Prehistory department

itai abadi

Itai Abadi

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Ph.D dissertation topic: The End of the Upper Palaeolithic and the Begining of the Epipalaeolithic in the Southern Levant

Advisor: Prof. Nigel Goring-Morris


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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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neta friedman

Neta Friedman

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M.A. Thesis Topic: GIS Analysis of Subsistence Strategies and Mobility Patterns during the Middle and Late Epipaleolithic in the Negev and Sinai

Advisor: Prof. Nigel Goring-Morris

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David Gaitero-Santos

David Gaitero-Santos

Topic of research (M.A.): Exploitation and use of pigments in the Levantine Mousterian site of Tinshemet cave, Israel (provisional title).

Advisor: Prof. Yossi Zaidner.

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Research summary: Evidence for the existence of complex symbolic behavior in Levantine Mousterian Levant contexts, or before the Upper Paleolithic, is still today under hard scrutiny. This is also the case for other regions in the Old World. In various archaeological sites both in Africa and Eurasia, ochre fragments and examples of their application have been recovered on various archaeological artifacts. The use of ochre as source of pigments is associated with the emergence of complex symbolic behaviors in the antiquity of mankind, which are related to the evolution of the modern mind, and even language. It is traditionally believed these characteristics originated exclusively in Africa in the context of the emergence of Homo sapiens quickly spread to the rest of the world with the territorial replacement of Homo neanderthalensis by our own species.

The aim of this project is to explore evidence for the existence of symbolic behavior in the Levant linked to the use of pigments and its exploitation methods, long before the so-called Upper Paleolithic revolution and general, massive spread of Homo sapiens out of Africa.

Areas of interest: Symbolic behavior in Middle Paleolithic; cultural paleoanthropology; evolution of human cognition. Projects: Tinshemet cave excavations, since 2020 (Tinshemet Cave Project).

Education: BA in Anthropology and Human Evolution, Rovira i Virgili University (Catalonia, Spain). Papers:

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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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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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Prof. Nigel Goring-Morris

Tuesdays 14:00-15:00

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Professor in the Prehistoric department, Institute of Archaeology. My research interests include: the development of mobile hunter-gatherer groups and the transition to sedentary life and an economy of agriculture and pasture in the Near East. 

I have led surverys and archaeological excavations in the Negev and Sinai (some of which are still ongoing), as in other areas of the Southern Levant. Recently, a long running excavations of Kfar HaHoresh, a Neolithic burial and ritual site, came to an end. I am a participant in the "Religion as the Basis for Power and Property in the First Civilizations" project at Neolithic Catalhoyuk, Turkey, directed by I. Hodder (Stanford University, USA). I am also involved in the Early Neolithic in Aşikli Höyük in Cappadocia, Turkey, directed by M. Özbaşaran (University of Istanbul, Tureky).  

Recent Teaching

Hunter-Gatherers in the Near East during the Upper Palaeolotic and Epipalaeolithic; Development of Complex Societies in the Near East; Techo-Typology of Lithic Assemblages; Archaeology in the South-West United States; Ethnoarchaeology of Contemporary Hunter-Gatheres; Man-Landscape Relations.

Recent Research Projects

  • Kfar-HaHoresh - Analysis and publication of 17 years of excavation at the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B cult and mortuary site in the Nazareth hills, lower Galilee (10,500-9,250 before present).
  • Upper Besor 6 - Excavations at the Early Natufian (ca. 15,000 years BP) in the central Negev.
  • Nahal Azgad Cave - Excavations at the Early Natufian (ca. 15,000 years BP) in the southern Judean Desert. 
  • Cappadocia - Transition from moblie hunter-gatherers to sedentary life style (25,000-8,000 BP).
    • Survey in Aksaray Province, Cappadocia, Turkey, with Dr. N. Kayacan, Dr. G. Duru & Prof. M. Özbaşaran (University of Istanbul, Turkey).
    • Excavations at Balikli, Cappadocia, Turkey, with Dr. N. Kayacan, Dr. G. Duru & Prof. M. Özbaşaran (University of Istanbul, Turkey).
  • Nahal Hava - A Pre-Pottery Neolithic hunting camp in the central Negev. Excavations in 2010.

