Curators and Lead Researchers

Prof. Israel Hershkovitz

One of the world's leading anthropologists with more than 40 years of field experience

Professor, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University

Head of the Dan David Laboratory for the Search and Study of Modern Humans

Current Research:  the origin of anatomically modern humans and the fate of the Neanderthals. By studying new fossils excavated in the last years (including their DNA) at Qesem cave, Misliya cave, Nesher and Manot cave, he and his teams hope to shed light on key issues relating to the origin and spread of anatomically modern humans.

 

Dr. Hila May

A physical anthropologist participating in many archeological excavations

Senior Lecturer, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University

Head of the Biohistory and Evolutionary Medicine Laboratory

Current Research:  the biohistory of prehistoric and historic populations using advanced technologies and research methods. Dr. May is engaged in evolutionary medical research, focused on the dynamics of diseases over time, their effect on human history, and on evolutionary explanations for common diseases found in modern human populations. Dr. May also carries out genetic studies, focusing mainly on populations' structure and migration, as well as on the origins of diseases.

Dr. Rachel Sarig

Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentistry

Senior Lecturer, School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University

Head of the Facial and Dental Anthropology Laboratory

Current Research:  the evolution of the masticatory system, (i.e., teeth, jaws and muscles) in relation to nutrition and cultural habits. Dr. Sarig is involved in the identification of early hominins by examining the unique morphological features of teeth, using 3D geometric-morphometrics methods. Dr. Sarig studies the effect of evolutionary and environmental changes on oral health in prehistoric populations and their implications on modern societies​.

 

Dr. Viviane Slon

A paleo-geneticist with a passion for prehistory

Senior lecturer, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University

Head of the Ancient DNA laboratory

Current Research:  Dr. Slon's group studies the genetic makeup of prehistoric and proto-historic populations, by recovering DNA of ancient individuals both from skeletal remains and from sediments deposited at archaeological sites. The genetic data we obtain is analyzed by comparing it to existing datasets of ancient and present-day genomes world-wide; and contextualized by integrating it with data from other research fields, such as archaeology, physical anthropology, geology and chronometry. The study of ancient genomes allows to elucidate relationships between populations, infer demographic histories, retrace migrations, reconstruct social structures, search for signs of local adaptation to varying environments, and investigate the effect of past events on our own genomes today.

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