Michal Birkenfeld

Michal Birkenfeld
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev | bgu · Department of Bible, Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies

PhD
Exploring Neolithic cultural & economic adaptations in the Negev desert; Promoting Digital Archaeology.

About

27
Publications
8,996
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
137
Citations
Citations since 2016
14 Research Items
120 Citations
201620172018201920202021202205101520
201620172018201920202021202205101520
201620172018201920202021202205101520
201620172018201920202021202205101520
Additional affiliations
June 2014 - June 2021
Israel Antiquities Authority
Position
  • Head of Department
January 2004 - June 2014
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
January 2020 - March 2021
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Field of study
  • The Neolithic of the southern Negev
October 2009 - January 2017
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Field of study
  • Archaeology
October 2005 - June 2008
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Field of study
  • Archaeology

Publications

Publications (27)
Article
Full-text available
During the Natufian period, more than 12,000 years ago, Eynan (Ain Mallaha) was an important human settlement in the Hula Valley, Israel. This study concentrates on the anuran and squamate assemblage from the ultimate stage of the Natufian period at the site, the Final Natufian. Over five thousand bones assigned to at least sixteen taxa were studie...
Article
Full-text available
A total of 44 scrapers and two perforated discs from the Chalcolithic sites of Bir es-Safadi and Abu Matar in the Beer Sheva basin have been microscopically examined for use-wear polish. Most scrapers, both tabular and non-tabular, appear to have been used for scraping hide. There are some differences in wear patterns corresponding to morphological...
Article
This paper presents ndings from the rst season of excavations conducted at the mountain-top site of Naḥal Roded 110, located in the southern Negev Desert near Eilat, Israel. Both radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence date the site to the Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (LPPNB, late 8th millennium BC). Palaeoenvironmental data from pollen a...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a unique modified limestone object recovered from the LPPNB site of Nahal Roded 110, located deep within the arid Negev Desert. Carved to form an oval with a central elongated perforation, the stone was decorated with incised meanders, encircling both faces and representing, in our view, a unique 3D representation of a snake/sna...
Book
Full-text available
בקובץ זה מתפרסמים עשרה מאמרים שונים שהוצגו ביום העיון הראשון לארכיאולוגיה דיגיטלית . מצד אחד ממשיכים הארכיאולוגים לחפור באתרים בעבודת כפיים וממשיכים להשתמש בכלים שלא השתנו מזה מאה שנים ויותר, כגון מכוש, מעדר ודלי .מצד שני אין עוד תחום במדעי הרוח שאימץ מגוון כה רחב של שיטות מחקר חדשות במהלך השנים .אפשר לתאר את ההתפתחויות הללו כשתי מהפכות: מהפכת המחק...
Conference Paper
The site of ‘Ein Dishna is located in the eastern Galilee, ca. 2 km west of the Sea of Galilee, on a high terrace directly above the wadi of Nahal Tzalmon. Systematic survey and collection in an area of ca. 2.5km2 and a small test excavation were conducted at the site in 2012. Relatively large lithic and groundstone tool assemblages were collected...
Article
Full-text available
Excavations at the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B ritual site of Naḥal Roded 110 in the Southern Negev, Israel, have revealed evidence—unique to this region—for on-site flint knapping and abundant raptor remains. Full text available at: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antiquity/article/investigations-at-nahal-roded-110-a-late-neolithic-ritual-sit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Tel Yarmuth, located in central Israel, is one of the largest urban centers that flourished during the third millennium BCE in the Land of Israel. An agricultural plot was discovered c. 150 m east of the main site. It is a local spot, constructed by an artificial gray sediment/soil and dated by ceramic finds and OSL to the Early Bronze age. A multi...
Article
Full-text available
The archaeological research conducted during the last two decades at the Judean Shephelah testifies for one of the most turbulent regions in the land of Israel during the Late Bronze Age. This stands in contrast to the scarce historical record that relates to it. The geographic region of Ramat Bet Shemesh encompasses important information about soc...
Poster
The site of Eshta’ol is situated in the Judean foothills region on a moderate slope on the western bank of the Nahal Kisalon riverbed. The region has a typical Mediterranean environment with an average annual precipitation of 500-600 mm and is covered with forest vegetation. During the past decade, several excavations conducted at the site uncovere...
Article
A salvage excavation at the Lower Paleolithic site of Kefar Menahem West in the interior of the Israeli coastal plain yielded a flake industry devoid of handaxes and their byproducts. The archeological finds covering an area exceeding 2000 m 2 , are found at the contact of two distinct sedimentological units: Quartzic Brown and hamra (red clay loam...
Article
Full-text available
The following is a final report of the salvage systematic collection and excavation conducted at site K7, previously studied by Marks and Simmons (Marks and Simmons 1977) who, having sampled a small portion, attributed it to the Negev Kebaran cultural entity. K7 is situated on the Har Harif plateau in the central Negev highlands. The lithic assembl...
Article
Full-text available
