Prof. Israel Hershkovitz

Emeritus in Anatomy and Anthropology
School of Health Professions
אנטומיה ואנתרופולוגיה אמריטוס
Prof. Israel Hershkovitz
Phone: 03-6409495
Another phone: 03-6407306
Fax: 03-6408287
Office: Sackler School of Medicine, 712


Professor, Department of Anatomy & Anthropology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University

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

Director, Tassia and Joseph Meychan Chair for the History and Philosophy of Medicine



Research Areas include:

  • Biohistory: The social and biological impact the transition from foraging and hunting to farming had on human populations. Although a rapid event in human evolution, the ‘agriculuture revolution’ was the most significant cultural process in human history, something that forever changed the face of humanity (culturally and biologically). Unlike many other paleoanthropological studies, we adopt an ‘osteobiographic’ approach, i.e., life history as recorded in bones. The study is based on several hundreds of Natufian and Neolithic skeletons (large portion of them were excavated by the team), housed at Tel Aviv University. The study, besides traditional methods, applies new methods and technologies as CT, Micro-CT, SEM, Histochemistry, aDNA, Isotope analyses.
  • Human evolution: Searching for the origin of anatomically modern humans. The origin of anatomically modern Homo sapiens and the fate of the Neanderthals have been fundamental questions in human evolutionary studies for over a century. New fossils excavated at Qesem, Misliya and Manot caves, may shed light on the above questions.
  • Evolutionary medicine: This section is divided into three topics: 1) Establishing valid methods for identifying diseases in ancient bones, 2) Identifying diseases in the fossil record, 3) Evolutionary perspective of current diseases.


Recent Publications

Since 2012

N. Steinberg, Siev-Ner I, Peleg S, Dar G, Masharawi Y, Zeev A, Hershkovitz I. Extrinsic and intrinsic risk factors associated with injuries in young dancers aged 8-16 years. J Sports Sci. 2012, 30:485-95.


N. Steinberg, Siev-Ner I, Peleg S, Dar G, Masharawi Y, Zeev A, Hershkovitz I. Joint range of motion and patellofemoral pain in dancers. Int J Sports Med. 2012, 33:561-6.


V. Slon, Hershkovitz I, Peled N. Dyke-Davidoff- Masson syndrome in a 6,000-year-old skull. Neuroradiol. 2012, 54:1413-5.


H. May, Mali Y, Dar G, Abbas J, Hershkovitz I, Peled N. Intracranial volume, cranial thickness, and hyperostosis frontalis interna in the elderly. Am J Hum Biol 2012, 24:812-819.


H. Cohen, Sarie I, Medlej B, Bocquentin F, Toledano T, Hershkovitz I. and Slon, V. Trauma to the skull: A historical perspective from the Southern Levant (4300BCE–1917CE). Int J Osteoarchaeol. 2012, DOI: 10.1002/oa.2258 


H. Cohen, Slon V, Barash A, May H, Medlej B. and Hershkovitz I. Assyrian attitude towards captive enemies: A 2700 years old paleo-forensic study. Int J Osteoarchaeol. 2012, DOI: 10.1002/oa.2288


R. Sarig, Lianopoulos NV, Hershkovitz I, Vardimon AD. The arrangement of the interproximal interfaces in the human permanent dentition. Clin Oral Investig. 2013, 17:731-8


N. Steinberg, Hershkovitz I, Peleg S, Dar G, Masharawi Y, Zeev A, Siev-Ner I. Morphological characteristics of the young scoliotic dancer. Phys Ther Sport. 2013, 14:213-20.


V. Slon, Hershkovitz I, May H. The value of cadaver CT scans in gross anatomy laboratory. Anat Sci Educ. 2014, 7:80-2.


N. Steinberg, Siev-Ner I, Peleg S, Dar G, Masharawi Y, Zeev A, Hershkovitz I. Injuries in female dancers aged 8 to 16 years. J Athletic Training, 2013, 48:118-123.


H. Cohen, V. Sloan, H. May, I. Hershkovitz, E. Peled, D. Norman. Musculoskeletal wounds characteristic of the second Lebanon war. Forensic Med Anat Res. 2013, 1:14-17.


H. May, Cohen H, Medlej B, Kornreich L, Peled N, Hershkovitz I. Computed tomography-enhanced anatomy course using enterprise visualization. Anat Sci Educ. 2013, 6:332-41.


H. Valladas, Mercier N, Hershkovitz I, Zaidner Y, Tsatskin A, Yeshurun R, Vialettes L, Joron J-L, Reyss J-L, Weinstein-Evron M. Dating the Lower to Middle Paleolithic transition in the Levant: A view from Misliya Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel. J Hum Evol. 2013, X: 1-9.


J. Abbas, Hamoud K, May H, Peled N, Sarig R, Stein D, Alperovitch-Najenson D, Hershkovitz I. Socioeconomic and physical characteristics of degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis individuals. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013 Feb 1. [Epub ahead of print]


R. Sarig, Slon V, Abbas J, May H, Shpack N, Vardimon AD, Hershkovitz I. Malocclusion in early anatomically modern human: a reflection on the etiology of modern dental misalignment. PLoS One. 2013;8:e80771


Slon V, Sarig R, Hershkovitz I, Khalaily H, Milevski I. The plastered skulls from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B site of Yiftahel (Israel)--a computed tomographybased analysis. PLoS One. 2014 9:e89242


Hershkovitz I, Marder O, Ayalon A, Bar-Matthews M, Yasur G, Boaretto E, Caracuta V, Alex B, Frumkin A, Goder-Goldberger M, Gunz P, Holloway RL, Latimer B, Lavi R, Matthews A, Slon V, Mayer DB, Berna F, Bar-Oz G, Yeshurun R, May H, Hans MG, Weber GW, Barzilai O. Levantine cranium from Manot Cave Sackler Faculty of Medicine Research 2016 246 Reproduction, Development and Evolution (Israel) foreshadows the first European modern humans. Nature. 520(7546):216-9, 2015.


Hershkovitz I, Donoghue HD, Minnikin DE, May H, Lee OY, Feldman M, Galili E, Spigelman M, Rothschild BM, Bar-Gal GK. Tuberculosis origin: The Neolithic scenario. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 95 Suppl 1:S122-6, 2015.


Slon V, Stein D, Cohen H, Sella-Tunis T, May H, Hershkovitz I. Vertebral hemangiomas: their demographical characteristics, location along the spine and position within the vertebral body. Eur Spine J. 24(10):2189-95, 2015.


Sarig R, Hershkovitz I, Shpack N, May H, Vardimon AD. Rate and pattern of interproximal dental attrition. Eur J Oral Sci. 123(4):276-81, 2015.


Hay O, Dar G, Abbas J, Stein D, May H, Masharawi Y, Peled N, Hershkovitz I. The lumbar lordosis in males and females, revisited. PLoS One. 10(8):e0133685, 2015.


Cohen H, Kugel C, May H, Medlej B, Stein D, Slon V, Hershkovitz I, Brosh T. The impact velocity and bone fracture pattern: Forensic perspective. Forensic Sci Int. 7;266:54-62, 2016.


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