Gadi Herzlinger received his BA, MA, and PhD in archaeology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, focusing on early prehistoric periods and using quantitative computational approaches. Within the framework of his advanced degrees, under the supervision of Prof. Naama Goren-Inbar, he developed and applied new software for shape analysis of stone tools. The software uses 3D digital models of the studied objects and provides objective and quantitative answers to archaeological questions addressing variability and additional shape-related aspects in archaeological assemblages. Its application to 800,000-year-old stone tools excavated at the site of Gesher Benot-Ya’aqov demonstrated the existence of specific cognitive mechanisms with social and cultural behavioral aspects much earlier than was previously believed.
Gadi was supported throughout his PhD studies by President’s and Rotenstreich excellence scholarships. He is the lead author of numerous research articles in scientific journals, and he was awarded the Hebrew University’s Bloomfield Prize for outstanding doctoral dissertations.
In his postdoctoral research, Gadi will join the Computational Archaeology Laboratory at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology. Under the supervision of Prof. Uzy Smilansky and Prof. Leore Grosman, he intends to develop a new computer-vision-based tool for shape analysis of human and hominin mandibles. This tool will be applied to Levantine and European specimens from the Middle Paleolithic period, from which ancient DNA cannot be extracted. The intrinsic and high-resolution nature of the results have the potential to shed new light on the population dynamics and evolutionary history of humans.