Computational Archaeology Labratory

Lena Dubinsky

Lena Dubinsky

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Advisors: Prof. Leore Grossman (archaeology) and Dr. Gal Ventura (art history)


In my doctoral research I aim to develop methods for analyzing archeological engraving techniques through studying the "Chariots" engraving at the Timna site.

The goal of the study is to formulate criteria paving the way for characterizing the engraving techniques used in ancient times. This will be done by clarifying the methods, tools and skills required for making specific rock engravings. The study will couple examining the creative process with digital analysis methods.  This will be accomplished by understanding the way in which the localized craft technology including skills, techniques and material conceptions can be used as a research tool in the effort to examine, analyse and decode archaeological findings.

  • Presidential stipend 2017-2018 at Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities


Lena Dubinsky studied ceramic design at Bezazel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Upon graduation, she opened her own design studio.  She shortly returned to Bezalel as an instructor, where she still teaches.  While lecturing at Bezalel, she earned a master's degree with honors at Tel Aviv University.  Her thesis discussed the aesthetic and political implications of city plans developed by the Jerusalem Committee formed to modernize architecture and municipal design in Jerusalem after 1967. Additionally, she curates exhibitions concerning craft in the modern world, and is included in international exhibitions and collections.


  • "העשייה והתעשייה: המקרה של מפעלי הפורצלן באירופה בראשית המאה ה-21", בתוך: 'מחשבות על קראפט', עורכים: ערן ארליך, אורי ברטל, ראובן זהבי, הוצאת רסלינג: ירושלים, 2015.

  • "תהליכי ייצור בכבישה יבשה ויישומם בתעשיית האריחים: סיור במפעל נגב", '1280ºC' כתב עת לתרבות חומרית, חורף 2011.

  • "רב שיח: קראפט, עיצוב וטכנולוגיה" בשיתוף עם פרופ' גד צ'רני, עינת לידר, הדס רוזנברג-ניר, טל גור, דב גנשרוא ושלומית באומן, קטלוג תערוכת "עיצוב קרמי: כלים טכנולוגיים", מוזיאון ארץ ישראל, תל אביב, 2011.
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Naama Glauber
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M.Sc. Computer Science in the field of Human Computer Interaction (Hybrid lab) at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Campus Givat Ram.

Current Work in the Computational Archaeology Lab:

Stylistic variations can exhibit different motor habits or motor performance. In our work we wish to harness the variations between potters to observe the unique style of a single potter through time. This paper examines new parameters for distinguishing between trainees’ potters and monitoring their personal style along time, as part of an integrated experimental archaeological study. The result of the experiment examined using quantitative methods like classification and graphs of variability, but also with 3D visualization method, for better understanding of the reasons for these results. My work is focusing on these visualization, including help with analyzing and combining both sources of results.

Fields of Interest:

  • 3D Modeling and analyzing
  • Image Processing
  • Traditional Craft and DIY
  • Drawing and Painting
  • Style and Creativity
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Architecture and Internal Design
  • Space and Satellites Engineering

Previous publications

  • Design with Minimal Intervention: Drawing with Light and Cracks, DIS Conference, Lab Project in the Hebrew University, 2018.
  • Remotely Guided Breast Sonography for Long-Term Space Missions: A Case Report and Discussion, published in Telemedicine and e-health, International Space University, 2017
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Hadas Goldgeier

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PhD Thesis topic: Technology and style in Prehistoric Architecture

Advisor: Prof. Leore Grosman

Abstract: The development of durable stone structures within the context of incipient villages in the late Epipalaeolithic unto the early Neolithic is a major innovation, as they are the physical manifestations of developing group dynamics and changes in human-environment relationships. Changes in the physical characteristics of structures, new building materials and methods reflect changes in the social dynamics and usage of the landscape, alongside the ‘invention’ and developments of technical knowledge. The large-scale building efforts go hand-in-hand with other massive cultural and economic shifts – mainly the settling of substantial, sedentary villages and the gradual domestication of plants and animals. These early structures echo another domestication process, that of the landscape, and the increase and sophistication in the utilization of natural resources.

