Academic Staff


Prof. Yosef Garfinkel

Yigael Yadin Chair in Archaeology of Israel

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Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, in the Biblical department. 

Research Interests: The Neolithic period of the Near East, The history of dance, The Chalcolithic period, The Biblical Kingdom of Judah.


Proto-history of Israel and the Near East, Bronze and Iron Age in Israel and the Near East, Ceramics, Art and Ritual, Archaeology and history of Dance

Ongoing Projects:

Graduate Students:

M.A. students:

Vladimir Avrutis
Marina Bekker
Haggai Cohen Klonymus
Doron Dag
Anna Eirikh
Michael Freikman
David Gellman
Shlomo Greenberg
Peter Hagyo-Kovacs
Hoo-Goo Kang
Federico Kobrin
Igor Kreimerman
Zinovi Matskevich
Alla Rabinovich
Noam Silverberg
Katharina Streit
Shifra Weiss
Itamar Weissbein
Alexander Wiegemann
Peter Zilberg
Ilan Rom

PhD Students:

James Seth Adcock

Dr. Shlomit Bechar
Dr. Judith ben-Michael
Sang-Yeup Chang
Dr. Gwanghyun D. Choi 
Anna Eirikh
Dr. Michael Freikman
Dr. Mitka Golub
Dr. Hoo-Goo Kang
Dr. Igor Kreimerman
Alla Rabinovich
Dr. Katharina Streit
Dr. Efraim Wallach
Itamar Weissbein
Amir Ganor
Publications: for full list of publications press here
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Katia Cytryn-Silverman

Dr. Katia Cytryn-Silverman

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Katia Cytryn-Silverman specializes in Islamic archaeology, and is a lecturer at both the Institute of Archaeology and the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, teaching undergraduate and graduate studies.

She directs the excavations at Tiberias at the Sea of Galilee ( since 2009. Her project, focused on the Islamization of the classical city and the study of its monumental Friday mosque, has been supported by various funds, including Van Berchem Foundation, Hirschfeld Memorial Fund, Amiran Fund of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University, Israel Science Foundation (as part of the collaborative project headed by R. Amitai – The Formation of the Islamic Society in Palestine ( and Thyssen Foundation.

She has co-directed excavations at Khirbat al-Minya (2005-2006) with M. Rosen-Ayalon and architect G. Solar, apart from participating in other archaeological digs, often as a specialist in ceramics of the Islamic period, a topic she commands since her MA studies (The Settlement in Northern Sinai during the Islamic Period, summarized in J.-M. Mouton (ed.), Le Sinaï – de la conquête arabe à nos jours, IFAO, Cahier des Annales Islamologiques 21, 2001, pp. 3-36). She has written various articles and chapters on the ceramics of various excavations (including Jerusalem and Ramla), apart from teaching and advising on the subject.

She has surveyed and researched the road-inns in Palestine towards her PhD thesis (1998-2004), and the results have been published in Cytryn-Silverman, K. The Road Inns (Khãns) of Bilãd al-Shãm, BAR International Series 2130, Oxford 2010. She has also written various articles on the subject of roads and road-inns during the Islamic period, and remains involved in the research on the topic. She will contribute an entry on this subject to Oxford’s Handbook of Islamic Archaeology, being edited by B. Walker.

Cytryn-Silverman has participated in various conferences and workshops in Israel and abroad, and also organized local and international events. Soon the results of the international workshop co-organized with D. Talmon-Heller at Ben-Gurion University in 2009 will come to light at in Material Evidence and Narrative Sources: Interdisciplinary Studies of the History of Islamic Societies, Proceedings of the 14th Annual Workshop of the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion, University of the Negev, June 30th – July 2nd 2009 (Brill: Leiden, forthcoming in 2014). The proceedings of the international seminar co-organized with K. Damgaard and held under the auspices of the W.F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research at the École biblique et archéologique in Jerusalem, 7th-8th February 2013, will be published in collaboration with D. Whitcomb by Chicago’s Oriental Institute Publications Office.

Cytryn-Silverman is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Islamic Archaeology (chief editor, B. Walker), and often acts as an external reader for the Israel Antiquities Authority publication department. In the past she has also worked as an assistant curator at the Collections Hall of the Institute of Archaeology (1988-1993), in charge of the Islamic study collection, but also involved in the organization of exhibitions.

