunter-Gatherers to Farming Societies in the Near East. Bellaterra (Barcelona): Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Pp. 101-114. 
  • Schechter, H.C., Zutovski, K., Agam, A., Wilson, L. and A. Gopher. 2018. Refitting Bifacial Production Waste – the Case of the Wadi Rabah Refuse Pit from Ein Zippori, Israel. Lithic Technology 43(4): 228-244. DOI: 10.1080/01977261.2018.1514723


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dana shaham

Dana Shaham

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PhD dissertation: Pleistocene/Holocene Linear Art in the Mediterranean Basin

The research aims to establish an expanded, detailed, cross-cultural corpus of linear style artworks derived from Terminal Pleistocene Mediterranean cultures (c. 15,000 years BP). This research is supposed to contribute new criteria for assessing cultural dynamics recognized and defined in the Natufian unique phenomena. Those new criteria will also enable innovative pan Mediterranean cross-cultural comparisons and may contribute actual data on the phenomenology of art and aesthetics, under the particular circumstances of the unique turnover in human history – the transformation from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic lifeways.

Advisor: Prof. Anna Belfer-Cohen

Areas of interest

  • Art Prehistory
  • Terminal Pleistocene – Early Holocene cultures of the Mediterranean basin
  • Archaeomusicology
  • Archaeomalacology
  • Stone tools (typology, hafting)


Teaching assistance, "Introduction to Human Evolution" (Prof. A. Belfer-Cohen), since 2015.

Nahal Ein-Gev II, Late Natufian (Prof. Leore Grosman), since 2010.

Satsurblia Cave (Georgia), Upper Paleolithic (Dr. Tengiz Meshveliani, Prof. Ron Pinhasi and Prof. Anna Belfer-Cohen), excavation 2013-2015.

Kfar Hahoresh, PPNB (Prof. Nigel Goring-Morris), excavation 2009-2011; lithic analyses 2009-2014.

Agia Varvara-Asprokremnos (Cyprus), PPNA (Dr. Carole McCartney), excavation 2008, 2009, 2012.

Hilazon Tachtit Cave, Late Natufian (Prof. Leore Grosman), excavation and analysis of the mollusk assemblage 2008.

Tel Tsaf, Middle Chalcolithic (Prof. Yosef Garfinke), excavation 2005-2006.

Gesher, PPNA, hafting technology project 2006-2007.

Nahariya Bronze Age Temple, the mollusks assemblage 2007.


Shaham, D. and L. Grosman. In press. Engraved stones from NEG II – portraying a local style, forming cultural links. Proceedings of the 8th Conference on PPN Chipped and Ground Stone Industries of the Near East, Nicosia, Cyprus, November 2016.

Shaham, D. and A. Belfer-Cohen. 2017 The Natufian Audio-Visual Bone Pendants from Hayonim Cave. In: D. E. Bar-Yosef Mayer, D.E., Bonsall, C. and A.M. Choyke (eds.) Not Just for Show: The Archaeology of Beads, Beadwork and Personal Ornaments. Philadelphia: Oxbow Books. Pp. 95-102.

Grosman L., Shaham D., Valletta F., Abadi I., Goldgeier H., Klein N., Dubreuil L. and Munro N.D. 2017 A human face carved on a pebble from the Late Natufian site of Nahal Ein Gev II. Antiquity 91 (358) e2: 1–5.

Grosman, L., N.D. Munro, I. Abadi, E. Boaretto, D. Shaham, A. Belfer-Cohen and O. Bar-Yosef. 2016. Nahal Ein Gev II, a Late Natufian Community at the Sea of Galilee. PloS one 11(1): p. e0146647.

Shaham, D. 2014. Art Research Tools for Reading Natufian Art: A Methodological Approach and Selected Case Studies. Unpublished MA Thesis, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem (in Hebrew).

Shaham, D. and A. Belfer-Cohen. 2013. Incised slabs from Hayonim cave: a methodological case study for reading Natufian art. In: F. Borrell, J.J. Ibáñez, and M. Molist (eds.) Stone Tools in Transition: From Hunter-Gatherers to Farming Societies in the Near East. Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Press. Pp. 407-419.

Shaham D. 2012. The Articulation of Music and Visual Arts during the Natufian Culture in the Levant. In: E. Anati (ed.) The Intellectual and Spiritual Expressions of Non-Literate Peoples, UISPP, CISENP, Atalier, Capo di Ponte, Giugno. Pp. 197-213.

