Archaeozoology and Osteology Collections

About the collections

The Archaeozoological collections comprise hundreds of sites representing the history of the fauna from the Pliocene to the Holocene of Israel. Where major events in the history of human took place, from hunting, gathering, fishing, to domestication and husbandry. The collection are open to students and researchers from all over the world.

The recent vertebrates comparative collection (ca. 10,000 specimens) represents the local fauna of Israel and adjacent regions. It includes specimens of all taxa collected during the past 60 years. This collection represents populations from various regions of the country. Prof. Israel Aharoni started the collection at the beginning of the 20th century, and was in turn followed by researches and students who collected animals for research and teaching.

Rare species, extinct species, and endangered species, including type specimens, are present in the collection. From the early years, the policy of the curators was to preserve a complete skeleton, thus most specimens represent complete animals. Each specimen has a number that appears on every skeletal element. Rodents (ca. 200) are preserved as stuffed specimens as well as skeletal elements.


at the Natural History Collections

Conservation of the National Natural History Collections (NNHC) at the Hebrew University relates both to ancient (palaeontological and archaeozoological) collections and to recent (zoological) collections. Different aspects of conservation work at the NNHC include:

# Direct treatment of objects and collections including in situ conservation work on palaeontological, archaeozoological and (recent) zoological specimens. For example, the conservation of elephant skeletal parts from the site of Erq el Ahmar (2-1.5 million years ago). The findings were treated in-situ during excavation, and further conserved in the palaeontology laboratory until ready for research and future display similar to specimens from Revadim (Beiner et al., 2013).

# Preventive conservation issues, such as environmental monitoring, storage improvement and maintenance policies. The new housing and storage facilities of “The Israel Aharoni collection of bird” are an example of storage and documentation improvements. All specimens are going through conservation treatment, are documented and digitize establishing a new database.

# Research to improve conservation methodologies in natural collections (i.e. Beiner et al., 2015).

Students of Conservation may apply for practical placement

Please contact Gali Beiner

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