Many structures have been excavated and described throughout the Levant, and many studies have attempted to infer social structure and dynamics. Yet there is a paucity of studies concerning a more direct approach to the analysis of structures, the materials of which they are made, how they were built, and their role in understanding long-term neolithization processes.

This project aims to address several key-questions regarding the architectural remains of the Natufian culture and the early Neolithic in the southern Levant. I aim to investigate several aspects of construction such as building techniques, roofing methods and the advent of building materials (such as the early employment of mud and lime-plaster), as well as stylistic choices involved in the construction of prehistoric buildings. These issues will be addressed with a novel set of tools, both computational and micromorphological. Computational tools include GIS and new tools developed at the Computational Archaeology Laboratory at the Hebrew University. Micromorphological tools include phytolith, chemical and micromorphological analyses of sections and materials. This combination of tools is unique and has yet to be employed to better study the role of architecture and built environments in the development of sedentary villages.

My research endeavors to expand the understanding of this important transition in human history, from hunter-gatherers to the sedentary village life of the Neolithic populations, and to develop a comprehensive set of tools that will be widely applicable to the analysis of architectural remains.

Research Interests:

  • Burial customs and ritual practice in Prehistory
  • Landscape archaeology and spatial analysis
  • Origins of agriculture
  • Architectural style and technology
  • The Natufian Culture and Early Neolithic of the Levant
  • Computational applications in archaeology


  • Nahal Ein Gev II Excavation Project since - research assistant – since 2015.
  • Hilazon Tachtit Cave project digitization and documentation – research assistant – since 2014.
  • Computational Archaeology Laboratory - research assistant – since 2017.


  • Goldgeier, H., Munro, N.D., & Grosman, L. 2019. Remembering a Sacred Place – The Depositional History of Hilazon Tachtit, a Natufian Burial Cave. Journal of Anthropological Anthropology 56:1-9.
  • Birkenfeld, M., Kolska Horwitz, L., Bar-Yosef Mayer, D., Cummings, L.S., Goldgeier, H., Krakovsky, M., Natalio, F., Nebenhaus, K., Neumann, F., Porat, N., Scott, L., Simmons, L., Yashuv, T. & U. Avner. 2019. Investigations at Naḥal Roded 110 - a Late Neolithic ritual site in the Southern Negev. Antiquity 93(367).
  • Grosman, L., D. Shaham, F. Valletta, I. Abadi, H. Goldgeier, N. Klein, L. Dubreuil & N.D. Munro. 2017. A Human Face Carved on a pebble from the Late Natufian Site of Nahal Ein Gev II. Antiquity 91(38).




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Prof. Leore Grosman

Head of the Prehistoric Archaeology Department
Head of Computational Archaeology Laboratory

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Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, in the prehistoric archaeology department. 

Research Interests: The transition from a hunting and gathering economic base to food production 12,000 years ago, Prehistoric burial customs: the appearance of cemeteries in prehistoric settlements, Aspects of Epi-Paleolithic flint technology, Rock Cup-Marks Function and Context, Study of the characteristic patterns of Post Depositional Damage, Development of mathematical and computational methods to assist in archaeological research: computer simulations, 3D technology (at Computational Archaeology lab), Excavation at the Late Natufian site of Nahal Ein Gev II.

Ongoing Projects:

  • Excavation project at the Late Natufian site of Nahal Ein Gev II in the Upper Jordan Valley
  • Excavations at Hilazon Tachtit cave, Western Galilee (1997-2008)
  • The study and publication of the Natufian assemblages from Hayonim Cave, Galilee
  • The study of the burials and graves from the Natufian layers at Hayonim Cave and Hilazon Tachtit Cave
  • The study of cup-marks from Natufian and Neolithic sites
  • Application of 3D scanning technology for archaeological research - Computational Archaeology lab
  • AgSub computer simulation for understanding the dynamic turn from hunter-gatherers to food producers

Teaching Topics:

  • Introduction to Levantine Archaeology
  • The Origins of Agriculture: Levant, America and China
  • Transitional Periods in Prehistory
  • Archaeology of Greece
  • Introduction to Prehistory
  • Absolute Dating Methods
  • Quaternary: Upper Paleolithic and Epi-Paleolithic
  • Issues in Archaeological Science
  • Computational Archaeology

