CTV:PROJECT STAFF | AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS
Erez Ben-Yosef is a Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures and the head of the Levantine Archaeometallurgy Laboratory at Tel Aviv University.
Dafna Langutt is a researcher (archaeobotany/paleoenvironment) at the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University.
Lidar Sapir-Hen is a researcher at the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University. She is also the director of the Archaeozoological Laboratory at the institute.
Yitzhak Vassal, Project Coordinator
Yitzhak Vassal finished his B.A. in History at The Open University of Israel and is currently an M.A. student in Archaeology and Archaeomaterials. He is also the lab assistant in the Tel Aviv University Archaeometallurgical and Microarchaeology Laboratories. He has previously excavated at Apollonia-Arsuf.
Willie Ondricek is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, researching the ancient biblical tribe of the Kenites.
Ilana Peters is a graduate student in the archaeomaterials program at Tel Aviv University. After working for two years as a research assistant at the Weizmann Institute analyzing archaeological materials via various laboratory methods (mostly working with FTIR), she focused her studies on archaeometallurgy with Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef. Her M.A. is analyzing and providing new archaeomagnetic dates of various sites in Israel, with an emphasis on analyzing Timna slag. Her research provides new age constraints on the sites studied, giving insight into when people were producing these materials and new information as to who was living and working there. Archaeomagnetic dating archaeological finds proves invaluable when other dating methods are not easily accessible or debated, which is common in organic-poor sites or where ceramic typology is unclear, and can be performed on a wide variety of archaeological finds, including but not limited to ceramics and slag.
Craig Smitheram is a graduate student at Tel Aviv University and area supervisor for the Central Timna Valley Project (CTV). Craig fell in love with archaeology in 2009 and has never looked back. He has worked on various archaeological projects in Jordan and Israel, along with one in Romania. His M.A. thesis topic concerns the application of Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating of the mines at Merkavot 1 and 2. OSL could prove to be practical method for dating these two types of mines.
After completing his bachelor degree from Tel-Aviv University in the fields of Geography and history, Omri Yagel decided to go out to the field to carry out research focused in both disciplines. Currently Omri is an M.A student in the Archaeological Materials program at the J. M. Alkow Department of Archaeology and ANE Culture. As a part in the CTV expedition, Omri is studying the Egyptian copper smelting technological phase. By identifying and characterizing it, he is hoping to find a missing link in the chrono-technological scheme of copper smelting in the southern Levant. He strongly believes that the academic world is not making a strong enough effort to widely publish its finds and conclusions, and that the knowledge is being kept in inner circles. Thus, he is dedicated also to being a teacher, currently teaching Geography and History in an elementary school in Tel Aviv and trying to share some insights with the upcoming generation.
Vanessa Workman began working in archaeology after receiving her BA in Music Education from the University of Hartford. She felt Levantine Archaeology was the logical next step. After working on archaeological projects throughout Israel, she began an MA in Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Claremont Graduate University. She now finds herself studying in the international archaeology program at Tel Aviv University and is writing her MA on the textile materials found in a metallurigcal complex at Timna 34 and the previously excavated Egyptian Miners' Temple (B. Rothenberg 1988). The Timna mining community utilized woven fabrics and cordage in a variety of ways. These range from articles of clothing to implements in the copper smelting process. Her thesis will explore this range of usages in order to speak about social and cultural aspects of Timna’s Iron Age miners and metalworkers.
Mark Cavanagh was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey, and have spent much of his academic experience driven by his fascination of the past – from the cultures, languages and histories of people as they have existed and interacted through time, to the development of the world on the grandest of scales. Mark received his undergraduate degree in Classical Literature from Haverford College with a minor in Geology through Bryn Mawr College. After he graduated in 2010, he spent the next two years studying modern languages at the New School while excavating during the summers at Tel Dor in Israel, and in 2012 he began his studies in Biblical Archaeology at Tel Aviv University. The 2013 season was his first at Timna (or any site like it!), and he spent most of the season excavating at Site 34. In the coming year he will be contributing to our understanding of the site through a close examination of the charred organic remains uncovered on the Slaves’ Hill, reconstructing those parts of the ancient environment that were used as fuel during this specific period of history while attempting to understand how it reflects upon the occupation of the site and the work that went on there as a whole. Mark looks forward to seeing what the next season reveals to us, and the picture that he and the team will soon paint of this largely unknown place in time.