During the last three years (2011-2013) she co-directed a hands-on summer course together with R. Milstein, also of the Hebrew University. This practical course, subsidized by the Council for Higher Education and Yad HaNadiv, was first conducted at Ashqelon (excavations by L. Staeger and D. Master) and then at Tiberias. The course attracted students from various universities in Israel and from abroad.

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Arlette David

Prof. Arlette David

Head of Egyptology
Room 514. Office Hours: Wednesday 9:00-10:00

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Trained as a lawyer (LLM from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium) and as an Egyptologist (Hebrew University), I have published various interdisciplinary researches concerning the ancient Egyptian legal system, its conceptual frame, textual productions, linguistic registers, and legal categorization embedded in the hieroglyphic and hieratic scripts. The study of these scripts and the metaphorical processes they reveal have brought me to investigate the interplay of picture and script in various contexts and to propose new analyses of Egyptian works of art, backed up by Egyptian textual sources. I am now using the same structuralist approach I used in the analysis of ancient Egyptian texts to decrypt pictures of kingship at the times of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. I recently published in the Harvard Egyptological Studies Renewing Royal Imagery - Akhenaten and Family in the Amarna Tombs (

Specializations: Semiotics of hieroglyphic script and Egyptian art; Middle and Neo-Egyptian languages; ancient Egyptian legal languages and legal system; Egyptian(izing) finds in Israel; iconography of kingship in Amarna.


Interdisciplinary research group "The power of Images – Cultural Continuity in Changing Worlds", Scholion Interdisciplinary Research Center in Jewish Studies


ISF Grant 409/18: Cultural Transmission in the Second Millennium BCE: The Contribution of Foreign Artistic Motifs to Pharaoh Akhenaten's Visual Strategy


Graduate Students:

Hadas Misgav

Toam Meir-Weil

Alexander Vassiliev

Tamara Mkheidze

Naomi Gruntman

 Katya Bariudin

 Matan Stein

 Batyah Schachter




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Uri Davidovich

Dr. Uri Davidovich

B.A advisor
Room 510
by appointment

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Lecturer in the Institute of Archaeology, Biblical Section. My research interests revolve around environmental and landscape archaeology, especially of marginal landscapes; field and analytical methods of archaeological surveys; regional archaeology of the Judean Desert; human activity in natural caves; and the development of complex societies around the transition to urbanism (Chalcolithic period and Early Bronze Age). My current studies include settlement dynamics in the Upper Galilee in the Early Bronze Age and early urbanization in the southern Levant, involving multi-annual excavations at the mega-site of Tel Qedesh; archeology and landscape of refuge in cliff caves of the Judean Desert during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age; environmental and cultural changes in the Judean Desert during the Holocene (together with Dr. Nimrod Marom, University of Haifa); and comparative archaeology of ancient activity patterns in complex caves in the southern Levant.


I teach both mandatory and elective courses examining all periods studied within the Biblical Section, including the Late Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, alongside courses dealing with environmental and landscape archaeology, survey methods and spatial analysis, and archaeology of marginal landscapes (deserts, caves). In 2019 I teach, among other courses, the BA seminar of the Biblical Section, revolving around the concepts of violence and conflict in the Ancient Near East; a course on the history and archaeology of the Judean Desert during the Roman and Byzantine periods (for students of the Classical Section); and an advanced course on archaeology of ancient human activity in complex caves.

Active projects

Settlement Complexity and Upland-Lowland Interactions in Early South Levantine Urbanism: Tel Qedesh and the Galilee in the Early Bronze Age. The emergence of cities and urban lifeways were among the major changes in human history, and involved the reshaping of the social, economic, political and ideological matrix of ancient societies. The urbanization process has spatial and demographic aspects, which are related, among other things, to population concentration in large and central sites that are organized in new ways, alongside the creation of rural areas around them. The distribution of urban concepts from Mesopotamia, the cradle of urbanism in the ancient Near East, to other parts of the Fertile Crescent took on a variety of regional trajectories, whose unraveling has important implications for the comparative study of the dispersal of urbanism, its counter-reactions, and the ultimate change it conveyed to human societies. The proposed research is designed to re-address current hypotheses of Early Bronze Age (EBA; c. 3800-2500 BCE) urbanization processes through the study of settlement complexity in Northern Canaan, based on two complementary investigations: delineating the structural and socio-economic development of a recently-identified mega-site at Qedesh in the Upper Galilee, probably the largest 'urban' EBA site in the Southern Levant; and computational analysis, using advanced locational modeling, of EBA settlement patterns based on refined published datasets at a multi-regional level, along a west-east transect that samples three cultural landscapes (Northern Coastal Plain, Upper Galilee, Northern Jordan Valley). The study, supported by a research grant from the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 1534/18, 2018-2023), includes the multi-annual excavations at the site of Qedesh, which began in 2016 together with Dr. Ido Wachtel and Roi Sabar.

