Prof. Hila May

Anatomy and Anthropology
Medicine Dean & Assoc. Deans
אנטומיה ואנתרופולוגיה סגל אקדמי בכיר
Phone: 03-6407346
Fax: 03-6408287
Office: Sackler School of Medicine, 625


Lecturer, Department of Anatomy and Anthropology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University




2013-2014 Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Evolutionary Medicine University of Zurich- Zürich, Switzerland
2008-2013 Ph.D. Department of Anatomy and Anthropology Tel Aviv University



Laboratory for Bio-History and Evolutionary Medicine: Inter-disciplinary laboratory focusing on two major topics: evolutionary history of anatomical systems and their impact on current population health, and reconstruction of ancient populations’ daily life, based on their skeletal remains, with emphasis on the interaction between genetic and socio-cultural factors.


The bio-history study of ancient populations is based on both morphological and molecular (aDNA) methods. Reconstructing past population daily life: revealing daily activities of prehistoric and historic populations is a challenging task considering the evidence at hand (bones). Nevertheless, bones may furnish us with information otherwise not available, e.g., division of labor, social stratification, intensity of physical activities, health and nutrition, demography (sex ratio, mortality, family size, etc.). Beside traditional methods, the studies are being carried out utilizing advanced 3D analysis methods based on CT, micro- CT and 3D surface scans. The accompanied genetic studies, in addition to supporting and confirming observed pathologies in the bones, i.e., identifying pathogens suspected to cause diseases such as TB, leprosy, etc., also contribute to questions related to populations’ migration from and to the Southern Levant, and questions related to population structure (e.g., extended family) and biological relationships between the local populations.


The evolutionary medicine studies focus on the quest for evolutionary explanations for common diseases found in modern human populations. We estimate the benefits and costs behind anatomical changes through evolution in order to better understand how compromised designs are being developed, and their outcomes (i.e., diseases).


Recent Publications

May H, Ruff C. Physical burden and lower limb bone structure at the origin of agriculture in the levant. Am J Phys Anthropol. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.23003, 2016


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.


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 (Israel) foreshadows the first European modern humans. Nature. 520(7546):216-9, 2015


Ori Hay · Gali Dar · Janan Abbas · Dan Stein · Hila May · Youssef Masharawi · Nathan Peled · Israel Hershkovitz. The Lumbar Lordosis in Males and Females, Revisited. PLoS ONE 08/2015; 10(8-8):e0133685. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0133685


Rachel Sarig · Israel Hershkovitz · Nir Shpack · Hila May ·Alexander D Vardimon. Rate and pattern of interproximal dental attrition. European Journal Of Oral Sciences 06/2015; 123(4). DOI:10.1111/eos.12198


Viviane Slon · Dan Stein · Haim Cohen · Tatiana Sella-Tunis · Hila May · Israel Hershkovitz. Vertebral hemangiomas: their demographical characteristics, location along the spine and position within the vertebral body. European Spine Journal 05/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00586-015-4022-y


Israel Hershkovitz · Helen D. Donoghue · David E. Minnikin · Hila May · Oona Y-C. Lee · Michal Feldman · Ehud Galili · Mark Spigelman · Bruce M. Rothschild · Gila Kahila Bar-Gal  Tuberculosis origin: The Neolithic scenario. Tuberculosis (Edinburgh, Scotland) 02/2015; 95(Suppl.):S122-S126. DOI:10.1016/


Israel Hershkovitz · Ofer Marder · Avner Ayalon · Miryam Bar-Matthews · Gal Yasur · Elisabetta Boaretto · Valentina Caracuta ·Bridget Alex · Amos Frumkin · Mae Goder-Goldberger · [...] · Alan Matthews · Viviane Slon · Daniella Bar-Yosef Mayer · Francesco Berna · Guy Bar-Oz · Reuven Yeshurun · Hila May · Mark G Hans· Gerhard W Weber · Omry Barzilai. Article: Levantine cranium from Manot Cave (Israel) foreshadows the first European modern humans. Nature 01/2015; 520(7546). DOI:10.1038/nature14134 · 


