Dr. Ruth Shahack-Gross, Researcher
Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
Office: Kimmel, Room 4
Archaeological science is a very general term that may mean differently to different people. Broadly speaking it is the working together of archaeology and the natural and exact sciences. Such inter-disciplinary research varies. The perspective taken in this research group is focused on archaeological questions, uses scientific approach and methods to answer the question, and leads to basic research into materials and processes in the past and present.
The group’s main research interest is in the field of “site formation processes” – studying the processes that shape archaeological sites. These processes are studied on two broad levels, human-induced processes and nature-induced processes. Combined, the variety of processes and their relationship with environmental factors results in the diversity seen in archaeological sites. Cultural formation processes include addition of materials into a site as it builds up and deletion of materials as they are taken away for re-use when a site is abandoned. Natural formation processes include a variety of bio-geo-chemical processes composed of both addition and deletion of materials by ways of dissolution, re-crystallization, organic matter degradation, and more. Thus the mere presence/absence of certain materials in archaeological sites is not enough to understand how they formed, and all cultural and natural processes must be considered in order to reach more accurate interpretations of the archaeological record.
Weizmann Institute of ScienceDepartment of Structural BiologyRehovot 76100, Israel