Archaeology and Landscape of Refuge - The Judean Desert During the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age. The social significance of violent conflicts among pre-urban societies is a frequent theme in the archaeological discourse, pertaining to fundamental subjects such as the evolution of social stratification and accumulation of power. A common feature of past conflicts whose archaeological identification poses great methodological challenges is forced displacement, involving an uprooted social group commonly termed refugees, and the place which provides temporary shelter for that group, namely refuge. Refugee studies are well established in disciplines such as history, anthropology and political studies, but the archaeology of refuge is undeveloped, with the exception of few historical case-studies. The present study entails the examination of a unique case study – the hardly-accessible cliff caves of the Judean Desert - through comparative analyses of environmental, structural and material aspects as possible proxies for the identification of temporary refuge episodes in those caves in two periods, the Late Chalcolithic period (c. 4200-3800 BCE) and the early EBA Ib (c. 3300-3150 BCE). The research emphasizes the advantages, as well as the methodological and interpretive complications, of the archaeological work in marginal landscapes and in the identification of hidden human behaviors.

Environmental and Cultural Changes in the Judean Desert during the Holocene. In the years to come, I will continue to study human-environment relations in the Judean Desert as part of a new program led by Dr. Nimrod Marom of the University of Haifa and funded by the European Research Council (ERC, grant no. 802752). The study focuses on the changes in the regional ecosystem in relation to periods of prosperity and decline in human activity in the En Gedi Oasis, through relative abundance of predators (leopards) and game in the regional food chain. This study includes the collection and analysis of biological data from a variety of caves in the southern Judean Desert, alongside detailed archaeological-environmental research at main foci of human activity in En Gedi and its environs from three main periods - Chalcolithic, Iron Age and Roman-Byzantine.

Activity Patterns of Early Complex Societies in Composite Caves in the Southern Levant: The archaeology of natural caves around the globe is usually associated with the study of hunter-gatherer societies. Nevertheless, caves continued to form an integral part of human landscapes well after the Neolithic revolutions. With the advent of complex, sedentary societies, human activity patterns in the subterranean sphere changed dramatically. While large, composite karstic caves were apparently not used for permanent habitation, they offered potential localities for diverse off-settlement activities, including mortuary, ritual and refuge. The major contribution of the study of natural caves under the realm of early complex societies thus lays in the opportunity to identify and analyze behavioral patterns which cannot be easily recognized in settlement sites. The highlands of the Southern Levant, from the Upper Galilee to the Northern Negev, are built of a thick sequence of Late Cretaceous sedimentary rocks and host numerous karstic caves. Since the late 1970’s these caves are studied by the Israel Cave Research Center (ICRC, Institute of Earth Sciences, HU), which discovered and documented numerous composite caves containing archaeological remains dated to the late prehistoric sequence (Late Neolithic – Early Bronze Age), but only a handful were systematically studied in the past (e.g. Nahal Qanah Cave). During the last ten years, as part of an interdisciplinary research group comprised of archaeologists and environmentalists (including Prof. A. Frumkin, Prof. B. Zissu [Bar-Ilan University], Roi Porat, Boaz Langford and Micka Ullman), we conducted systematic surveys and excavations in composite caves in various hilly regions, and in the coming years I will focus (together with Micka Ullman) on a comparative analysis of the finds from these caves, including chronological, spatial and cognitive aspects of human activity in Levantine composite caves.

Graduate students

Micka Ullman (PhD): Activity Patterns of Early Complex Societies in Composite Caves in the Southern Levant (together with Prof. A. Frumkin)

Shai Scharfberg (MA)

Rachel Waysman (MA)


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Uri Gabbay

Prof. Uri Gabbay
Room 505. Office Hours: Wednesday 12:00-13:00

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Research Interests and projects: Assyriology, Sumerology, cuneiform, ancient Mesopotamian religion and scholarly tradition, Sumerian corpus of Mesopotamian "lamentation priest", Akkadian commentaries.