Israel Hershkovitz · Mark Spigelman · Rachel Sarig · Do-Sun Lim· In Sun Lee · Chang Seok Oh · Hila May · Elisabetta Boaretto ·Yi-Suk Kim · Soong Deok Lee · Nathan Peled · Myeung Ju Kim ·Talya Toledano · Gila Kahila Bar-Gal · Dong Hoon Shin. A Possible Case of Cherubism in a 17-Century Korean Mummy. PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e102441. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0102441


Rachel Sarig · Israel Hershkovitz · Nir Shvalb · Tatiana Sella-Tunis · Hila May · Alexander D Vardimon. Proximal attrition facets: Morphometric, demographic, and aging characteristics. European Journal Of Oral Sciences 06/2014; 122(4). DOI:10.1111/eos.12135


Viviane Slon · Israel Hershkovitz · Hila May. The value of cadaver CT scans in gross anatomy laboratory. Anatomical Sciences Education 01/2014; 7(1). DOI:10.1002/ase.1400


Rachel Sarig · Viviane Slon · Janan Abbas · Hila May · Nir Shpack · Alexander Dan Vardimon · Israel Hershkovitz. Malocclusion in Early Anatomically Modern Human: A Reflection on the Etiology of Modern Dental Misalignment. PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e80771. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0080771 ·


Hila May · Haim Cohen · Bahaa Medlej · Liora Kornreich · Nathan Peled · Israel Hershkovitz. Article: Computed tomography-enhanced anatomy course using enterprise visualization. Anatomical Sciences Education 09/2013; 6(5). DOI:10.1002/ase.1340


Janan Abbas · Kamal Hamoud · Hila May · Nathan Peled ·Rachel Sarig · Dan Stein · Deborah Alperovitch-Najemson · Israel Hershkovitz. Socioeconomic and Physical Characteristics of Individuals With Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis. Spine 04/2013; 38(9):E554-61. DOI:10.1097/BRS.0b013e31828a2846 ·


Haim Cohen · Viviane Slon · Hila May · Israel Hershkovitz · Eli Peled · Doron Norman. Musculoskeletal wounds characteristic of the Second Lebanon War. Forensic Medicine and Anatomy Research 01/2013; 01(02):14-17. DOI:10.4236/fmar.2013.12003


H. Cohen · V. Slon · A. Barash · H. May · B. Medlej · I. Hershkovitz. Assyrian Attitude Towards Captive Enemies: A 2700-year-old Paleo-forensic Study. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 11/2012; 25(3). DOI:10.1002/oa.2288 · 0.95 Impact Factor


Hila May · Yael Mali · Gali Dar · Janan Abbas · Israel Hershkovitz· Nathan Peled. Intracranial volume, cranial thickness, and hyperostosis frontalis interna in the elderly. American Journal of Human Biology 11/2012; 24(6):812-9. DOI:10.1002/ajhb.22325


Janan Abbas · Kamal Hamoud · Smadar Peleg · Hila May ·Youssef Masharawi · Haim Cohen · Natan Peled · Israel Hershkovitz. Facet Joints Arthrosis in Normal and Stenotic Lumbar Spines. Spine 11/2011; 36(24):E1541-6. DOI:10.1097/BRS.0b013e318210c889 ·


Hila May · Nathan Peled · Gali Dar · Haim Cohen · Janan Abbas ·Bahaa Medlej · Israel Hershkovitz. Hyperostosis frontalis interna: Criteria for sexing and aging a skeleton. Deutsche Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Gerichtliche Medizin 09/2011; 125(5):669-73. DOI:10.1007/s00414-010-0497-6 ·


Gali Dar · Youssef Masharawi · Smadar Peleg · Nili Steinberg · Hila May · Bahaa Medlej · Nathan Peled · Israel Hershkovitz. The Epiphyseal Ring A Long Forgotten Anatomical Structure with Significant Physiological Function. Spine 05/2011; 36(11):850-6. DOI:10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181e9b19d 


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