Garduate Students (in the past and present)

PhD Students:

Francesco Valletta (current)

Ortal Harush (current)

Antoine Muller (current)

Lena Dubinsky (current)

Hadas Goldgeier (current)

M.A. Students:

Talia Yashuv (current)

Timna Raz (current)

Keren Nebenhaus (current)Noa Kein (graduated 2013)

Efraim Wallach (graduated 2013)

Netanel Paz (graduated 2016)

Ahiad Ovadia (graduated 2016; currently the curator of prehistoric cultures at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem)

Selected Publications 

For for list of publications click here 

  • Grosman, L., G. Sharon, T. Goldman-Neuman and U. Smilansky. 2011. 3D modeling – new method for quantifying post-depositional damages. In: SCCH 2009 Scientific Computing and Cultural Heritage. Eds. M. Winckler and G. Bock, pp1-22. Springer, Berlin.
  • Grosman, L., and N. Goren Inbar. 2010. Evidence in Rock – A Neolithic Quarry at Kaizer Hill, Modi’in. In: New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region. Eds. D. Amit, O. Peleg -Barkat and G. Stiebel, pp. 40-53. The Hebrew University and Israel Antiquity Authority, Jerusalem. (In Hebrew).
  • Dubreuil, L., and L. Grosman. 2013. The Life History of Macrolithic tools at Hilazon Tachtit Cave. In: Natufian Foragers in the Levant. Eds. O. Bar-Yosef and F. Valla, pp 527-543. International Monographs in Prehistory, Ann Arbor.
  • Grosman, L. 2013. The Natufian chronological scheme – new insights and their implications. In: Natufian Foragers in the Levant. Eds. O. Bar-Yosef and F. Valla, pp 622-635. International Monographs in Prehistory, Ann Arbor.
  • Munro, ND. and Grosman, L. In Press. The Forager-Farmer Transition in the Southern Levant (ca. 20,000-8,500 cal. BP). In The Social Archaeology of the Levant: From Prehistory to the Present. Eds. A. Yasur-Landau, E Cline and Y. Rowan.  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Belfer-Cohen, A., and L. Grosman. 1997. The Lithic Assemblage of Salibiya I. Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society - Mitekufat Haeven 27: 19-42.
  • Grosman, L. 2003. Preserving Cultural Traditions in a Period of Instability: The Late Natufian of the Hilly Mediterranean Zone. Current Anthropology 4/4: 571-580. 
  • Grosman, L., H. Ashkenazi, and A. Belfer-Cohen. 2006. Nahal Oren Natufian Lithic Assemblage. Paléorient 31/2: 5-25.
  • Grosman, L., and N. Goren-Inbar.  2007. “Taming” Rocks and Changing Landscapes: A New Interpretation of the Neolithic Cupmarks. Current Anthropology 48/5:732-740.
  • Grosman, L., and N. D. Munro. 2007. The Sacred and the Mundane:  Domestic Activities at a Late Natufian Burial Site in the Levant. Before Farming 4/4: 1-14.
  • Grosman, L., O. Smikt, and U. Smilansky. 2008. On the application of 3-D scanning technology for the documentation and typology of lithic artifacts. Journal of Archaeological Science 35: 3101–3110.
  • Grosman, L., N. Munro, and A. Belfer-Cohen. 2008. A 12,000 year old Shaman Burial from the Southern Levant (Israel). Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA) 105/46: 17665–17669.
  • Dubreuil, L., and L. Grosman. 2009.  Evidence of hide-working with ochre at Hilazon Tachtit (Israel): implications for Natufian site function. Antiquity 83: 935–954.
  • Grosman, L., G. Sharon, O. Smikt, and U. Smilansky. 2011. Quantifying Breakage Damage on Experimental Bifaces using 3D scanning. Journal of Human Evolution 60 (4): 398-406. 
  • Grosman, L., Y. Goldsmith, and U. Smilansky. 2011.  Morphological Analysis of Nahal Zihor Handaxes: A Chronological Perspective. PaleoAnthropology 2011: 203−215. 
  • Grosman, L., N. Munro and A. Belfer-Cohen. 2009. The Shaman from Hilazon Tachtit cave. Qadmoniot 137: 22-24. (In Hebrew).
  • Munro, D. N., and L. Grosman. 2010. Early evidence (ca. 12,000 B.P.) for feasting at a burial cave in Israel. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA) 107 (35): 15362–15366.  
  • Malinsky-Buller, A., L. Grosman, and O. Marder. 2011. A case of techno-typological lithic variability & continuity in the late Lower Palaeolithic. Before Farming 2011/1 article 3.  