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Orly Goldwasser

Prof. Orly Goldwasser

Head of the department of Egyptology, Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Humanities Building, Room 7715. Office Hours: By appointment

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Full Professor at the Institute of Archaeology. Egyptologist - researcher of Ancient Egypt, Honorary professor at Göttingen University, Germany. 

Research Interests:

  • Definition of the role of linguistic registers in New Kingdom texts, The classifier system of the Egyptian hieroglyphs and its parallelism to other classification systems in various languages of the world.
  • The genesis of the alphabet through the Egyptian hieroglyphs.
  • Semiotics of the Egyptian pictorial scripts.
  • Socio-Linguistic issues in the grammar of Ramesside Egyptian,
  • Hieratic and hieroglyphic inscriptions in Canaan/.
  • Canaanite-Egyptian relations during the Late Bronze Age.


  • Co-editor of the series - Classification and Categorization in Ancient Egypt, Göttinger Orientforschoungen IV. Reihe Ägypten 38 (Harrassowitz Verlag)
  • Vice chair, European COST Action A31 "Stability and Adaptation of Classification Systems in Cross-Cultural Perspective" (scientific committees, conferences planning and organization, various lectures)
  • Reviewer, School of Advanced Studies, Princeton
  • Representative of Israel in the International Association for Semiotic Studies. 
  •  The Classification of Semetic Loanwords in Egyptian Script in New Kingdom Egypt; Research project funded by ISF (Israeli Science Foundation), 2017-2020, PI Prof. Orly Goldwasser - Project website - iclassifier


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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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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. Wayne Horowitz

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Areas of Interest: Ancient Mesopotamian Literature, Religion, Science, Astronomy.

For most of my adult life I have lived in Israel and taught Assyriology at The Hebrew University, but before that I was born in the United States, and studied for my Ph.D in England. My B.A. was in Classical and Oriental Studies (Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Akkadian) at Brandeis University in the United States. It was there that I first met the Ancient Near East and its cuneiform script, and decided to continue my studies in this direction. After a year at the University of California at Berkeley, I moved to England, to study with the great Professor W.G. Lambert at Birmingham University, and to work with the tablets of The British Museum. My Ph.D. topic was Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography, a study of the physical universe, Heaven, Earth, and Underworld, as they are represented in cuneiform sources, both Sumerian and Akkadian. After completing my Ph.D. in 1986, my family came to Israel as olim chadashim (new immigrants), and I began my now nearly 30 years of work at the Hebrew University, as a teacher of Sumerian and Akkadian texts and traditions, with a particular interest in literature, religion, science, and most of all ancient astronomy. Over this time I have written on a wide range of topics relating to the Ancient Near East, and supervised many fine graduate students in their M.A. and Ph.D. research. For many years, I was also a key member of the faculty of the Rothberg International School, serving as Academic Advisor in both the Undergraduate and Graduate Programs of the school for overseas students, and participating in the development of the M.A. Program in Bible and Ancient Near East.

The completion of my most recent book, The Three Stars Each: The Astrolabes and Related Texts, now accepted for publication as Archiv für Orientforschung, beiheft 33, represents both an end and a new beginning for me and my academic career. This book, consisting of over 800 pages of manuscript in its final form, has occupied most of my professional life. I began my research on the Astrolabe group of cuneiform texts in 1991, and spent the following years and decades discovering new manuscripts in various tablet collections around the world, as I tried to understand the history and impact of this group of astronomical texts on Mesopotamian and world civilization. Now, that the final pieces of this puzzle have come together, I expect the book to appear in press sometime in late 2014 or early 2015.

My other main area of research at the Hebrew University has been the study and publication of cuneiform documents from The Land of Israel. This work began with an invitation to study and publish newly discovered tablets at Hazor in the 1990's and exanded into a research project to collect and publish all the known cuneiform texts from the Ancient Land of Israel. The project has continued on long after the publication of our 2006 Cuneiform in Canaan volume. A trickle of tablets continue to be recovered at Hazor, and I have also recently had the honor to publish the first two cuneiform tablets ever found in Jerusalem. Such documents have been published by myself and my research team in primary publication in The Israel Exploration Journal, and will be revisited in a revised 2015 2nd edition of Cuneiform in Canaan to be published by Eisenbrauns in The United States.

