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    Radiocarbon and geochemical investigation of corals from the northern Indian Ocean

    Date:
    04
    Thursday
    March
    2021
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 11:30
    Location: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/6168548886 Passcode: 976012
    Lecturer: Dr. Harsh Raj

    Machine Learning (and Deep Learning) for Flint Temperature Estimation

    Date:
    25
    Thursday
    February
    2021
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 11:30
    Lecturer: Dr. Filipe Natalio and Dr. Ido Azuri
    Details: Join the Zoom meeting https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/6168548886 Meeting ID: 616-854-8886

    Establishing the first tree ring chronology of Amburana cearensis in Brazil and looking beyond population signals

    Date:
    30
    Thursday
    July
    2020
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 11:30-12:30
    Location: via Zoom
    Lecturer: Milena de Godoy Veiga
    Details: Forests worldwide are facing more climate extremes due to global warming. Most o ... Read more Forests worldwide are facing more climate extremes due to global warming. Most of these studies targeted forest's responses to climate at community and population levels, overlooking the variability of responses of individual trees living under heterogeneous microenvironmental conditions. We tested the hypotheses that I) tree responses to climate variability differ at population and individual levels, and II) groups of trees may be more or less sensitive to climate according to the microenvironmental conditions. We built a tree-ring chronology of Amburana cearensis sampled across a Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest (SDTF) using traditional dendrochronological methods and radiocarbon dating. We remotely assessed the microenvironmental conditions around each tree through the seasonality of the Normalized-Vegetation Index. The cluster analyses revealed a gradient of sensitivity to climate in individual trees. The different groups were supported by radiocarbon dating of the bomb-peak years; therefore, they do not result from errors in tree ring dating. The most sensitive trees were the oldest individuals living highly seasonal vegetation, followed by young individuals from similar condition. The least sensitive were those living in the less-seasonal vegetation of the valley. Such valley forest enclaves are possible climate-change refugia that buffer trees of A. cerarensis, and likely other tree species, but not during temperature and precipitation extremes. This study highlights the urge to assess individual’s climate sensitivity to better predict forests' responses to climate change.
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    The use of olive wood and olive pits in dendrochronology, paleoclimate and archaeology

    Date:
    15
    Sunday
    March
    2020
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 14:00-15:00
    Title: PhD defense lecture
    Location: Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger Life Sciences Library
    Lecturer: Yael Ehrlich
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research

    ChronoLog : a tool for computer-assisted chronological research

    Date:
    27
    Thursday
    February
    2020
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 11:30-12:30
    Lecturer: Eythan Levy
    Abstract: ChronoLog is a new tool for computer-assisted chronological research. It allows ... Read more ChronoLog is a new tool for computer-assisted chronological research. It allows its users to build models featuring chronological sequences (such as dynasties, stratigraphic sequences and historical periods) and synchronisms between the items of these sequences. Each item (reign of a king, archaeological stratum, historical period) can be provided with an exact or approximated start date, end date and duration. The software uses this information to compute the tightest possible estimates (expressed as ranges) for each date and duration. The tool also checks the validity of the model, and reports cases where the encoded data are contradictory. Such a tool is important as it allows users to examine large chronological models that are otherwise too difficult to study manually. The tool is used in an interactive way, allowing to immediately assess the impact of a given hypothesis on the overall chronological network. Users can thus check the impact of altered dates for a given king, or the addition of a new synchronism between two strata. They can also test hypotheses, in order to check, for example, if two kings were contemporaries. The software runs fast, allowing users to obtain instantaneous answers to the above-described queries. The presentation will feature a demo of ChronoLog and a case study.
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    Looking into the rocks of Acheulo-Yabrudian Qesem Cave (Israel, 420-200 kya)

