Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef

ארכיאולוגיה סגל אקדמי בכיר
Phone: 03-6406055
Fax: 03-6406883
Office: Gilman-humanities, 311א


Erez Ben-Yosef studied archaeology and geology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (B.A., B.Sc., M.Sc.) and archaeology and anthropology at the University of California, San Diego (M.A., Ph.D.). His doctoral dissertation, entitled Technology and Social Process: Oscillations in Iron Age Copper Production and Power in Southern Jordan was published in 2010 and presents results of six years of field and laboratory research on the copper mines of the southern Levant (Jordan and Israel). During 2010-2011 he carried out postdoctoral research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, focusing on the ancient copper mines of Cyprus and the application of slag material in geomagnetic research. Since 2011 he teaches at the department of archaeology and the graduate program in archaeology and archaeomaterials at Tel Aviv University.

Ben-Yosef has authored multiple research papers on archaeometallurgy, archaeomagnetism and Iron Age archaeology. He is currently directing the Central Timna Valley (CTV) Project – a multidisciplinary research into Iron Age copper production in the southern Levant. The project, supported by the Yad Hanadiv Foundation's Yizhar Hirschfeld Memorial Fellowship in Archaeology and the Marie Curie PEOPLE grant, includes new excavations and surveys, as well as laboratory analyses at TAU and abroad, aimed at elucidating various aspects of ancient human exploitation of a limited natural resource. 


(2014- ) Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, Department of Archaeology and ANE Cultures, Tel Aviv University

Education and professional appointments

  • 2010-2011 Post Doc researcher, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO)
  • 2010 Ph.D. in anthropology (archaeology), University of California, San Diego (dissertation)
  • 2008 M.A. in anthropology (archaeology), University of California, San Diego (thesis)
  • 2006 M.Sc. in geology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (summa cum laude) (thesis)
  • 2004 B.A. in archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (magna cum laude)
  • 2003 B.Sc. in geology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Research Interests

  • Archaeometallurgy: metal production in the Ancient Near East
  • Archaeomagnetism: establishing dating references and other magnetic applications in archaeology 
  • Geoarchaeology: application of geological techniques and methodologies in archaeology
  • Iron Age Archaeology of the southern Levant
  • Ancient technology and social change
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Archaeology and history of Jordan

Professional Memberships

  • World Archaeological Congress (WAC)
  • Society of American Archaeology (SAA)
  • Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)
  • American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR)
  • Israel Exploration Society (IES)
  • Israel Geological Society (IGS)
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Current Archaeological Projects

  • The Central Timna Valley (CTV) Project (Director)
  • The Cyprus Archaeomagnetic Project (CAMP)
  • Edom Lowland Regional Archaeology Project (ELRAP)

Research Students

Mike Millman, (MA), (together with Professor Oded Lipschits), Archaeomagnetic Constraints on the Chronology of the Judean Stamped Jar Handles

Omri Yagel, (MA), Characterization of Late Bronze Age Copper Production Technologies in Timna Valley: Site 3 as a Case Study

Ilana Peters, (MA)Determining Temporal Contexts of Technological Records: The Application of Archaeomagnetic Dating to Copper Slag Deposits in Timna

Vanessa Workman (MA)The Fabric of a Mining Community: The Textiles and Cordage of Iron Age Timna

Craig Smitheram (MA) OSL Dating of Timna's Copper Mines: Insights on Technological Evolution and Social Organization

Mark Cavanaugh (MA) (together with Dr. Dafna Langgut), Sustainability of an Industry on the Fringe: An Anthracologic Investigation into Fuel Sources at the Iron Age Copper Smelting Site of Timna 34


Selected Papers / Book Chapters

Sapir-Hen, L., Ben-Yosef, E., 2014. The socioeconomic status of Iron Age metalworkers: animal economy in the 'Slaves' Hill', Timna, Israel. Antiquity 88(341):775-790. (PDF)

Sapir-Hen, L., Ben-Yosef, E., 2013. The Introduction of Domestic Camels to the Southern Levant: Evidence from the Aravah Valley. Tel Aviv 40(2):277-285. (PDF)

Ben-Yosef, E., Shaar, R., Tauxe, L., Ron, H., 2012. A new chronological framework for Iron Age copper production in Timna (Israel). Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 366:1-41. (#1 editor’s pick for the “the 10 most influential BASOR articles 1919-2013) (PDF)

Levy, T. E., Ben-Yosef, E., Najjar, M., 2012. New Perspectives on Iron Age Copper Production and Society in the Faynan Region, Jordan. Pp. 197-214 in: Kassianidou, V. and  Papasavvas, G. (Eds.), Eastern Mediterranean Metallurgy and Metalwork in the Second Millennium BC. Oxford: Oxbow books. (PDF)