In addition to these two main projects, I have published a number of articles relating to my main interests in Ancient Near Eastern astronomy, science, and religion, but with an eye towards the full richness of the cuneiform corpus which has allowed me to publish on topics as far afield as Sumerian as a tonal language based on parallels with phenomena in Chinese, and the domestication of the camel. To this, of course, should be added the joys of teaching, particularly my pleasure at having shepherded five research students to their Ph.D. degrees, with three more officially on the way. Further, my growing international reputation has allowed me to teach and study with colleagues and students around the world, for example during my 2006-07 sabbatical in China, and during a sabbatical in 2012, with colleagues in the Canadian Arctic, California and Australia.

With my responsibilities to the Astrolabe project now completed, I am ready to begin a time of new projects and challenges, which should bring me forward in time (unbelievably) to retirement. I envision three major projects for the coming years. First, remaining in the realm of cuneiform astronomical texts, I plan to write a monograph length study and edition of a text known as The Great Star List, which like the Astrolabes themselves has intrigued me since my days as a graduate student in Birmingham. This work, which presents a mixture of scientific astronomy, astrology, and astral lore, is known from a number of exemplars at the British Museum, and now one example held in The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California. While at Berkeley in the Winter of 2012, I had the opportunity to study this tablet and found that it holds the key to restoring and understanding The Great Star List as a whole; a text which hitherto had been misunderstood. In fact, I am now able to propose with near certainty that what we know as The Great Star List is in fact a set of texts for which we have canonical and alternate versions. The Great Star List is the last remaining long work of the cuneiform astronomical tradition which has yet to be fully edited. My planned edition will in a sense complete the work on the cuneiform astronomical corpus begun by the fathers of Assyriology in the 1800's, making all the major works of the cuneiform astronomical tradition finally fully available to the academic community and other interested parties.

My second project is centered on the Southern Hemisphere. While on sabbatical in Australia, I joined with colleagues there to begin a project to collect and publish the cuneiform inscriptions held in Australian and New Zealand collections. This project, now known as CANZ (Cuneiform in Australia and New Zealand), is in its first stages but already has produced two preliminary short articles, and a major discovery, that the Otago Museum in Dunedin New Zealand holds a collection of approximately 150 tablets, making it the largest known collection in the Southern Hemisphere. My colleagues in CANZ and myself are now working to publish this collection in book form.

My third project brings me to the opposite side of the world from Australasia. In recent years, I have become very interested in the world of ethno- and archaeo-astronomy. This interest originated when I was invited to a set of conferences on the subject, culminating in a visit to archaeo-astronomical sites in the American southwest, mostly in New Mexico. As I prepared my lectures for these conferences, and learned the discipline and techniques of these new (to me) fields, I realized that the cuneiform data base, with its thousands of cuneiform tablets relating to astronomy and astrology, formed the greatest reservoir of untapped knowledge for native astronomical traditions of the type being studied by my colleagues in the realm of ethno-astronomy. After lengthy contemplation of the issues involved, I formulated a preliminary research question which I hoped would guide my research: How much of what we see in a given culture’s astronomical traditions is universal, i.e. common to all mankind, and how much is particular to that culture alone? In search of answers to this question I have begun intensive anthropological field work on the astronomy of the cultures of northern Canada, these being as far away from Ancient Mesopotamian astronomy in time, place, and experience as possible: north rather than south, hot rather than cold, and with the sun, moon, and stars as seasonal phenomena in the far north (the midnight sun in Summer, noon time stars in Winter), rather than daily phenomena in the temperate zone to which Mesopotamia belongs. A generous research grant from The Halbert Center for Canadian Studies of The Hebrew University allowed me to pursue this line of inquiry in the Yukon and Northwest Territories of Canada in the winter of 2012. For the past two winters, I have continued this study with colleagues from the Gwich’in People of the Mackenzie Delta under the supervision of The Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI), and with the cooperation of The Aurora College of The Northwest Territories, and in Alaska with colleagues at The University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF). The first publications resulting from this research may be expected in 2015-16, and will include a survey of what I have learned thus far. The ultimate aim of the Canadian side of this project is to produce a book on Gwich’in astronomy and cosmology together with the GSCI. In the long term, I hope to use the tools and methods that I am learning from the GSCI and my Alaskan colleagues to publish a book-length study of the cuneiform astronomical tradition from the perspective of ethno-astronomy, using the cuneiform corpus as my data base in-lieu of living informants. In addition, I hope to someday be able to publish a comparative work examining Mesopotamian ethno-astronomy in relation to the astronomical traditions of the peoples of northern Canada, and perhaps Australia.