  • Nahal Lavan 1021 - A Pre-Pottery Neolithic B knapping site in the western Negev dunes. (co-director with O. Barzilai). Excavations conducted in 2005.
  • Nahal Neqarot - An Epipalaeolithic Rockshelter in the Negev (co-director with A. Belfer-Cohen, I. Gilead & S. Rosen). Excavations conducted in 1991.
  • Technological Studies of Upper Palaeolithic, Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic Assemblages from the Western Negev Based on Refitting.
  • Publication of the Excavations by the Late Tamar Noy at Gilgal in the Lower Jordan Valley (with O. Bar-Yosef & A. Gopher).
  • Publication of the Emergency Archaeological Survey of the Negev Excavations. The results of surveys and excavations (1979-1984) in: the Western Negev Dunes (Nahal Nizzana, Nahal Lavan, Holot Shunera, Nahal Sekher, Hamifgash); Har Qeren (with S. A. Rosen); Ramat Matred (with I. Gilead); Ain Qadis (with A. Gopher & S. A. Rosen); Har Harif (with A. Gopher); Maktesh Ramon (with S. A. Rosen); Nahal Issaron (with A. Gopher).

Past and Present M.A. Students

Rebecca Biton: The Technological Properties of Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Clay Objects: Kfar HaHoresh as a Case Study. (with Prof. Yuval Goren, Tel Aviv University).

Michal Birkenfeld: Spatial Analysis at the PPNB Site of Kfar HaHoresh, Lower Galilee Using GIS.

Doron Boness: Micromorphological Study of Sediments in PPNB Sites in the Southern Levant: Identification of Activity Areas and Possible Social Correlates. (with Prof. Yuval Goren, Tel Aviv University).

Lena Brailovsky-Rosker: The PPNB Sickle Blades from Galilee Typo-Chronological and Stylistic Analysis as a Key for Understanding Ancient Agricultural Practices and Social Traditions.

Angela Davidzon: Early Ahmarian Knapping Traditions as Seen at Nahal Nizzana XIII, Israel.

Neta Friedman (ongoing). GIS analysis of subsistence strategies and mobility patterns during the Middle and Late Epipaleolithic in the Negev and Sinai.

Sorin Hermon: Survey Methods and Practices: A Case Study from the Northern Negev. (Graduated 1995/6). (with Prof. A. Belfer-Cohen). Currently a faculty member at the Cyprus Institute, Cyprus.

Liora K. Horwitz: Animal Exploitation at the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B and Early Bronze Age Periods at Yiftahel, Israel. (with Prof. E. Tchernov).

Hamoudi Khalaily: The Late Neolithic Chipped Stone Tool Assemblages from Hagoshrim. Currently Deputy Department Director, Excavations, Surveys & Research Department, Israel Antiquities Authority.

Naomi Korn: The Uses of Ochre in the Late Quaternary of the Southern Levant. (with Prof. A. Belfer-Cohen).

Ofer Marder: Technological Aspects of Epipalaeolithic Flint Industries in the Levant: Reduction Sequences of the Ramonian Industry in the Negev. (with Prof. A. Belfer-Cohen).

Netta Mitki: The Chaîne Opératoire at Nahal Lavan 1021: A Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Knapping Site in the Western Negev.

Josette Sarel: The Heavy Duty Flint Assemblages from the Natufian Site of Mallaha (Eynan). (with Prof. A. Belfer-Cohen).

Past and Present Ph.D. Students

Itai Abadi (ongoing): The end of the Upper Palaeolithic and beginning of the Epipalaeolithic in the Southern Levant.

Uzi Avner: Research on the Material and Spiritual Culture Remains of Populations in the Negev and Sinai from the 6th-3rd Millennia BC. (with Prof. A. Mazar). Currently a Researcher at the Dead Sea-Arava Science Center.

Omry Barzilai: Pre-Pottery Neolithic Opposed Platform Blade (Naviform) Technologies in the Levant. Currently Head of Archaeological Research Department, Israel Antiquities Authority.

Michal Birkenfeld: The Lower Galilee during the PPNB: Settlement Systems and GIS Applications. Currently Head of GIS Research Branch, Israel Antiquities Authority. 