Shaar, R., Ben-Yosef, E., Ron, H., Tauxe, L., Agnon, A., Kessel, R., 2011. Geomagnetic field intensity: How high can it get? How fast can it change? Constraints from Iron Age copper-slag from the southern Levant. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 301:297-306. (PDF)

Ben-Yosef, E., Levy, T. E., Higham, T., Najjar, M., Tauxe, L., 2010. The beginning of Iron Age copper production in the southern Levant: new evidence from Khirbat al-Jariya, Faynan, Jordan. Antiquity 84 (325), 724-746. (PDF)

Ben-Yosef, E., Tauxe, L., Levy, T. E., 2010. Archaeomagnetic dating of copper smelting site F2 in Timna Valley (Israel) and its implication on modeling ancient technological developments. Archaeometry 52 (6), 1110-1121. (PDF)

Ben-Yosef, E., Levy, T.E., and Najjar, M., 2009. New Iron Age Copper-Mine Fields Discovered in Southern Jordan, Near Eastern Archaeology, 72(2):98-101. (PDF)

Ben-Yosef, E., Tauxe, L., Ron, H., Agnon, A., Avner, U., Najjar, M., and Levy, T.E.., 2008. A new approach for geomagnetic archaeointensity research: insights on ancient metallurgy in the Southern Levant, J. Archaeol. Sci. 35(11):2863-2879 [doi:10.1016/j.jas.2008.05.016]. (PDF)

Full Publication List


Active Research Grants

(2013 - ) United States – Israel Binational Science Foundation; Grant # 2012359 (PI, together with Professor Lisa Tauxe)

(2013 - ) Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (CIG) (7th Framework Programme, The 2012 PEOPLE Programme); Grant # 334274  (PI)

(2012 - ) Yad Hanadiv, The Rothschild Foundation, The Yizhar Hirschfeld Memorial Fellowships in Archaeology; Grant #5171 (PI)


Previous Scholarships

2010 F.G. Bailey Fellowship, UCSD Department of Anthropology (dissertation improvement award) 

2006 - 2008 University of California, San Diego - Judaic Studies Program Graduate Fellowship 

2006 - 2008 Fulbright Scholarship; Ph.D. Student at UCSD (Grantee No. 15064706)

2006 - 2007 University of California, San Diego – Department of Anthropology Tuition and Research Fellowship

2003 - 2005 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Science Scholarship for Top Graduate Students


Current courses (TAU) (time/location: uTime)

  • Archaeometallurgy of the Ancient Near East (0671-2509)
  • Selected Problems in the Archaeology of Transjordan in the Bronze and Iron Ages (0671-2145)
  • Principles of Geoarchaeology (0671-2420)
  • What is Archaeology? (0671-1001)
  • Inquests in Geoarchaeology (0671-5002)
  • Study Excavation (0671-1216)
  • Field Laboratory in Archaeological Excavations (0671-5000)
  • Critical Reading in Archaeological Science (0671-4098)
  • Advanced Methods in Microarchaeology (0671-4423)
  •  Advanced Topics in Archaeometallurgy (0671-5005)

Previously taught

  • Archaeomagnetism (co-teaching with Professor Lisa Tauxe) (graduate + senior students) (SIO)
  • Intro to Field Geology, TA of Professor Lisa Tauxe (SIO)
  • Basic Methods in Field Archaeology, TA of Professor Tom Levy (ELRAP Field School in Faynan, Jordan, Fall 2009) (UCSD)
  • The Medieval Heritage (MMW3), TA of Professor Charles Chamberlain (UCSD)
  • The Great Classical Traditions (MMW2), TA of Dr. David Miano (UCSD)
  • Prehistory and the Birth of Civilization (MMW1), TA of Professor David K. Jordan (UCSD)
  • Foundation of Archaeology (previously: Anthropological Archaeology: Method and Theory), TA of Professor Thomas E. Levy (UCSD)
  • Human Origins, TA of Professor Katerina Semendeferi (UCSD)
  • Field Archaeology and Desert Ecology, TA of Professor Thomas E. Levy (UCSD)
  • Underwater and Bathymetric Mapping, TA of Professor Amotz Agnon (HUJI)
  • Advanced Field Geology and Geological Mapping, TA of Professor Amotz Agnon (HUJI)
  • Northern Negev Geological Field Trip, TA of Professor Amotz Agnon (HUJI)
  • Sedimentary Petrology, TA of Professor Harvey Blatt (HUJI)
  • The Physics of Earthquakes, TA of Professor Amotz Agnon (HUJI)
  • Introduction to Geomorphology, TA of Professor Yhouda Enzel (HUJI)
  • Dynamic Earth (Introduction to Geology for Geologists), TA of Professor Zvi Garfunkel (HUJI)

Resources / Links

Tel Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
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