A recent salvage excavation in Sha’on Hol Site 14 (HG14), situated on the northern plateau of Har Harif in the Central Negev Highlands, revealed an ephemeral hunter-gatherers’ campsite with on-surface flint scatters attributed to the Late Epipalaeolithic period. Characteristic tool categories, as well as debitage and tool ratios, allow for its affi...
Article
Full-text available
Geographic information systems (GIS) are generally used in archaeology to analyze sites where finds were collected using precise plotting methods. In order to assess the suitability of GIS analyses for excavations where georeferenced information on finds are lacking, we have developed a method for reconstructing the site archive by “back-plotting”...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Kfar HaHoresh is a Pre-Pottery Neolithic B mortuary and ritual site located in the lower Galilee, northern Israel. Fifteen seasons of excavation have revealed prolonged and intensive occupation for much of the PPNB (ca. 8750-7,250 calBC). While presenting a unique opportunity for the research of Neolithization processes in the region, such a comple...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The results of test excavations at the small campsite complex of Nahal Hava in the central Negev highlands are presented, from two adjacent localities. Nahal Hava I is an open-air encampment with a cluster of at least five small, low circular stonewalled structures arranged in a beehive arrangement. The structures were extensively deflated and no o...
Article
Full-text available
This is the final report of salvage excavations conducted during 2005 and 2007 at the Chalcolithic (Ghassulian) site of Horbat 'Illit B, in the Haelah Valley. We present the stratigraphy and the architectural remains of the site, including a description of one of the rare flint workshops of the Chalcolithic period found in the southern Levant. Comp...
Article
Full-text available
Cet article livre les resultats de la fouille de sauvetage effectuee a Bir el-Maksur, un site du Neolithique pre-ceramique A (PPNA) situe en Basse Galilee, dans le nord d’Israel, ou a ete mise au jour une vaste occupation avec de riches assemblages. Malgre l’absence de structures architecturales claires, les nombreux artefacts permettent de reconst...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper presents preliminary results of an on-going study at Kfar HaHoresh using GIS applications, focusing particularly on the methodology used to differentiate stratigraphic units through the complex archaeological sequence c.1.25m deep, spanning the Early through to the Late PPNB. Such a long and intricate sequence, derived from sporadic but...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
This project aims at improving traditional archaeological survey methodologies in arid environments (Negev desert) for a large-scale, non-invasive approach by using remote sensing technologies and algorithms, as well as geophysical instrumentation. The project is split into three: (I) We will elaborate a very detailed research pipeline focused on detecting buried structures (∼ 1 to 2 m depth) using thermic drone imagery. The pipeline will include the best time and season for carrying out the survey; depth/thermic response relationship plus additional atmospheric conditions to be considered (e.g., wind, temperature, etc). The results will be tested with both GPR methods and excavations. The chosen site is Ein Qetura. (II) By using high-resolution multispectral satellite and drone imagery we will aim at identifying archaeological features on land-based on their specific shapes, patterns and orientations, therefore, statistical analyses and spatial enhancement techniques will be performed. Furthermore, LiDAR will be used for comparison and verification. (III) Lastly, we will compare updated and old satellite imagery to estimate the unfortunate impact of looting and site damage (caused by vehicles and anthropogenic interventions) on the Israeli National Heritage of the Negev. Moreover, automated algorithms will be implemented to detect them in combination with spatial and spectral analysis of VHR image, processing, and updated databases.
Project
>Reconstruction of climate and vegetation changes >Impact of humans on the environment >Reveal the agricultural history
Project
This project explores the adaptive responses of Early Neolithic (9,750-6,400 calBC) communities to the extreme desert environment of the southern Negev and how these adaptations manifested in their settlement and subsistence strategies. Bringing together archaeological, geomorphological and paleo-environmental methods, we aim to reconstruct the close relationship between the hyper-arid environment and its human inhabitants. Located in southern Israel, the southern Negev is a hyper-arid region, where annual precipitation seldom exceeds 20 mm, and summer temperatures easily surpass 40◦C. Still, human exploitation of this desert has been persistent, almost un-interrupted over millennia. This is especially intriguing during the Early Neolithic, a critical period in human evolution, when humankind began to engineer and construct its surroundings through the practice of agriculture. Desert environments are among the harshest, most challenging environments humans have ever faced. Yet, covering over 40% of the earth’s surface, they are home to almost 2.5 billion people. Further desertification affects millions more and is considered a major global threat. This project will increase our knowledge of past land-use strategies and resilience in archaeological contexts. It will also result in extensive new archaeological, paleoenvironmental, and paleoclimatological datasets. Thus, it will be able to contribute to and inform future models of sustainability in some of the world’s harshest environments.