David Eitam: Archaeo-Industry of the Natufian Culture: Installations and Ground Stone Tools in the Late Epipalaeolithic in the Southern Levant. (with Prof. A. Belfer-Cohen).

Ofer Marder: The Lithic Technology of Epipalaeolithic Hunter-Gatherers in the Negev: The Implications of Refitting Studies. Currently a faculty member in the Department of Bible, Archaeology and Ancient Near East, Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

Heeli Schechter (ongoing): The Social, Economic and Symbolic Uses of Marine Mollusks in the Neolithic of the Southern Levant. (with Dr. D. Bar-Yosef Meyer, Tel Aviv University).

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Tegenu Gossa Aredo

Tegenu Gossa Aredo

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Ph.D. dissertation topic: The Acheulian lithic technology of the Melka-Wakena site, South-central Ethiopia

Advisor: Prof. Erella Hovers

Current projects

  • Melka-Wakena site complex- Lower and Middle Pleistocene
  • Aladi-springs- MSA/LSA transition and LSA
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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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Prof. Erella Hovers

Moshe Stekelis Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology
Room 502. Office Hours: Sunday 11:00-12:00

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Research Interests: Plio-Pleistocene archaeology in East Africa, The Middle Paleolithic of the Levant, The evolution of symbolism and art, Lithic technology, Subsistence and mobility (land-use strategies) of early hominins, Taphonomy and site formation processes, Archaeological theory.


Recent Teaching:

  • Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology
  • Hunter-Gatherers Decision-making Processes
  • The Quaternary of Israel – The Lower and Middle Paleolithic Periods
  • Hunter-Gatherer Territoriality
  • Gender in Prehistory
  • Site Formation Processes
  • Inventions and Innovations – The Appearance and Spread of Technological Ideas
  • Prehistoric Migrations and Dispersals
  • Scientific Writing
  • The Prehistoric Colonization of Australia and America
  • Center and Periphery – The Middle Paleolithic Period in Europe


Ongoing Projects:

  • Hominins and their environment during the Upper Pleistocene in the Nahal Amud drainage  - a micro-regional study
  • Excavations in the Early Stone Age site of Melka Wakena, southeastern  Ethiopia (with T. Gossa Aredo,  A. Asrat, P. Renne, Elizabeth Niespolo, B. Martinez-Navarro)
  • Goda Buticha, a late MSA and LSA site in southeast Ethiopia (with D. Pleurdeau, A. Leplongeon, C. Tribal, O. Pearson, Z. Assefa, A. Asrat)
  • Amud Cave, Israel : excavations (1991-1994) and publication of interdisciplinary research results 
  • Late Pliocene archaeology in Hadar, Northern Ethiopia: excavations (1994, 2000-2002) and publication of interdisciplinary research results (with C. Feibel, B. Martinze-Navarro, T. Goldman, C. Campisano, W. Kimbel and others).
  • Excavations in the Middle Paleolithic open-air site of 'Ein Qashish’ (with Ravid Ekshtain, Ariel Malinsky-Buller, and Omry Barzilai)
  • Paleoclimate and cryptotephra at Hayonim Cave, western Galilee (with G. Hartman and D. White)
  • Dating and paleoenvironment of Zuttieyh Cave, eastern Upper Galilee, Israel (with A. Ayalon, M. Bar-Matthews and Y. Rak)


Publication List:

to see my publications, please enter the following link


Graduate Students:

Ph.D. students

  • Anaëlle Jallon - current (co-advisor with Prof. Rivka Rabinovich, HUJ)
  • Chen Zeigen - current (co-adivosr with Dr. Gideon Hartman, UConn)
  • Maya Oron - current (co-adivosr with Dr. Yoav Avni, Geolgoical Survey of Israel)
  • Laura Centi - (graduated 2021)
  • Netta Mitki - current
  • Tegenu Gossa (graduated 2020)
  • Mae Goder-Goldberger (graduated 2015)
  • Ravid Ekshtain (graduated 2015)
  • Ariel Malinsky-Buller (graduated 2015)

MA students:

