About Michal Birkenfeld Research


Dr. Michal Birkenfeld

Michal Birkenfeld is a prehistorian, specializing in the Neolithic of the Southern Levant. She completed her PhD at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she has submitted her thesis, entitled “Changing Systems: Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Settlement Patterns in the Lower Galilee, Israel” in 2018. Since the beginning of her studies, Michal has focused on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their application in the field of archaeology. In 2014 she headed the establishment of the GIS Research branch at the Israel Antiquities Authority.  

In 2021 Michal has joined the Department of Archaeology at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where she heads the Digital Archaeology Research Lab [BGU-DARC]. 

Michal is also the proud mother of Gal, Ido and Amit.

Research Team

  • Alexander Wiegmann


    Alexander Wiegmann

    Alexander Wiegmann received his B.A. and M.A. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Jewish History and Archaeology, and is currently a PhD student whose area of research is the Byzantine - Early Arab period agricultural systems in the Negev Highlands. He employs both photogrammetry and GIS application in his research, developing work paths for 3D topographical and hydrological analyses. Alexander is the head of the Field Technologies Branch at the Israel Antiquities Authority. 

  • Gerardo Diaz

    Team member

    Gerardo Diaz

    Gerardo is a PhD candidate at Ben Gurion University. He is a geophysical engineer specializing in satellite remote sensing techniques, GIS analyses, topographic surveying, drone imagery and 3D photogrammetric modelling. He is keen on understanding the Neolithic landscape of the Negev desert by using different non-invasive methods. 

  • Yael Widerker


    Yael Widerker

    Yael is an M.A. student. Her thesis explores the site catchment analysis of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) site of Nahal Issaron in the Uvda Valley, using remote sensing and GIS applications. The aim of this research is to shed light on subsistence strategies and environment exploitation in the Uvda valley during the period. The main contribution of this study is the combination of the traditional archaeological methods with digital applications to understand the human-environment relationships in the hyper-arid desert.