There are also a number of smaller projects, most notably a joint work with colleagues in North America to publish a newly identified group of cuneiform texts that describe how to draw constellations that is now nearing completion. To this I can also add my involvement with The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem which will allow me to make an important contribution to the field of Jewish History, as well as Assyriology, through the museum’s December 2014 exhibition of an archive of administrative tablets from the town of Al-Yahudu, the City of the Jews, this being a new Jerusalem in southern Babylonia. These tablets, the earliest of which date to the 570's BCE, document the life and times this exilic Judean community on Babylonian soil at the start of the Babylonian exile. Beyond all this, I look forward to spending much of the next decade training the generation of scholars who will eventually take my place and bring my field of study forward into the middle of the 21st century.

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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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Uzi Leibner

Prof. Uzi Leibner

Head of the Institute of Archaeology
Mandel Building, Room 232. Office Hours: Monday 14:30-15:30

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Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology  

Research Interests: The archaeology of Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Palestine, Archaeological Surveys: Theory and Practice, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine pottery, Settlement patterns and Demographic trends in the Southern Levant during the Classical periods, Ancient Synagogues, Ancient Jewish Art, Ancient economy, Talmudic realia.


Current Projects:

  • Hellenistic Galilee Project:  Our knowledge about the Galilee in the Hellenistic period is extremely limited. Very few historical sources refer to this region between the Assyrian conquest in the eighth century B.C.E. and the Roman conquest in the mid-first century B.C.E. Archaeological data from the interior of the Galilee are scarce, comprising mainly of survey data or sparse finds from beneath massive Roman and Byzantine layers. In fact, the only substantial data used today to study Hellenistic Galilee come from sites outside the region or on it borders, such as Beth Shean to the south, Akko to the west and Tel Kedesh to the north—the latter belonging to the Phoenician realm. As a result, much remains unclear about key matters, such as the material culture or settlement patterns of Hellenistic Galilee. The ethnic identity of the local population—a subject of interest for nearly two centuries of modern scholarship—is also far from clear. While we have ample evidence for a dense Jewish population in the region in the Early Roman period, we do not know if and how this population relates to that of the Hellenistic period. This matter is imperative for understanding the ethnic and cultural background against which early Christianity, and, later, to a large degree rabbinic Judaism, developed in the Galilee. In an attempt to deal with these gaps in knowledge and to answer the above questions, in 2014 the Hebrew University of Jerusalem launched the Hellenistic Galilee Project. The purpose of the research is to study the material culture of the region, settlement patterns and the economy and above all, to try to shed light on the ethnic and religious identity of the population. The project is based on two complementary field studies. The first includes an archaeological survey of a strip of the Lower Galilee from the Akko Plain in the west eastward via the large valleys in the region’s center and as far as the Sea of Galilee. The survey aims to study the duration of settlement at Hellenistic period sites and discern differences in material culture between sites in the Western and Eastern Galilee. The second element is extensive excavation at a Hellenistic site named Kh. el-'Eika in the Eastern Lower Galilee, with the goal of characterizing the material culture, construction methods and materials, plans of dwellings, water supply and trade ties as well as to identify the typology and chronology of the small finds, particularly the pottery.

Previous Projects

Graduate Students:

Pablo Betzer

Nili Ahipaz

Danit Levi
Shahar Puni
Roi Sabar
Hadas Shambadal
Shahar Zur
Hillel Zilberklang

PhD Students:

Roi Sabar

Azriel Yechezkel

Roi Porat


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Orit Peleg-Barkat

Dr. Orit Peleg-Barkat

Room 505. Office Hours: Wednesday 12:00-13:00

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Research interests: Hellenitic and Roman Art and Architecture, Classical Archaeology, Second Temple Period, Flavius Josephus, Pagan Cults in Ancient Palestine, Roman Sculpture, Roman Intaglio Gemstones, Architectural Decoration, King Herod's Construction Projects.

