Leore Grosman is engaged in research that seeks to uncover the history of the transition from hunting and gathering to farming, a transition that forever changed the course of human existence. She has been focusing on the Epipaleolithic cultures, in particular the Natufian (ca. 15,000-11,500 BP) and the transition to the early Neolithic. Accordingly, she has initiated and directed several excavation projects: Hilazon Tachtit project, a 12,000-year-old Natufian cave site. The results of this work have led to groundbreaking publications in the most prestigious periodicals. For the past 10 years she has been directing an excavation project at Nahal Ein Gev II, a Natufian village site with a complex plan and massive architecture. In addition, she is engaged in the study of the graves at Hayonim cave (with Prof. Anna Belfer-Cohen). Neolithic studies integrate the study of flint quarries at Hatula and Kaizer hill sites (with Prof. Naama Goren-Inbar) and an early Neolithic site at Nahal Zihor, Arava. The second path of research is the incorporation of exact sciences methodologies into archaeological research. In 2010 she founded, and continue to direct, the Computational Archaeology Laboratory, which focuses on developing mathematical and computational tools to address archaeological questions. The dynamic group of students under her supervision takes part in both archaeological field research and archaeological sciences, to join forces in the research goals that they have set.  

Natalie Munro is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona (Ph.D. 2001), Simon Fraser University (M.A. 1994) and Southern Methodist University (B.S 1991). In 2001-02 she was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. She was a fellow at the University of Connecticut’s Humanities Institute in 2015-2016 and a visiting professor at the Mandel Scholion Center of Interdisciplinary Research at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2017-2018. Munro studies the transition from foraging to farming societies in Southwest Asia using ancient animal remains. She is most interested in the formative conditions of agriculture and animal domestication. She connects large zooarchaeological databases from individual sites to broader themes such as human demography, animal domestication, sedentarization, and the emergence of public ritual practice at a regional scale. Munro has active research projects in Turkey, Israel and Greece and is published widely in peer-reviewed journals such as Science, PNAS, Current Anthropology, and Journal of Human Evolution. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. She has served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Human Evolution, and is a long-term co-chair and member of the board of the Connecticut Museum of Natural History.

LEORE GROSMAN & NATALIE MUNRO

IS THE EPIPALEOLITHIC-NEOLITHIC BOUNDARY REAL?

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