Dr. Yossi Zaidner

Yossi Zaidner

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.