Shira Gur-Arieh

Shira Gur-Arieh
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich | LMU

PhD

About

26
Publications
6,936
Reads
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366
Citations
Citations since 2017
18 Research Items
298 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230102030405060
Introduction
Shira Gur-Arieh currently works at the Culture and Socio-Ecological Dynamics (CaSEs) group, Department of Humanities, Pompeu Fabra University.
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - November 2017
University of Tuebingen
Position
  • PostDoc Position
April 2014 - January 2017
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (26)
Article
Full-text available
Pyrotechnology has always been a core topic in the archaeological debate concerning phases of deep cultural transformations, such as the Chalcolithic period in the Near East (c. 6000–3500 BC). However, previous studies on pyrotechnological installations, such as pottery kilns, pertaining to this period, have often been mainly descriptive, with a li...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Agriculture has unquestionably been one of the human activities that has heavily shaped environments and landscapes worldwide from the last 10k years up to present day. More and more interdisciplinary research indicates how the understanding of socio-ecological dynamics of past farming systems over time is fundamental to predict environmental and s...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous and extensive ‘Stone Walled Sites’ have been identified in southern African Iron Age landscapes. Appearing from around 1200 CE, and showing considerable variability in size and form, these settlements are named after the dry-stone wall structures that characterize them. Stone Walled Sites were occupied by various Bantu-speaking agropastora...
Article
Widespread ethnographic evidence exists for the addition of animal dung to clay during the process of ceramic production. However, conclusive evidence of dung tempering in archaeological ceramics is relatively rare. The aim of this study is to ascertain whether, and under which conditions, dung tempering of pottery is identifiable. To answer these...
Chapter
Ash pseudomorphs and dung spherulites are calcitic micro-remains. The former is found in large quantities in wood ash and the latter in animal dung. In this chapter, we describe the formation and composition of these micro-remains and discuss their significance for archaeological interpretation. Additionally, we describe the methods used for their...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents the geoarchaeological and geochronological aspects of Shovakh Cave and the first comparative context to the nearby Amud Cave (~ 500 m downstream), providing an exceptional opportunity to explore the range of human behaviours within a small geographic area. Sediment samples from two newly excavated areas at the rear and entrance...
Article
Full-text available
Dung has been an important material used by humans since at least the early Neolithic Period. It accumulated within domesticated animal enclosures and it was used as fuel and fertiliser as well as construction material. While the formers were studied in details, to date, the use of dung as a construction material received less attention. Here, we p...
Article
More than a century of study of the Philistines has revealed abundant remains of their material culture. Concurrently, our understanding of the origins, developmental processes, and socio-political matrix of this fascinating culture has undergone major changes. Among other facets, Philistine technology has been discussed, but in our opinion, a broa...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we investigate the microarchaeological traces and archaeological visibility of shellfish cooking activities through a series of experimental procedures with direct roasting using wood-fueled fires and controlled heating in a muffle furnace. An interdisciplinary geoarchaeological approach, combining micromorphology, FTIR (in transmiss...
Article
Full-text available
While it is debated when exactly humans began regularly to cook their food (Sandgathe and Berna 2017), it is clear that once they did, they never looked back. Cooking raw food improves its nutrient values by enabling more complete digestion, it kills bacteria, and it sometimes helps to preserve the food. But above all, cooking makes many food produ...
Article
Full-text available
The study of fossil parasites can provide insight into the antiquity of host-parasite relationships and the origins and evolution of these paleoparasites. Here, a coprolite (fossilized feces) from the 1.2-million-year-old paleontological site of Haro River Quarry in northwestern Pakistan was analyzed for paleoparasites. Micromorphological thin sect...
Article
Full-text available
Pebble stone installations are commonly found at various Early Bronze Age sites in the southern Levant. However, their function is often assumed or unknown. Thirteen circular pebble installations were found scattered throughout a residential neighbourhood dating to the Early Bronze Age III at Tell es-Safi/Gath. Five such installations were recently...
Article
The study of fossil parasites can provide insight into the antiquity of host-parasite relationships and the origins and evolution of these paleoparasites. Here, a coprolite (fossilized feces) from the 1.2-million-year-old paleontological site of Haro River Quarry in northwestern Pakistan was analyzed for paleoparasites. Micromorphological thin sect...
Article
Cooking installations are among the most abundant features in Bronze and Iron Age archaeological sites in the southern Levant, yet until now their study has been mostly descriptive. We present a study of 11 purported archaeological cooking installations from three different Bronze and Iron Age sites in Israel in which we deployed a variety of micro...
