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Laboratory of Palynology

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Ms. Sylvia Chaim

Pollen2Studies regarding ancient vegetation and past environments are conducted in the laboratory of palynology.
Pollen grains from long geological sequences in the Dead Sea Rift (Lake Hula, Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea) and coastal plain (e.g. Dor Lagoon), as well as from prehistoric and archaeological sites (e.g., Ohalo II, el-Wad Cave, Atlit Yam, Sumaka, the Ma'agan Mikhael ship) enable the reconstruction of cultural developments, life ways and human impact on the environments against the background of climatic changes.


The Laboratory is engaged in palynology and reconstruction of paleo-climates and ancient environments, including palynology of archaeological sites, Late Pleistocene and Holocene paleoenvironments and methodological studies.

Its research concentrates on three main foci:

  • Palynology of both prehistoric (e.g., Nahal Mahanayeem Outlet, Ohalo II, el-Wad, Atlit Yam) and historic (e.g., Tel Rehov, Hippos-Sussita, Sumaka, Shivta) archaeological sites helps shed important light on human subsistence and site paleoenvironments in different eco-systems, as well as highlight site-use and various industrial activities (olive-oil production, wine pressing, honey production).
  • Late Pleistocene and Holocene paleoenvironmental reconstructions, from the Jordan Rift Valley, eastern Mediterranean and Israeli coastal plain help draw detailed climatic fluctuations as a background for human activities in the area.
  • Methodological studies involve the highlighting of various issues of potential biases in the interpretation of palynological (and other) proxy-data, their relationship to actualistic research, the correlations between marine and terrestrialpaleoenvironmental data and among various disciplines, as well as their impact on the way we interpret the evidence while reconstructing past changing landscapes.

Publications (selection)

Weinstein‑Evron, M. 1983.  The paleoecology of the Early Würm in the Hula Basin, Israel. Paléorient 9 (1): 5‑19.


Galili, E., and Weinstein‑Evron, M. 1985. Prehistory and paleoenvironments of submerged sites along the Carmel coast of Israel. Paléorient 11 (1): 37‑52.


Weinstein-Evron, M.1987. Palynology of Pleistocene travertines from the Arava Valley, Israel. Quaternary Research 27: 82-88.


Weinstein‑Evron, M. 1987. Subsampling of palynological sequences: techniques and implications. Palynology 11: 67‑72.


Weinstein-Evron, M. 1990. Palynological history of the last Pleniglacial in the Levant. In: Kozlowski, J.K. (Ed.) Les industries a Pointes Foliacees en Europe. Eraul 42, Liège: 9-25.

Weinstein-Evron, M. 1994. Biases in archaeological pollen assemblages: Case studies from Israel. AASP Contributions Series, 29: 193-205.

Galili, E., Stanley, D.J., Sharvit, J. and Weinstein-Evron, M. 1997. Evidence for earliest olive oil production in submerged settlements off the Carmel coast, Israel. Journal of Archaeological Science 24: 1141-1150.


Weinstein-Evron, M.and Chaim, S. 1999. Palynological investigations in Sumaqa: 1995- 1996. In: Dar, S. (Ed.), Sumaqa, A Roman and Byzantine Jewish Village on Mount Carmel, Israel. Oxford, BAR International Series 815: 365-368.

Weinstein-Evron, M. and Lev-Yadun, S. 2000. Palaeoecology of Pinus halepensis in Israel in the light of palynological and archaeobotanical data. In: Ne’eman, G. and Trabaud, L. (eds.), Ecology, Biogeography and Management of Pinus Halepensis and P. brutia Forest Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Basin. Leiden, Backhuys: 119-130.  (Review paper).

Weinstein-Evron, M.and Chaim, S. 2003. Palynological Investigations. In: Linder, E. and Cahanov, Y. (Eds.), The Ma’agan Mikhael Ship: The Recovery of a 2,400 year-old Merchantman. Final Report. Vol. 1: 221-229.

Kadosh, D., Sivan, D. Kutiel, H. and and Weinstein-Evron, M. 2004. A Late Quaternary Paleoenvironmental Sequence from Dor, Carmel Coastal Plain, Israel. Palynology 28: 143-157.


Weinstein-Evron, M.,Scott, L. and L.K. Horowitz, Guest Editors of "Paleoenvironments": Special Issue in Honour of Aharon Horowitz. Journal of Arid Lands Vol. 74, Issue 7, July 2010 (with editorial).

Langgut D., Almogi-Labin A., Bar-Matthews M. and Weinstein-Evron M. 2011. Vegetation and Climate changes in the South-Eastern Mediterranean during the Last Glacial-Interglacial cycle (86 ka): New marine pollen record. Quaternary Science Reviews 30: 3960-3972.


Weinstein-Evron, M., Weissbrod, L., Haber, A. Haim, S. 2013. Decomposing biases in paleoenvironmental proxy data from pollen and micromammalian remains in caves: An actualistic approach. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 377: 86-101.


Aharonovitch, S., Sharon, G. and Weinstein-Evron, M. 2014. Palynological Investigations in the Late Middle Palaeolithic Site of Nahal Mahanayeem Outlet. Quaternary International 331: 149-166.



The Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, 199 Aba-Hushi Avenue, Haifa, Israel 3498838
Tel: +972-4-8249392 | Fax: +972-4-8249876 | E-mail: arch@research.haifa.ac.il | Department of Archaeology
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