Ofer Bar-Yosef

Ofer Bar-Yosef

George Grant MacCurdy and Janet G. B. MacCurdy Prof. of Prehistoric Archaeology, Emeritus
Ofer Bar-Yosef


Research Interests:
The origin of modern humans and early farming societies; Near East.


From 1968 Ofer Bar-Yosef has been teaching various courses in archaeology in the two universities. He organized several international conferences on the Natufian culture (Valbonne 1989, Paris 2010), on the Levallois Technique (Philadelphia 1995), the Aurignacian culture (Lisbon 2003), Neolithic demographic transition (Harvard, 2007). Since 1959, Ofer has worked as an archaeologist and participated actively in a wide range of excavations of prehistoric sites illuminating human cultural evolution. The sites are located in Israel, Sinai (Egypt), Turkey, Czech Republic, Republic of Georgia, and the People’s Republic of China. His work added evidence for early human dispersals from Africa to Eurasia at the site of ‘Ubeidiya (ca. 1.5 Ma) in the Jordan Valley. More recently, as a co-director of a large Israeli-French-American research program, he spent two decades of field and laboratory research in Kebara, Qafzeh, and Hayonim caves in Israel (with B. Vandermeersch, L. Meignen, P. Goldberg, A. Belfer-Cohen and others) demonstrating the early arrival of Modern humans in the Levant and the late appearance of Neanderthals in the Near East. Ofer studied Upper Paleolithic assemblages from Sinai, Israel, Czech Republic, Georgia, and currently in China. He co-directed the excavations at Netiv Hagdud, an early Neolithic settlement in the Jordan Valley with Prof. Gopher. In 2004-5 he co-directed the excavations at Yuchanyan cave (Hunan Province) with Prof. J. Yuan . Currently Ofer is involved in field programs in Georgia and China. He has co-edited 16 volumes (including four major site reports) and authored, or co-authored over 300 papers and book chapters.

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