Shaham, D., L. Grosman and N. Goren-Inbar. 2010. The red-stained flint crescent from Gesher: new insights into PPNA hafting technology. Journal of Archaeological Science 37: 2010-2016.


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Hadass Shambadal

PhD Dissertation Topic: Bread Production and Consumption in Roman Palestine
Advisors: Prof. Uzi Leibner, Prof. Zeev Weiss

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PhD research: My PhD-research deals with the ways in which food was produced, stored and consumed within domestic structures in Roman Palestine, using an interdisciplinary approach which examines the material remains unearthed in archeological excavations and compares them to the information embedded in Rabbinic literature.  The juxtaposition of archeological finds with Rabbinic literature not only deepens our understanding of both types of evidence, but also enables an insight into the daily life, the social structures and the cultural connections of the population of Roman Palestine in the first few centuries CE.

Already in my MA-thesis did I explore the relations between the archeological record and written sources. I analyzed a number of components, that were usual features of Roman-period domestic dwellings in Palestine, either within the houses themselves or in their courtyards: an underground storage unit called ""דות ("dut"), cisterns, walls, door frames ( thresholds, lintels and doorposts), as well as doors and different locking mechanisms. The thesis was written under the supervision of Prof. Uzi Leibner.

Advisors: Prof. Uzi Leibner, Prof. Zeev Weiss

I am part of Mandel Scholion Research Center's group: "Setting Tables: Eating, Social Boundaries and Intercultural Transfers".


From 2015 to 2018 I was part of the team excavating Khirbet el-Eika, at first as an assistant area supervisor and later as an area supervisor. The excavations were headed by Prof. Uzi Leibner as part of the Hellenistic Galilee Regional Project. Currently I am working on the publication of the metal finds from the excavation.

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Lena Naama Sharabi
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Advisors: Dr. Silvia Rozenberg and Dr. Orit Peleg-Barkat

Ph.D. dissertation topic: ''Mural Decoration in the Reception Area of Herod's Theater at Herodium.''

My research focuses on the interior decoration in the Herodian palaces of the first century BCE. At the focal point of my research stands the interior decoration of the Reception Area in the Royal theater of King Herod the Great at Herodium. The walls of the Reception Area were decorated in the Late Second Pompeian Style and included pictures with figurative art; so fare unattested in Early Roman Judaea. The excavation of the preserved Reception Room unearthed more than fifty thousand plaster fragments executed in the fresco, secco and stucco techniques; many of which came from the floor above the Reception Room and included figurative art that have yet to be published. The use of figurative art was exceptional in Herodian art and rises questions on the presence and execution of the pictures.

The aim of my research is to position the interior decoration of the Reception Area between the art of Rome and that of Alexandria by Egypt. My methodology includes chronological and iconographical analyses of the decoration in addition to analyses on the materials and techniques used in the wall decoration of the Herodian palaces and the Reception area of the Royal theater at Herodium. Another focus of my research is to use computer simulations to create tentative reconstructs of the decorative program in the Reception Area. I hope to arrive at conclusions on sources of influence and presence of various workshops at the Herodian palaces and even perhaps get closer to an understanding of the presence and use of figurative art in the kingdom of Herod the Great.


Assistant instructor – Introduction to Greek and to Roman Archaeology.

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meidad shor

Meidad Shor
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PhD. dissertation topic: Construction Methods and Building Materials in Building Projects of King Herod
Advisor: Dr. Orit Peleg-Barkat and Dr. Yotam Asher (IAA)

Abstract: The construction projects of King Herod are well known for their use of building materials and building techniques that have never been used before in Judea. However, the building materials and techniques have not been methodically and analytically examined so far. The present research is designed to cover this gap and focuses on documenting and analyzing the variety of building materials and methods used by King Herod's architects, with an emphasis on mortar, concrete , and plaster. Samples from various buildings and sites will be examined using various scientific methods from the world of microscopy, chemistry and mineralogy. The aim is to trace the innovations that have been integrated in the local architecture and to understand the dynamics between the external influence of the Roman world and the continuity of local traditions. The case studies will focus on the key sites of Herodion, Jericho, Banias, Jerusalem and Caesarea.

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