Duaa Abu Salah
Duaa Abu Salah is a master's student in the graduate program in archaeology and archaeomaterials at Tel Aviv University. She excavated at Apollonia, Yavne-Yam, Timna and Nof-Yam as an advanced training for area supervising.As part of the CTV 2013 season, she focused on the mining area and took part in the OSL sampling and processing for a case study framework. Duaa fell in love with the place and got inspired for her research question- Early Islamic copper mining and smelting in the southern Aravah, hoping to trace new technological changes and production developments.
Sabine Metzer just started her PhD at Tel Aviv University, investigating the ceramic culture of the Late Bronze Shephelah. Since 2007 she is enrolled in several excavation projects in Israel and currently a staff member at the Lautenschläger-Azekah-Expedition. Together with Assaf Kleimann, Sabine is conducting research on the Iron Age pottery from Site 34 at Timna in order to gain a better understanding of the material culture of the smelting site.
Assaf Kleiman is a Ph.D candidate at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University. His M.A thesis dealt with the Iron Age IIA ceramic assemblage exposed during the 1970's at Tel Aphek, and in his doctoral studies, he examines the material culture of the border regions between the Northern Kingdom and the Aramaean cultures of Syria. Currently, he serves as an area supervisor at the Megiddo Expedition and is in charge of the publication of the Iron Age pottery from the last excavation seasons at the site. At Timna, Assaf investigates the ceramic material of Site 34 (the 'slaves hill') together with Sabine Metzer.
Dr. Shirly Ben-Dor Evian
As an Egyptologist and Levantine archaeologist, Shirly contributes to the study of Egyptian and Levantine relations (in particular the elusive, post New Kingdom ones). In Timna we are looking into this topic, and in particular the impact of the military campaign of Pharaoh Shoshenq I on the copper production districts in the Aravah.
Dr. Lente Van Brempt
Lente Van Brempt studied Art History and Archaeology at Vrije Universiteit Brussels in Belgium (BA, MA) and an MSc in Archaeological Materials at the University of Sheffield. Her interest in Late Bronze Age Cyprus and archaeometallurgy resulted in a PhD-project entitled The production and trade of Cypriot copper in the Late Bronze Age – From ore to ingot: unravelling the metallurgical chain at the University of Cyprus (May 2016). This project encompassed the multidisciplinary and comparative study of the metallurgical remains (i.e. slags, technical ceramics and metal scrap and objects) from various Late Cypriot sites by means of various analytical techniques. As a Post-Doctoral fellow at the Department of Archaeology she will take part in the Central Timna Valley Project under guidance of Dr Erez Ben-Yosef, and study the copper production on Cyprus during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages in comparison with the metallurgical activities at Timna.
Dr. Aaron Greener
Aaron Greener is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, Haifa University and a researcher at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. He is currently conducting his post-doctoral research on the numerous groundstone tools which were used by the metal workers community at Timna. His study is offering - for the first time - a typology and quantitative analysis of the groundstones, and an interpretation of how the various types of tools were employed during the copper smelting process (utilizing laboratory tests and experimental archaeology). These understandings allow also for new insights regarding the smelting process and the conditions needed for its successful outcome.
Aaron's PhD thesis, written at Bar-Ilan University, is titled "Late Bronze Age Imported Pottery in the Land of Israel: Between Economy, Society and Symbolism". To further his research, he spent a year at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. He has excavated at many sites in Israel including Tell es-Safi, participates in various projects in Jerusalem, and is currently part of the team at Tel 'Eton. He is also involved in archaeological education initiatives for children.
Prof. Lisa Tauxe, Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO), University of California San Diego (UCSD), USA
Dr. Ron Shaar, Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew Univeristy of Jerusalem (HUJI), Israel
Prof. Amotz Agnon, Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew Univeristy of Jerusalem (HUJI), Israel
Prof. Yigal Erel, Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew Univeristy of Jerusalem (HUJI), Israel
Dr. Naomi Porat, Geological Survey of Israel (GSI), Israel
Dr. Orit Shamir, Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), Israel
Dr. Naama Sukenik, Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), Israel
Dr. Margarita Gleba, University of Cambridge, UK
Prof. Omri Lernau, Zinman Institute of Archaeology, Haifa University, Israel
Dr. Michael Beyth, Geological Survey of Israel (GSI), Israel
Dr. Milena Gosic, Univeristy of Belgrade, Serbia
Prof. Udi Weiss, Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
Dr. Yuval Sapir, George S. Weiss Life Sciences Department, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Dr. Frederik Rademakers, University of Leuven, Belgium
Mr. Georges Verly, Royal Museum of Art and History, Brussels, Belgium