  • Grosman, L., A. Karasik, and U. Smilansky. 2012. Archaeology in 3-D: new computational methods in Archaeology. Qadmoniot 144:106-114 (In Hebrew).
  • Grosman L., A. Karasik, O. Harush, and U. Smilansky. 2014. Archaeology in Three Dimensions. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage studies (JEMAHS) 2:48-64.
  • Avshalom K., Z. Greenhut, J. Uziel, N. Szanton, L. Grosman, I. Zandbank, and U. Smilansky. 2014. Documentation and Analyses on the National Scale at the Israel Antiquities Authority: The Story of One (Broken) Sherd. Near Eastern Archaeology 77 (3): 214-218.
  • Grosman L., N. D. Munro, I. Abadi, E. Boaretto, D. Shaham, A. Belfer-Cohen, O. Bar-Yosef. 2016. Nahal Ein Gev II, a Late Natufian Community at the Sea of Galilee. PLoS ONE 11 (1):e0146647.
  • Grosman L.,  N.D. Munro. 2016. A Natufian Ritual Event. Current Anthropology 57, 311-331.
  • Grosman L., 2016. Reaching the point of no return: Computation Revolution in Archaeology. Annual Review of Anthropology 45: 129-145
  • Hartman G., O. Bar-Yosef, A. Brittingham, L. Grosman and N. Munro. 2016. Hunted gazelles evidence cooling, but not drying, during the Younger Dryas in the southern Levant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, 3997-4002.
  • Klein N., A. Belfer-Cohen and L. Grosman. 2017. Bone Tools as the Paraphernalia of Ritual Activities: A Case Study from Hilazon Tachtit Cave. Eurasian Prehistory 13:91–104.
  • Sharon G., A. Barash, D. Eisenberg-Degen, L. Grosman, M. Oron, and U. Berger. 2017. Monumental megalithic burial and rock art tell a new story about the Levant Intermediate Bronze “Dark Ages”. PLoS ONE 12 (3), e0172969.
  • Herzlinger, G., N. Goren-Inbar, and L. Grosman, L., 2017. A new method for 3D geometric morphometric shape analysis: The case study of handaxe knapping skill. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 14:163-173.
  • Grosman, L., D. Shaham, F. Valletta, I. Abadi, H. Goldgeier, N. Klein, L. Dubreuil, and N.D. Munro. 2017. A human face carved on a pebble from the Late Natufian site of Nahal Ein Gev II. Antiquity 91.
  • Herzlinger, G., and L. Grosman. 2018. AGMT3-D: A software for 3-D landmarks-based geometric morphometric shape analysis of archaeological artifacts. PLoS ONE 13 (11):e0207890.
  • Abadi, I. and Grosman, L. In Press. Sickle blade technology in the Late Natufian of the Southern Levant: Proceeding CYP PPN8.


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Tamara Mkheidze

M.A. thesis topic: Analysis of compositional devices in Amarna elite tombs
Supervisor: Prof. Arlette David



Antoine Muller

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Ph.D. dissertation topic: Exploring spatiotemporal variability in three-dimensional biface morphology: implications for hominin dispersal, cognition, skill, and cultural evolution

Advisors: Prof. Leore Grosman and Prof. Gonen Sharon (Tel Hai Collage)

Research Interests:

Bifacial stone tools, primarily handaxes and cleavers, are the hallmark of the Acheulean period. Despite more than a century of research exploring these bifaces from a growing number of sites, their morphological variation in time and space remains enigmatic. This PhD project seeks to quantify the degree of variability of bifaces from sites in Africa, the Levant, South Asia and East Asia. Typical analyses of bifaces rely on two-dimensional measurements which oversimply their complex three-dimensional variability. For this project, three-dimensional scanning and analysis methods are used to better capture this variability as well as extract key technological variables, such as centre of mass, axes of symmetry, outline morphology, volumetric variation and scar segmentation. Key questions to be addressed include whether biface morphology is better explained by cultural or technological factors, as well as whether diffusion or convergence was responsible for their wide geographic spread.