Current Research Projects:

  1. The Architecture of Judaea and the Origins of Jewish Art (300 BCE – 70 CE): I am currently working on the completion of a monograph that presents an overview of the architectural decoration in Judaea dating from the Persian Period to the destruction of the Second Temple. This book addresses two important aspects of the wider context that were not dealt with in my dissertation. The first is a comparative survey of architectural decoration in neighboring regions that aims at defining the distinctive characteristics of Herodian architectural decoration. The second addresses the question of the meaning of Herodian art; Judaism of the late Second Temple period upheld a negative approach toward figurative art and the archaeological remains from the period exhibit an avoidance of human and animal representation in art. Scholars have interpreted Herodian floral and geometric designs as local adaptations of foreign models that served as mere decorations and manifestations of wealth. In my book, I challenge these attitudes and re-examine the concept that art created under the prescription of the second commandment is necessarily meaningless. Examination of the changes that occurred during the first century CE in the repertoire of motifs suggests that what made these decorations "Jewish" was not only what they were lacking,but rather also their choice of motifs. The first century CE is a time when a common Jewish identity emerged and I propose that art was used already in this early period as a deliberate means to express this common Jewish identity.
  2. Hellenistic Architecture - A Textbook: A few months prior to Prof. Ehud Netzer’s untimely death in 2010, he and I began working on a joint project to prepare and publish a textbook on Hellenistic architecture. Unlike Classical Greek architecture and Roman architecture, which have served as the subject of many studies, there is no updated overview of architecture in the Hellenistic period that includes both detailed analyses of specific sites and monuments and the larger perspective of regional contexts. There is no current book that illustrates an inner coherence of the fragmented Hellenistic world, or that is well-illustrated for the easy use by students. I decided, with the encouragement of Netzer’s family, to undertake the completion of this much needed book.
  3. Herodium Mausoleum and Other Sites: I am currently studying, for publication, the architecture and architectural decoration of the recentlydiscovered Mausoleum in Herodium. This monumental building is one of the most impressive funerary monuments ever to be built in Judaea. Its study presents very interesting insights into Herod’s construction ideology and the impact of his architecture on local elites. Future projects include the study of the architectural decoration from various excavations, dated not only to the Hellenistic and early Roman periods, but also to the late Roman and Byzantine periods. This will enable me to broaden the range of the chronological typology I established to allow addressing critical issues, such as the dating of the ‘Galilean Synagogues’.
  4. Ramat Hanadiv Excavation Report (Funded by Ramat Hanadiv): I am presently working on the preparation of the report of the recent excavations I directed at Kh. 'Eleq in Ramat Hanadiv. The results of the excavations raise questions about earlier conclusions regarding the dating of the various phases of occupation at the site, and its fortifications, as well as its function and the ethnic identity of its residents. The analyses of the finds present an opportunity to examine questions of ethnic identity as reflected by material culture.
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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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Nathan Wasserman

Prof. Nathan Wasserman

Head of the Civilizations of the Ancient Near East Section

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

Two books have recently been published: 

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

Current Projects:

Two projects are in their final stages of preparation:

  • The Akkadian accounts of the Flood.

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

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


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


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Zeev Weiss

Prof. Zeev Weiss

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

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

Rsearch Interests:

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


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

Ongoing Projects:

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


See list of publications here

Graduate Students:

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

PhD Students:

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


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



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Naama Yahalom-Mack

Prof. Naama Yahalom-Mack

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

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


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

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


Alla Rabinovich (m.a.)

Tzilla Eshel (m.a. and PhD)


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Yossi Zaidner

Dr. Yossi Zaidner

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Research interests:

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

Recent teaching:

  • Prehistory of the Near East

  • The Lower Paleolithic

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

Ongoing projects:

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

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

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


Graduate students

MA students

Reuven Kapul (graduated in 2014)

Mayan Shemer (graduated in 2016)

Oz Varoner (graduated in 2018)

Yona Riemer-Gafni

Kathryn Pocklington

PhD students

Marion Prévost

Laura Centi

Zohar Turgeman

Alyssa Pietraszek


Dr. Ravid Ekshtain

Selected publications

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



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