    Date:
    20
    Thursday
    February
    2020
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 11:30-12:30
    Location: Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Biological Sciences
    Lecturer: Aviad Agam
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research
    Abstract: The Acheulo-Yabrudian Cultural Complex (AYCC, ~420,000-200,000 years ago) is a l ... Read more The Acheulo-Yabrudian Cultural Complex (AYCC, ~420,000-200,000 years ago) is a local Levantine entity, characterized by a set of innovative human cultural and biological adaptations, including the habitual use of fire, technological innovations such as blade and Quina scraper production, and more. Qesem Cave (QC, central Israel) is one of the key sites of the AYCC. I will present the results of two recent studies, exploring the rich lithic assemblages yielded from this important site. The first combines macroscopic classification of flint artefacts with a geological survey and petrographic and geochemical analyses, aimed at identifying patterns of flint acquisition and use. The results show that local Turonian flint was often brought and used at the cave, while flint from other, non-Turonian origins, was also used in noteworthy proportions, in specific categories, implying selectivity in flint procurement and exploitation through time. The second study combines Raman spectroscopy and artificial intelligence (AI) to build temperature predictive models, aimed at identifying the temperatures to which flint artefacts were exposed. The results show that blades were heated at lower median temperatures (259℃) compared to flakes (413℃), suggesting the intentional and controlled heat treatment of flint specifically for blade production, more than 300,000 years ago. Both datasets and their implications will be discussed in a broader perspective.
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    What can the femur tell us about human behavior and health?

    Date:
    13
    Thursday
    February
    2020
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 11:30-12:30
    Location: Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Biological Sciences
    Lecturer: Samuel Francis
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research
    Abstract: Physical anthropologists have long used skeletal remains to recreate the lifesty ... Read more Physical anthropologists have long used skeletal remains to recreate the lifestyles of past populations; thus, the understanding of long bones and their properties is a central challenge in the field. Though the femur and thigh muscles have the potential to give insight into a wide array of characteristics due to their size and central role in movement, the association between thigh muscle force and femoral bone morphology is unclear. Using medical CT images, the aim of this study was to reveal the associations between the cross-sectional area (a surrogate for muscle force) of the thigh muscles and the cross-sectional geometry of the femoral bone. This study will have implications for anthropological research, providing better information for inferring physical load from skeletal remains.
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    The earliest evidence of a Lisfranc’s fracture

    Date:
    06
    Thursday
    February
    2020
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 11:30-12:30
    Location: Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Biological Sciences
    Lecturer: Sara Borgel
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research
    Abstract: Recent archaeological excavations at Manot Cave, an Early Upper Palaeolithic sit ... Read more Recent archaeological excavations at Manot Cave, an Early Upper Palaeolithic site in the Western Galilee, Israel, retrieved the remains of a partial left foot of a young adult, including the talus, the calcaneus, the cuboid and the first, second and fifth metatarsals. The pedal remains were found close to one another, in the same archaeological unit, and were associated with an Early Upper Palaeolithic assemblage. Our study aimed at describing the anatomy of the Manot Cave pedal bones using morphometric parameters. A comparison to foot bones of recent modern humans, Anatomically Modern Humans and Neanderthals was carried out to establish the Manot Cave specimen population affiliation. Additionally, µCT images were used to verify a suspected injury in the base of the second metatarsal. The shape and size of the Manot pedal bones indicated a modern morphology for all bones, albeit few Neanderthal-like characteristics. Imaging analysis confirmed the existence of a healed trauma in the second metatarsal, with the plantar third of the base misaligned with the shaft and a fracture line on the lateral side. These features are consistent with a fracture known as Lisfranc’s fracture, most probably caused by an impact to the dorsum of the foot. This injury usually leads to ligamentous instability and collapse of the transverse and longitudinal arches, causing severe walking difficulties. Full recovery requires rest and immobility for several weeks. As mobility was crucial to maintain the hunter-gatherer lifeway of this group, the survival of this individual indicates a supportive community at Manot Cave.
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    Identification of similarities in archaeological collections using deep learning algorithms: a Levantine case study

    Date:
    23
    Thursday
    January
    2020
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 11:30-12:30
    Location: Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Biological Sciences
    Lecturer: Avi Resler
    Abstract: Artefacts that are found in archaeological excavations are often recognized by e ... Read more Artefacts that are found in archaeological excavations are often recognized by experts, who compare their appearance to other labeled objects that they have seen before or present in archaeological catalogs. Since this procedure may be subjective, scientific methods that aid archaeologists have become increasingly popular. We have developed two machine learning tools which capture the similarity between two artefacts or similarities between groups of artefacts based on their RGB images. For the first antique recognition tool, we used face recognition deep neural network architecture, to measure the "archaeological" distance between images. In the second community detection tool, we aggregate similarities between images and measure the distance between assemblages - i.e., group of images. Based on that we applied a network-theory community detection algorithm, to find groups of archaeological sites that are linked to each other. To test our methods, we used a highly diverse dataset of Israeli antiques. This dataset is a good case study due to geographical proximity between archaeological sites and the presence of artefacts from a wide range of archaeological ages.
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    Cracking the Core: Utilizing Refitted Core Sequences in the Assessment of the Levantine Middle to Upper Paleolithic Transition

