Dan David Laboratory

for the Search and Study of Modern Humans

Manot skull, 55,000 years old, the first discovered member of the group who gave rise to all present-day populations

Prof. Israel Hershkovitz

The laboratory focuses on three main topics:

  • Searching for the origin of anatomically modern humans: the origin of anatomically modern Homo sapiens and the fate of the Neanderthals have been fundamental questions in human evolutionary studies for over a century. We are interested in answering pivotal questions in human paleontology such as:
    Where and when did modern humans first appear in the Levant?
    When did the Neanderthals arrive in the region?
    Did they interbreed with Homo sapiens?
    Is there evidence for the presence of other (non-Homo sapiens, non-Neanderthal) hominin groups in the region during the Middle Paleolithic?

  • Bipedality and human diseases: we study the association between common pathologies in modern populations and the transition to erect posture and bipedal locomotion.
  • Forensic anthropology: we develop methods for assessing and reconstructing car-pedestrian accidents. Our research focuses on the association between the pattern of fractures in the lower limb bones and the physical characteristic of the impact (size, velocity, etc.).
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