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Dr. Shira Gur-Arieh- Project PI

Shira is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral fellow at the Culture and Socio-Ecological Dynamics (CaSEs) group in Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). She specializes in archaeological science and particularly in microgeoarchaeology. Her research generally explores human-environment interaction, and especially how environmental conditions dictate human techno-cultural behavior and how in turn this behavior impacts the environment. She is particularly interested in plant and animal product utilization for food, fuel, and construction.  

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Prof. Marco Madella- Scientific Coordinator


Marco is an ICREA Research Professor and the head of the CaSes group at UPF. His interest is in the socio-ecological dynamics of plant resources exploitation and food production. His background is in archaeobotany and environmental archaeology, and he explores the trajectories of social change and co-evolutionary processes by modeling and simulation. He is interested in long term trajectories of biodiversity and sustainability, especially in arid or hyper-wet environments. Marco is one of the Team Leaders for Archaeobotany (plant microremains) for the Catalhöyük Research Project.

Dr. Carla Lancelotti


Carla is an archaeobotanist and quantitative archaeologist with a deep interest in human occupation of drylands.

She specializes in phytoliths and charcoal analyses, approached through quantitative methods, and combined with modeling.

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Prof. Christopher Miller-Scientific Host of Secondment


Chris is Professor of geoarchaeology and the head of the Geoarchaeology Working Group in the Institute for Archaeological Sciences at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. He is also a member of the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment. He holds an adjunct professorship (professor II) at the University of Bergen, Norway as a member of the SFF Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE). Chris specializes in applying micromorphological and microanalytical approaches to the study of archaeological deposits. His research focuses on archaeological site formation processes, Pleistocene landscapes and paleoenvironmental reconstruction, Paleolithic archaeology and human evolution, and hunter-gatherer settlement dynamics.  

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Dr. Susan M. Mentzer

Susan is a senior research scientist in both the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment and the Geoarchaeology Working Group at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, where she is the director of the microanalytics laboratory. She specializes in the application of micromorphology and microanalytics to the study of anthropogenic deposits.

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Prof. Bill Finlayson- Lead Archaeologist at Sharara

Bill has been the director of the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL) since 1999 until recently. His research interest is in the development of agriculture and sedentary communities and for that end, he directed many excavations of well-known prehistoric sites such as Dhra',  Wadi Faynan 16, and Beidha to name a few. 

Prof. Cheryl Makarewicz - Lead Archaeologist at Sharara

Cheryl holds the Professorship for Archaeozoology and Isotope Research at the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Germany. Her research interests include investigating animal domestication processes and the development of pastoralism using biomolecular and zooarchaeological approaches. She has directed archaeological projects in many sites in Jordan, including Beidha, and el Hemmeh. 

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Dr. Sarah Elliott, Collaborator at Sharara 

Sarah Elliott is a British Academy post-doctoral fellow currently conducting research on her project  "Investigating Neolithic villages and farming communities in Jordan: developing and validating new scientific multi-methodologies". This research will develop new scientific inter-disciplinary methods and tools to investigate human and animal occupation signatures recorded in cultural deposits that accumulated in Pre-Pottery Neolithic settlements in Jordan.  The project will involve the analysis of sediment samples from known activity areas in modern villages and dung samples from targeted animal species, which will then act as a comparative dataset to interpret samples from Neolithic sites. 

Dr. Jacob Vardi- Lead Archaeologist at Motza

Jacob is a senior archaeologist at the Archaeological Research Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), where he has directed excavation in numerous prehistoric sites.  He specializes in the technological and typological study of stone tools from the Epipaleolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic periods.