    Date:
    16
    Thursday
    January
    2020
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 11:30-12:30
    Location: Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Biological Sciences
    Lecturer: Annie Melton
    Abstract: Much remains to be understood regarding the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transiti ... Read more Much remains to be understood regarding the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition, particularly in the Levant. A longstanding debate is the presence or absence of cultural continuity during this transitional period in the Levant. Few studies, though, have been conducted in order to quantitatively address this question. Here, I will discuss a quantitative approach to identifying cultural transmission processes in the Levant utilizing refitted stone tool core reduction sequences. With refitted sequences from Boker Tachtit (Israel) and Taramsa-1 (Egypt), I hope to quantitatively assess the similarity in lithic production strategies utilizing attribute analyses of known cultural-transmission proxies. Though in the early stages of data collection, this project has already been successful in the digitization and thus long-term preservation of archaeological materials which will facilitate their access to future researchers with future questions.
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    Computerized Paleographic Investigation of Hebrew First Temple Period Ostraca

    Date:
    09
    Thursday
    January
    2020
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 11:30-12:30
    Location: Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Biological Sciences
    Lecturer: Shira Faigenbaum-Golovin
    Abstract: The field of Hebrew Iron Age epigraphy is important for the domains of Biblical ... Read more The field of Hebrew Iron Age epigraphy is important for the domains of Biblical archaeology, the history of ancient Israel, and Biblical studies. In the course of our interdisciplinary project, we developed methods that pertain to the fields of applied mathematics, computer science, statistics, and physics, to advance the fields of epigraphy and palaeography. Our study started with building a multispectral system that acquires better images of the inscriptions. A particularly striking product of our methodology is the discovery of a hitherto invisible text on the verso of the thoroughly studied Arad 16 ostracon, unnoticed for half a century. It continued with the development of algorithms for character restoration, facsimile creation, and the construction of paleographic tables. Later, we proposed a method for ancient handwriting comparison and compared between 18 texts of the Arad corpus. The newly devised algorithm reconstructs the ancient letters, extracts their features, and performs a handwriting comparison. The results (published in PNAS) indicate at least six different authors across the Judahite military chain of command ca. 600 BCE. This implies a high level of literacy rate within Judah’s administrative apparatus before the kingdom's destruction by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE.
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    How ancient genomes aid in tracing human mobility and disease

    Date:
    02
    Thursday
    January
    2020
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 11:30-12:30
    Location: Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Biological Sciences
    Lecturer: Michal Feldman
    Abstract: Recent technological advances such as next-generation sequencing and new capture ... Read more Recent technological advances such as next-generation sequencing and new capture and sampling techniques have enabled the retrieval of genomic information from archaeological human remains, even from regions previously known to have poor conditions for DNA preservation, such as the Near East. I will describe two studies in which these methods helped us in recording the past by tracing human mobility and disease. In the first study, we retrieved a high-coverage Y. pestis genome from the remains of a 6th century victim of the Justinianic Plague, the first of three historic pandemics caused by Y. pestis. The results confirmed a central or south Asian origin of the strain and demonstrated its presence in rural south Germany where no historical source records it. In a second study, genome-wide data was reconstructed from human remains recovered from the ancient seaport of Ashkelon, identified as “Philistine” during the Iron Age. The comparison of Bronze and Iron Age individuals was used to address whether the cultural transition observed in the archaeological record was mirrored by a foreign genetic influx.
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    Late Middle Paleolithic site of Farah II: environmental and cultural contexts at the brinks of transition to the Upper Paleolithic in the southern Levant

    Date:
    20
    Thursday
    June
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00-14:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Dr. Mae Goder
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research

    The Negev before the LGM - preliminary results from a geoarchaeological survey at the central Negev highlands

    Date:
    30
    Thursday
    May
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 10:00-11:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Dr Omry Barzilai and Dr Yoav Avni
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research
    Details: Note change in time.

