The Palaeontological-Archaeozoological collections represent hundreds of sites representing the history of the fauna from the Triassic to the Holocene of Israel. New sites are explored constantly while new excavations throughout Israel are taking place and their bone material is being analyzed and added to the collections.
The Palaeontology collections hold an impressive body of information on the fossil records of the eastern Mediterranean, its biogeographic origin, its evolution and implicitly, all the available information about the ancient climatic conditions of the area.
The Invertebrates Palaeontological Collection
The collection was started in the late 1920’s by Y.L. Picard, founder of the Department of Geology, Y. Bentor and M. Avnimelech, who collected fossils in Israel and abroad including from “type-localities’. The collection also includes material collected since the end of the 19thcentury from different sites in the Middle East by Blanckenhorn, Conard and others. Prof. Paul Oppenheim from Berlin donated his collection of specimens from all over Europe in the 1930’s.
The Vertebrates Paleontological Collection
Fossil Remains: ‘Ein Yabrud
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).