Additional research interests include experimental investigations into the evolution of lithic technology, with a particular emphasis on cognition, skill, efficiency and standardisation. Other work includes lithic analysis at Boncuklu, an early Neolithic site in Turkey, as well as improving methods and applications of measuring lithic reduction intensity.


  • Muller, A., C. Clarkson, D. Baird and A. Fairbairn 2018 Reduction intensity of backed blades: blank consumption, regularity and efficiency at the early Neolithic site of Boncuklu, Turkey. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 21:721-732.

  • Muller, A., C. Clarkson and C. Shipton 2017 Measuring behavioural and cognitive complexity in lithic technology throughout human evolution. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 48:166-180.
  • Muller, A. and C. Clarkson 2016 Identifying major transitions in the evolution of lithic cutting edge production rates. PLoS ONE 11(12):e0167244.
  • Muller, A. and C. Clarkson 2016 A new method for accurately and precisely measuring flake platform area. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 8:178-186.
  • Muller, A. and C. Clarkson 2014 Estimating original flake mass on blades using 3D platform area: problems and prospects. Journal of Archaeological Science 52:31-38.


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קרן נבנהויז

Keren Nebenhaus

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M.A. thesis topic: In many Prehistoric sites, there is evidence that people have been collecting "unusual" natural objects from the environment. Since these objects are rarely modified and were not used as tools, there is currently no established methodology for studying them. In my research, I attempt to establish a framework for defining. identifying, documenting, studying and interpreting this type of objects. The research also includes two case studies from the late Natufian period in the Southern Levant.

M.A. Advisor: Prof. Leore Grosman 

Research interests:

  • Prehistoric art
  • Anthropology of religion 
  • Epipaleolithic cultures in the Southern Levant
  • 3D analysis of archaeological artifacts


  • The Nahal Ein-Gev II Excavation Project
  • The Computational Archaeology Laboratory - research staff


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Talia Yashuv

Talia Yashuv

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M.A. Thesis topic: Perforated items and perforating tools – reconstructing Late Natufian crafts at Nahal Ein-Gev II

Advisor: Prof. Leore Grosman


At the late Natufian site of Nahal Ein-Gev II, flint perforators are highly abundant. Alongside them, several groups of perforated items are evident as being crafted on site. Among them drilled shell disc beads are known in the Natufian ornamentation tradition. A group of perforated stones, however, does not appear in a Natufian context, and their function is not clear. The current study focuses on the stone items, on describing their morphology, analysing the early drilling technology, and illuminating functional aspects.

Research methodology uses 3-D scans that extract high-resolution geometrical data, and processing it with analytical tools developed at the Computerized Archaeological Laboratory (Hebrew University). Together, practical experimentation is designed to answer technological questions, and the experimental items are scanned for comparison. Consequently, it is possible to approach the technology of early hole-making, quantify the variation between different drilled holes, compare between perforating tools and perforated items, and identify details regarding the perforated stones use-wear and function. More generally, this study is an attempt to reconstruct a variety of crafts held at the Natufian village, and to shed light upon new daily life aspects of a complex culture in the transition to agriculture.

Research interest

  • The transition to agriculture
  • The Natufian and Early Neolithic cultures
  • Ground stone tools
  • Evolution of drilling technology and crafts
  • 3D analysis of archaeological artefacts

Current projects

  • The Computational Archaeological Laboratory - research staff since 2016
  • Nahal Ein-Gev II excavation project – excavating from 2013, staff from 2017
  • Motsa PPNB excavations – Israel Antiquities Authority, since 2018


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