    Insights from the past to study the ecology of faba bean

    Date:
    12
    Sunday
    May
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 14:00-15:30
    Location: Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Biological Sciences
    Lecturer: Dr. Valentina Caracuta
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research
    Details: Host: Prof. Elisabetta Boaretto

    New directions in coastal and underwater geoarchaeology

    Date:
    04
    Thursday
    April
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00-14:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Prof Ruth Shahack Gross
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research

    Why do we fracture our hips? An evolutionary medicine approach to femoral neck fractures in modern humans

    Date:
    28
    Thursday
    March
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00-14:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Hadas Avni
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research

    Silicon Day: Plant Minerals in Modern and Archaeological Environments

    Date:
    14
    Thursday
    March
    2019
    Colloquium
    Time: 09:00-12:00
    Title: If you intend to attend, please let us know in advanced.
    Location: Faculty of Agriculture, Cabin – 8
    Lecturer: Rivka Elbaum, Nerya Zexer, Evgenia Vaganov, Steve Weiner, Rosa M. Albert, Oriol Andreu, Elisabetta Boaretto, and Filipe Natalio.
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research
    Details: 9:00 – 9:05 Greetings Biology of plant minerals 9:05 – 9:25 Rivka Elbaum ... Read more 9:00 – 9:05 Greetings Biology of plant minerals 9:05 – 9:25 Rivka Elbaum – “Bio-mineralization of Silica in Sorghum” 9:25 – 9:45 Nerya Zexer – “Root silica aggregates formation in relation to changes in the cell walls” 9:45 - 10:05 Evgenia Vaganov– “Elemental composition of CaOx in Phalaenopsis Orchid” 10:05 – 10:25 Steve Weiner – “Functions of inorganic and organic “minerals” in photosynthesizing organisms” 10:25-10:45 Coffee break and cookies Mineral in archaeological context 10:45 – 11:05 Rosa M. Albert – “Challenges in phytolith identification based on morphology” 11:05 - 11:25 Oriol Andreu –“Phytolith recognition by the AI-DL: project overview” 11:25 – 11:45 Elisabetta Boaretto – “Occluded organic matter in phytolith and 14C dating: a review” 11:45 – 12:05 Filipe Natalio –“Flint: a potential bacterial-induced silica mineral”
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    Paleoclimatic changes and possible implications for the human occupation in South America

    Date:
    28
    Thursday
    February
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00-14:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Prof Francisco Da Cruz Jr.
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research

    Plants from the Past: Reconstructing the Palaeo-landscape of Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) through Phytolith Analysis

    Date:
    21
    Thursday
    February
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00-14:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Prof Rosa Maria Albert
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research

    Middle Bronze in Erimi Laonin tou Porakou: abandonement dynamics in a protoindustrial site

    Date:
    14
    Thursday
    February
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00-14:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Dr Marialucia Amadio
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research

    The Invisible Shore: Dor and the Carmel Coast across the Bronze/Iron Age Transition

    Date:
    31
    Thursday
    January
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Prof. Ayelet Gilboa
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research

    Proteomics and metabolomics from ancient documents

    Date:
    24
    Thursday
    January
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Dr. Gleb Zilberstein
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research

    What can phytoliths and other proxies reveal about anthropogenic soils and the first sedentary societies of pre-Columbian Amazonia?

    Date:
    17
    Thursday
    January
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Dr. Jennifer Watling
    Organizer: Academic Educational Research

    Excavations at Tel Abel Beth Maacah

    Date:
    10
    Thursday
    January
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Dr. Naama Yahalom mack

    Understanding the earliest iron artifacts in South Eastern Arabia

    Date:
    03
    Thursday
    January
    2019
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Dr. Ivan Stepanov

    Tell es-Safi : the Lower City in the Iron Age

    Date:
    27
    Thursday
    December
    2018
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Prof. Aren Maeir

    Genome wide-data from Prehistoric Anatolians shed light on the origins of the first farmers of Anatolia

    Date:
    20
    Thursday
    December
    2018
    Lecture / Seminar
    Time: 13:00
    Location: Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
    Lecturer: Dr Michal Feldman