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Crisis on the margins of the Byzantine Empire: A bio-archaeological project on resilience and collapse in early Christian development of the Negev Desert

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 NEGEVBYZ project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the NEGEVBYZ project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "NEGEVBYZ" about.

environment    levels    localized    generalizations    cent    disclosing    opportunity    urban    historical    re    disintegration    avenues    data    archaeology    centres    broad    households    socio    quality    underdetermined    forecast    christian    contextual    hypotheses    vulnerability    triumph    botanical    corpus    engage    zoological    critically    4th    theoretical    contexts    societies    climatic    marginal    plague    conquering    landscapes    nature    expands    inform    world    political    dealing    stress    wholesale    degradation    integrative    integrates    desert    previously    environmental    endeavour    substantial    biomolecular    offers    geological    sources    functioning    complexity    record    regarding    empirical    drawing    ancient    global    striking    settlement    innovative    question    intensive    understand    nuanced    extensive    limited    economic    byzantine    gain    causes    societal    artifactual    ambiguous    accelerating    resource    informed    vulnerable    social    proxy    systemic    collapse    human    reconciling    proposes    explore    agricultural    ingenuity    sustainable    technological    resilience    chronometric    anthropogenic    society    limiting    regions    garbage    ad    risky    7th    negev   

Project "NEGEVBYZ" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: HAIFA
postcode: 31905

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Israel [IL]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙445˙151 €
 EC max contribution 1˙445˙151 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-09-01   to  2020-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA IL (HAIFA) coordinator 1˙445˙151.00


 Project objective

This project proposes an innovative, integrative and data-intensive approach to understand the parameters for long-term sustainable functioning of complex societies under vulnerable conditions. The broad aim of the research is to explore contexts of collapse and resilience in an ancient society with high levels of socio-political complexity and technological ingenuity within a resource-limited environment. It focuses on the Byzantine early Christian urban centres of the Negev Desert (4th-7th cent. AD) disclosing both the triumph of human ingenuity in conquering the desert through large-scale human settlement and agricultural development as well as a striking and as yet ambiguous case of wholesale systemic collapse. To test hypotheses regarding social disintegration, economic stress, environmental degradation due to climatic or anthropogenic causes, and the question of plague the project integrates approaches in the archaeology of households, landscapes and garbage through use of biomolecular, botanical, zoological, geological, chronometric, artifactual and contextual sources of data. Dealing with societal vulnerability in marginal regions is timely and relevant in a world where accelerating development rapidly expands such problems, previously localized, to global levels. Although it is a risky endeavour to engage the record of past societies to inform the present and forecast the future due to the typically underdetermined nature of historical and proxy data, this project offers substantial gain to theoretical and empirical research on societal vulnerability in two main avenues: (1) providing an opportunity to critically re-evaluate the current state of knowledge in the field based on an extensive corpus of new, high-quality data and (2) drawing more nuanced and informed broad generalizations regarding limiting states for human ingenuity in reconciling social and economic development with sustainable management of the environment and its resources.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Tchekhanovets, Y., Tepper, Y. and Bar-Oz, G.
The Armenian graffito from the southern church of Shivta
published pages: 446-454, ISSN: 0035-0907, DOI: 10.2143/RBI.124.3.3245468
Revue Biblique 124 2019-06-19
2017 Ravit Linn, Yotam Tepper, Guy Bar-Oz
Visible induced luminescence reveals invisible rays shining from Christ in the early Christian wall painting of the Transfiguration in Shivta
published pages: e0185149, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185149
PLOS ONE 12/9 2019-06-19
2018 Yotam Tepper, Tali Erickson-Gini, Yoav Farhi, Guy Bar-Oz
Probing the Byzantine/Early Islamic Transition in the Negev: The Renewed Shivta Excavations, 2015–2016
published pages: 120-152, ISSN: 0334-4355, DOI: 10.1080/03344355.2018.1412058
Tel Aviv 45/1 2019-06-19
2018 Nimrod Marom, Baruch Rosen, Yotam Tepper, Guy Bar-Oz
Pigeons at the edge of the empire: Bioarchaeological evidences for extensive management of pigeons in a Byzantine desert settlement in the southern Levant
published pages: e0193206, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193206
PLOS ONE 13/3 2019-06-19
2017 Yotam Tepper, Baruch Rosen, Annat Haber, Guy Bar-Oz
Signs of soil fertigation in the desert: A pigeon tower structure near Byzantine Shivta, Israel
published pages: 81-89, ISSN: 0140-1963, DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2017.05.011
Journal of Arid Environments 145 2019-06-19
2016 Ramsay, J., Tepper, Y., Weinstein-Evron, M., Bratenkov, S., Marom, N. and Bar-Oz, G.
For the birds: An environmental archaeological analysis of byzantine pigeon towers at Shivta (Negev Desert, Israel)
published pages: , ISSN: 2352-409X, DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.08.009
Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 2019-06-19
2015 Yotam Tepper, Lior Weissbrod & Guy Bar-Oz
Behind sealed doors: unravelling abandonment dynamics at the Byzantine site of Shivta in the Negev Desert
published pages: , ISSN: 1745-1744, DOI:
Antiquity 2019-06-19
2016 Daniel Fuks, Ehud Weiss, Yotam Tepper, Guy Bar-Oz
Seeds of collapse? Reconstructing the ancient agricultural economy at Shivta in the Negev
published pages: , ISSN: 0003-598X, DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2016.167
Antiquity 90/353 2019-06-19

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