Hebrew University of Jerusalem
2014 Laureates of Emet Prize
In Category: Humanities
In Field: Archaeology
Prof. Naama Goren-Inbarwas born in Hadera in 1948. After completing her military service in Nahal, she embarked on the study of archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, completing her BA and MS degrees cum laude and her PhD summa cum laude. In addition, she made study trips to the USA and France. She conducted post-doctoral research in South Africa and at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1997 she was appointed Professor at the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University, where she has served as Head of the Prehistory Department of the Institute of Archaeology and Head of the Institute. She has participated in many archaeological excavations and directed excavations at sites all over Israel, representing the full range of the country’s prehistory – including the earliest site in Israel (in the Jordan Valley).
Her research on the prehistoric archaeology of Israel has led to a turning point in the understanding of the Hula Valley’s early inhabitants’ way of life. Among other things, her research has revealed evidence of animal hunts, vegetal foodstuffs consumed by the hominins, and the advanced technological abilities of stone tool makers at the site. Her excavations have yielded the earliest evidence outside Africa of fire control. She has devoted many years to prehistoric studies in the Dead Sea Rift and its margins. Her main work has been devoted to the study of ancient sites in northern Israel, especially the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights - among them the Acheulian site of Berekhat Ram, where she uncovered a figurine that is considered the earliest art object in the world. The crowning achievement of her research is the excavation of the Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya‘aqov, in which she uncovered unique finds of the Lower Paleolithic period.
Many of her published articles deal with different aspects of early human behavior that found full expression in later periods of the prehistoric record. Her studies of stone tools have received international recognition, research funding, and have appeared in five books that she has written and co-edited.