Human-Animal Interactions in the Desert: Archaeological and Paleobiological Perspectives


Convener: Nimrod Marom, University of Haifa, and Uri Davidovich, Hebrew University

Desert animal communities in Israel have been shaped by complex interaction between shifting climate at the edge of the Mediterranean region, overlap between different biogeographical zones, and human impact on fragile ecosystems. All these factors possess an appreciable historical depth that can be studied using paleozoological methods, revealing hitherto hidden dimensions of the current desert landscape and its formation. The papers in this session will focus on new paleozoological and archaeological research in the Judean Desert that relate to paleoenvironmental reconstruction, hunting, changes in settlement intensity, and shifts in mammal community composition. By bringing together the different strands of evidence, we hope to take a step towards understanding how the desert has assumed its present faunistic characteristics.