Article
Ancient cooking installations yield important evidence for cooking technology and human diet. A cooking installation termed the Philistine pebble hearth is associated with the arrival of the Philistines at the beginning of the Iron Age in the southern Levant (ca. early/mid-12th century B.C.). These installations have been studied using traditional...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
The TransCause project investigates eco-geographically distinct sub-regions within Armenia between MIS 7 to 3 (250 – 29 ka). The TransCause research group brings together a wide range of independent innovative and established methodologies within a single research program as a means to test various models of hominin resilience in a multi-scalar manner. TransCause project aims to build a comprehensive behavioral, chronometric, biological using ancient population DNA, as well as establishing refined environmental frameworks. The project position in its heart as a main goal to unravel the past hunter-gatherer’s decision-making as a coping mechanism with challenging environments such as those of Armenia. The understanding of the economic, demographic, and social mechanisms behind the behavioral plasticity of our species is the ultimate ambition of this project. TranCause is an ERC Starting Grant starting in October 2021.
Project
The transition from foragers to farmers c. 12,000 years ago, is marked by plants and animal domestication, as well as by the exploitation of animal by-products such as milk, wool, and dung. Dung is a valuable material that can be used as fertilizer, fuel and for constructions, however, unlike other by-products, dung exploitation is less studied. While archaeological evidence for dung used as fuel and manure are increasing, its use for constructions has been hardly identified. Thus, it is important to understand if its absence from the archaeological record is the result of human preference or a research/preservation bias. The aim of MapDung is therefore to explore the possible early use of dung for construction as a proxy for understanding human-animal-environment relations and ecosystem. The specific project’s goals are: 1) To develop new multi-proxy methodology for improved identification, focused on construction materials; 2) Studying the post depositional processes that affect archaeological dung used for construction; 3) Providing wide regional understanding of the utilization of animal secondary products during the early Neolithic Period and the gender division of labor regarding its use. MapDung will focus on early Neolithic Period sites from the core area of early animal domestication- the Near East. By using a multidisciplinary approach, new techniques and working strategies will be develop to securely identify the use of dung as a construction material. Archaeological materials will be analyzed using micromorphology, FTIR analysis, quantification of dung micro-remains, elemental analysis, GC-MS and geo-statistics. MapDung will explore the gender division of labor in relation to dung use using ethnographic sources. MapDung is expected to expand our understanding of human technology, resources exploitation, and subsistence practices along the Early Neolithic period, one of the most critical transitions in human history.
Project
The geographic location of the Southern Caucasus, and its rich mosaic of biomes and steep topographic gradients, makes it an exceptional place to study Pleistocene hominin behavioral evolution and population dynamics. This project examines how the interplay of environmental, behavioral, and demographic factors shaped the Paleolithic archaeological record during marine isotope stages 7 – 3 (250 – 29 kya). The study will focus on one eco-geographic area of Armenia, at the margins of the Ararat paleo-lake depression, near the town of Ararat (Armenia). This project addresses two main research questions at complementary temporal scales: 1. Whether climate conditioned the presence or absence of hominin populations in the Southern Caucasus; either hominin populations occupied the region continuously across glacial and interglacial periods, or discontinuously, suffering local extinctions followed by re-occupation during ameliorated climatic conditions. 2. At a finer temporal scale, what were the adaptive responses to seasonal fluctuations in resource availability as manifested in hominin settlement systems and mobility strategies? Within a restricted area of ca. 20 sq. km, three different depositional environments will be targeted. These include the relict shores of the Ararat paleo-lake – deposits of which are still visible today, limestone formations containing karstic caves, and calcareous tufa/travertine remnants of Pleistocene springs. Taking advantage of the diverse depositional environments in the study area, the project comprises three field seasons including: a) Paleolithic surveys and test excavation to document if and when diverse habitats were occupied by hominins, and how such occupations relate to landscape-scale settlement dynamics. b) Mapping and dating of exposed lacustrine and sedimentary deposits, and analysis of a rich corpus of environmental proxies to further contextualize hominin behavioral responses to variation in resource availability related to annual- and millennial-scale environmental and climatic oscillations. The expected results will expand the archaeological and paleoenvironmental databases and refine knowledge of Pleistocene hunter-gatherer behaviour and population dynamics within the wider context of Southwest Asia. This project is supported by the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation.