Graduate Students

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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Nili Ahipaz

Nili Ahipaz

M.A. thesis topic: The Custom of Concealing Coins in Synagogue Foundations in the Byzantine period in Israel-The Synagogue at Dir 'Aziz as a Test Case. Advisor: Dr. Uzi Leibner

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Numismatic expertise for archaeological excavations from academic institutions in Israel

  • Herodium (Prof. E. Netzer
  • Cypros (Prof. E. Netzer)
  • Dir 'Aziz (Dr. H. Ben Daviv)
  • The Twins Cave (Dr. B. Zisso)
  • H. Jomjom (E. Mair)
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asaf ben haim

Asaf Ben-Haim

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M.A. thesis topic: Architectural Decoration at Herodium

Advisor: Dr. Orit Peleg-Barkat

My M.A. thesis focuses on the architectural decoration found at Herodium, the first century BCE palace of king Herod and on the sources of cultural influence, which can be inferred from the analysis and the context of the architectural elements at the site. At the focal point of my research stands the architectural decorative assemblage which was revealed in the mountain palace-fortress. Those items, the vast majority of which has never been scientifically analysed, are presented in detail and several aspects are examined, such as the stone types and the carving techniques, typology and their archaeological and architectural context. My methodology includes an on-site 3D-scanning and following computational analyses, together with more traditional research methods. The long-run excavation project at Herodium has identified several construction phases at the site, which can be aligned in a relative stratigraphy. Thus, examining the architectural items in their archaeological context helps us trace stylistic changes in the decoration that stretches across a chronological scale, and to identify accordingly trends of progress and development in Herod’s building program. Additionally, the project seeks to suggest a reconstruction for some of the architectural units and their decoration at the site. This reconstruction will help in understanding the architectural characteristics of Herodium in particular and King Herod’s architecture in general. Equipped with such knowledge, many unsolved questions that the sheer architectural plan cannot answer, might be addressed, such as: which architectural units had the most elaborate decoration? How did the upper parts of the towers look like? etc.

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Rotem Cohen

Rotem Cohen

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M.A. Thesis Topic: Graffiti between Gentiles and Jews: Graffiti Art as an expression of the identity in Jerusalem and its Environs during Hellenistic and Roman Periods

Advisor: Dr. Orit Peleg-Barkat

Abstract: Graffiti, i.e. texts and/or images that are engraved or painted by people who are not professional artists in public or private environments, buildings, objects, and natural sites, are nowadays viewed as an act of vandalism. In antiquity, however, graffiti was considered a legitimate tool for expressing ideas, messages, or attitudes of the makers of the graffiti. The study examines the appearance of graffiti in the region of Jerusalem and its environs during the Hellenistic and Roman periods (second century BCE to the fourth century CE), relying on the approach of anthropology of art, which is sub-field within Social Anthropology, that considers every work of art, even the most simple and ordinary ones, as a meaningful creation. The graffiti will be also examined in its environmental–architectural context, since graffiti should be seen as an active intervention of the person in his environment. The purpose of this study is to study both cultural differences between different ethnic groups and changes in their use of this medium over time.

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Lena Dubinsky

Lena Dubinsky

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

  • "רב שיח: קראפט, עיצוב וטכנולוגיה" בשיתוף עם פרופ' גד צ'רני, עינת לידר, הדס רוזנברג-ניר, טל גור, דב גנשרוא ושלומית באומן, קטלוג תערוכת "עיצוב קרמי: כלים טכנולוגיים", מוזיאון ארץ ישראל, תל אביב, 2011.
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adi fenster

Adi Fenster

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Topic of research (m.a.): Provenance of mosaic tessera from the Classical periods in Israel

Advisors: Prof. Zeev Weiss, Prof. Naomi Porat (Geological Survey of Israel)

Research Summery:

Much has been written about mosaics from an artistic and iconographic point of view. I would like to look at mosaics from a geological point of view: from finding out what kind of stone was used, I shall try to understand where the stone was brought from, and learn through that how much effort and money was put into the building. In my research I will compare the tessera from various mosaics whether synagogue floors, church floors or other buildings from the Roman and Byzantine periods.   

Areas of interest:

  • Geoarchaeology- archaeological research using geological tools.
  • The classical periods


  • Research on the provenance of mosaic tesssera
  • Taking part in a paleomagnetic research project, headed by Dr. Ron Shaar- reconstructing earth's magnetic field in the past, based on archaeological material which has been heated.
  • Sepphoris excavation team
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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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Shlomo Greenberg

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Thesis topic (M.A.): The Iron I stratum of Khirbet el-Rai

Advisor: Prof. Yosef Garfinkel


  • Hazor excavations (since 2017)
  • Khirbet el-Rai excavations (since 2019)
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Halely Harel

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PhD thesis topic: “Loanwords as “Cultural Goods”: Contextualizing lexical borrowing from Semitic languages during Second Intermediate Period and New Kingdom Egypt.

Supervisor: Prof. Orly Goldwasser

My doctoral research revolves around the reconstruction of the social and cultural contexts of language transfer between Semitic and Egyptian.



  • Researcher in “Classifying the other: The classification of Semitic loanwords in the Egyptian script.”  Sponsored by ISF (Israel Science Foundation), PI Prof. Orly Goldwasser.
  • Grantee of the ‘Project for the Development of Bohairic Dialect,’ at Polis institute, Jerusalem. Teaching Coptic and creating a course book for "Speaking Bohairic Coptic as a Living Language."
  • Editor of



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Mustafa Hossin

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M.A. Thesis Title: Animals in private and public spaces: the case of Tiberias during the early Islamic period, 7th to

11th centuries.

Advisors: Katia Cytryn-Silverman & Rivka Rabinovich

Abstract: Tabariya, the capital of Junnd al-Urdun (Jordan Province) since the 7thcentury, located in the west coast of the sea of Galilee, served as a fundamental metropolis in the fertile crescent between the Mediterranean Sea and Damascus. Since its foundation in the early first century, the city continued to flourish during the geo-political changes until the 12thcentury, when the Crusaders moved the city center to the north ( Old city/Ottmanid City). Archaeological excavations in the last two decades have revealed the Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic city, including monumental public buildings, such as the city gates, Cardo street, perimeter Wall, Theater, Bath house, Churches and Mosque. The mosque, which served as “Jamii” (Friday mosque) is located between the east and west cardos, main streets with shops. The mosque and its purity may be offended due to the shops and their leftovers, which may be the reason why the prestigious building is bound by open dirt areas. Tiberias mosque is a rare case due the fact that it is the only mosque in to be excavated in the 21th century and dating back to the early Islamic period (7th till 12th century). This mosque is the most valuable building concerning the daily-life religious, cultural and political affairs. Research on any factor relating the mosque is bound to lead to new, yet unknown, information. The archaeological excavation directed by D. Katia Cytryn since 2009 revealed private homes south to the mosque (Area M4) and shops west to the mosque (Area M1), which share the same wall. In both areas a large quantity of zoological finds, mainly animal bones were collected and are yet to be analyzed.

It should be noted that live animals or animal bones are considered as impure in Islam. Thus, monumental mosques since the 9th century in Iraq and Egypt have a Zyiadaa, an extra frame enclosing the mosque, to keep it pure and clean. The zoological finds found in context with the Tiberias mosque, also Known as Masjid al-Yasmin (Jasmin Mosque), may therefore reveal the nutrition, economical level, sanitation and mobility of people at the city center. This type of study has not been conducted before.


  • Field Assistant to Khirbat al-Minya Project - October 2015-present  
  • Staff Member of the New Tiberias Excavations Project - 2016-present
  • Staff Member of Khirbat Midras Excavations Project - 2018-present
  • Field Assistant to Eraq al-Ahmar, Nahal Kamos and Nahal Mamshit projects - 2017-present
  • Staff member in Mongolia Wall (Chinggis Road) project - July 2019


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toam meir weil

Toam Meir-Weil

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Advisor: Prof. Arlette David

M.A. thesis topic: Egyptian Governors Residencies in the Late Bronze.

Thesis summery: Egyptian Governors Residencies is an architectural type found in the southern Levant during the LBIIb period. The type was first introduced by petrie in 1930, and since than it has become the main architectural type to be recognized with the Egyptian occupation of the southern Levant in the Late Bronze period (parallel to the New Kingdom in Egypt). Our understanding of the Egyptian presence in the southern Levant during the New Kingdom is still very basic, and there are many unresolved questions revolving the matter. My research aims to dismantle and reassemble this architectural type, using parallels from Nubia and Egypt. In doing so, I hope to reach a better understanding of some of the questions concerning the Egyptian occupation of our region.

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Sandra Mermelstein

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PhD Dissertation: Hellenistic Hemispherical Moldmade Relief Bowls found in Israel: Production, Exchange and Consumption

Advisor: Prof. Ilan Sharon

Research Summery: Hellenistic Hemispherical Moldmade Relief Bowls (MMBs) have been identified at many sites in Israel. They were not produced however, in Israel but in different locations around the Mediterranean and Black Sea. I am researching how and where the bowls were produced, exchanged and used. In addition to traditional visual analysis, I am also utilizing Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) to determine the provenience of the bowls.


  • Registrar of Tel Dor, creating catalog of Hellenistic moldmade pottery for Area D4



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Netta Mitki

Netta Mitki

M.A. thesis topic: The Chaine Operatoire at Nahal Lavan 1021: A Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Knapping Site, Israel. Advisor: Prof. Nigel Goring-Morris.

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Areas of Interest:

  • Lithic refitting
  • Neolithic
  • Craft Specialization
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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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alla rabinovich

Alla Rabinovich

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

Timna Raz

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

Advisor: Prof. Leore Grosman

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

Research interests:

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

Current projects:

Nahal Ein Gev II Excavation Project  since 2015

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Guilia Roccabella

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

Advisor: Dr. Katia Cytryn-Silverman.

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

Research Interests:

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


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

Roi Sabar

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

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Hellenistic Galilee project, research assistant

Khirbet El-Eika, area supervisor

Nahal Aviv Caves excavations 2015, 2017

Acco Train-station project

Tel Qedesh



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

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

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

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

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


In preperation: 

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



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Shai Scharfberg

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


Advisor: Dr. Uri Davidovich

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Heeli Schechter

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

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

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

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


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


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dana shaham

Dana Shaham

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

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

Advisor: Prof. Anna Belfer-Cohen

Areas of interest

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gesher, PPNA, hafting technology project 2006-2007.

Nahariya Bronze Age Temple, the mollusks assemblage 2007.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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