  • Yotam Ben-Yosef  - current (co-adivsor with Dr. Oren Kolodny, HUJI)
  • Chen Zeigen (graduated 2020)
  • Masha Krakovsky (graduated 2017)
  • Nadav Nir (graduated 2016)
  • Micka Ullman (graduated 2015)
  • Ariel Malinsky-Buller (graduated 2008)
  • Ravid Ekshtain (graduated 2006)
  • Hila Ashkenazi (graduated 2005)
  • Rachel Pear (graduated 2004)
  • Talia Goldman (graduated 2004)
  • Nira Alperson (graduated 2001)
  • Mae Goder-Goldberger (gradudated 1997)

Post Doc

  • Dr. Ravid Ekshtain (Adjunct researcher, Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  • Dr. Alicia Hawkins (Laurentide University, Canada)
  • Dr. Alice Leplongeon (KU, Leuven, Belgium) 
  • Prof. Ruth Shahack-Gross ( Associate Professor, Department of Maritime Civilisations, University Haifa).
  • Dr. Yossi Zaidenr (Senior Lecturer, Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
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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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maya oron

Maya Oron

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PhD. disseration topic: Variability in the Middle Paleolithic of the Negev, technological, chronological and spatial aspects. 

Advisor: Prof. Erella Hovers


Analysis of finds from NMO (along with Prof. G. Sharon).

Analysis and publication of IAA excavations of various Middle Paleolithic sites in the Negev.

Analysis and publication of material from a flint mining site in Mitzpe Ramon.

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Prof. Rivka Rabinovich

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Research Interests: Animal bones as a marker of past human behavior, Paleoecological and taxonomic implications of faunal assemblages from prehistoric sites in the southern Levant, Patterns of animal exploitation and subsistence during the Paleolithic in the southern Levant, Vertebrate taphonomy, Aging and sexing of archaeological faunal material as a marker of human exploitation, seasonality and climate change, Experimental studies of carnivore and rodent activity, Butchery experiments, Paleonutrition in the Mediterranean Basin.

Ongoing Projects:

  • Intra-site faunal variability: analysis of faunal remains from the Neandertal site of Amud Cave (see figure 1)
  • Broad spectrum revolution, evolution or necessity? Analysis of the faunal assemblage from the Natufian site of Eynan and its implications for reconstruction of subsistence patterns and site formation processes
  • Taphonomy of the fauna from the submerged prehistoric site of Ohalo II
  • Analysis of the fauna from the Lower Paleolithic site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov
  • Cervids in the southern Levant
  • Conservation and analysis of faunal remains from the Lower Paleolithic site of Revadim (with focus on elephant bones)
  • Crusaders’ horses at Metzad Ateret
  • Roman limes fauna


  • Introduction to archaeozoology
  • Seminar of archaeozoology
  • Small and big in the southern Levantine fauna from archaeological sites 
  • Microscopic-Taphonomy
  • Selected topics in archaeozoology
  • Elephants and people

M.A. Students (past and present):


  • Dr. Eli Lotan - Actualistic studies - Taphonomy in the Jordan Valley (with Prof. N. Goren-Inbar, HUJI), graduated
  • Motro Hadas – Equids in the Crusaders’ Epoch in Israel (with Prof. R. Ellenblum, HUJI), graduated, Summa Cum Laude
  • Sharon Gil – Spatial distribution at the site of Ohalo II (with Dr. D. Nadel, Haifa University), graduated
  • Ron Kahati – The faunal assemblage from Ovdat, Israel (with Prof. Z. Weiss, HUJI), graduated
  • Tiki Steiner – The Ohalo II fauna from Locus I. Ariel Shatil - The Assemblage of Bone Objects from Iron Age IIa Tel Rehov - a Typological and Technological Analysis of Objects and Production Wastes.
  • Mustafa Housein - Animals in private and public spaces: the case of Tiberias during the early Islamic period, 7th to 11th centuries. (with Dr. Katia Cytryn-Silverman).

PhD. Students:


  • Rebecca Biton – Early Paleolithic to Neolithic Herpetofauna of the Jordan Rift Valley- A key to Paleoenvironment reconstruction.

  • Yael Lashno - Benthic macrofaunal-based environmental assessment of the middle Jurassic formations in outcrop from southern and northern Israel (with Dr. Yael Edelman-Furstenberg, Geological Survey, Israel).



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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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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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