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Miriam Belmaker, PhD

Miriam Belmaker, PhD
Associate Professor of Anthropology
College of Arts & Sciences
Anthropology
918-631-3759 Harwell Hall Room 118

Education

PhD – Hebrew University of Jerusalem MSc – Hebrew University of Jerusalem BA – Haifa University

Bio

Miriam Belmaker is a Paleolithic archaeologist and paleoanthropologist. Her research focuses on environmental change primarily in the past 2 million years and how it affected hominid biological and cultural evolution. She analyzes fossil faunal remains obtained from archaeological and paleontological sites to reconstruct ancient environments through space and time and to ask questions about human evolution.

To track climate change through space and time, Belmaker uses both zooarchaeological and paleontological methods. She is currently building a large comparative collection to assist in her research. This includes comparative collection of modern species and fossil casts.

Research Interests

Human-environment interaction
Paleoanthropology
Old world Archaeology
Site formation processes
Taphonomy
Climate change
Paleoecology
Ecomorphology
Evolutionary and ecological theory

Teaching Interests

Human diversity and development (Introduction to Biological Anthropology
Human and faunal osteology
Paleoanthropology
Evolution of diet and nutrition
Old world Archaeoology

Publications

  • Belmaker, M. (2005). Using comparative micromammal taphonomy to test palaeoecological hypotheses: ‘Ubeidiya, a Lower Pleistocene site in the Jordan Valley, Israel, as a case study. In Biosphere to Lithosphere: New Studies in Vertebrate Taphonomy (O’Connor, T. ed.) Oxbow Books, Oxford. pp. 110-125.

  • Belmaker, M. (2009). Hominin adaptability and patterns of faunal turnover in the Lower – Middle Pleistocene transition in the Levant. in A Sourcebook of Paleolithic Transitions: Methods, Theories, and Interpretations (Camps, M. and Chauhan, P.R. eds.) Springer, New-York. pp. 211-227. (invited).

  • Belmaker, M. (2010). Early Pleistocene faunal connections between Africa and Eurasia: An ecological perspective. In Out of Africa I: The First Hominin Colonization of Eurasia ( Fleagle, J.G., Shea, J.J., Grine, F.E., Baden, A.L., Leakey, R.E., eds.) Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht. pp. 183-205.

  • Belmaker, M. (2015) The Southern Levant during the Last Glacial and Zooarchaeological Evidence for the Effects of Climatic-Forcing on Hominin Population Dynamics. In Climate Change, Human Response and Zooarchaeology (Monk, G. ed.) Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht. (in press).

  • ‡ Belmaker, M. and Brown, A. B., (expected 2015) A new look at “on Mice and Men”: Should commensal species be used as a universal indicator of sedentism? In Bones and Identity: Zooarchaeological Approaches to Reconstructing Social and Cultural Landscapes in Southwest Asia (Marom, N., Yeshurun, R., Weissbrod, Y., and Bar-Oz, G., Eds.). Oxbow books. Oxbow. (Accepted)

  • Bar-Yosef, O., and Belmaker, M. (expected 2017) ‘Ubeidiya. In Quaternary of at the Levant
    (Bar-Yosef, O. and Enzel, Y. eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (accepted).

  • Belmaker, M. (expected 2016) Paleontology and Biogeography of Fauna in the Levant: The Early to Middle Pleistocene. In Quaternary of at the Levant (Bar-Yosef, O. and Enzel, Y. eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (accepted).

  • Belmaker. M. (expected 2017) The Avifauna of Kebara Middle Paleolithic: Paleoecology and Environmental Implications. In Excavation in Kebara (2nd Volume) (Bar-Yosef, O, Speth, J. and Mengeinen, L. eds.). (Accepted)

  • Belmaker, M. (2013). Living in a Dangerous Climate Rene´e Hetherington. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 33(4): 5.1-5.3.

  • Belmaker, M., Nadel, D. and Tchernov, E. (2000). The Micromammal of Ohalo II: A case for microfaunal research in an open-air site. Israel Journal of Zoology 46(4) pp. 360. Paper presented at The 6th International Conference – Rodens & Spatium. Acre, Israel (1997).

  • Belmaker, M. (2002). Community structure changes through time ‘Ubeidiya as a case study. In ARCHAEOZOOLOGY OF THE NEAR EAST V. Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium on the Archaeozoology of Southwestern Asia and Adjacent Areas. (Buitenhuis, H., Choyke, A.M., Mashkour, M. and Al-Shiyab, A.H. eds.). ARC publications 62, Center for Archeological Research and Consultancy, Rijksuniversiteit, Groningen, The Netherlands. pp. 9-22.

  • Belmaker, M. (2005). Using rodents and insectivores for paleoeonvironmental reconstructions: A case study from the Levantine Paleolithic. In Archaeology and Environment. Proceeding of the 25th Annual Conference of the Department of the Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Bar Ilan University (Ackerman, O. Faust, A. and Maeir, A. eds). Bar-Ilan University. Ramat Gan. pp. 67-88. (In Hebrew)

  • Sagi, A. M. Belmaker, H. Ron, H., Y. Enzel, A. Agnon and O. Bar-Yosef (2005) Paleomagnetic dating of ‘Ubeidiya Formation. In Israel Geological Society Annual Meetings 2005 (S. Abramovich, ed.). Israel Geological Society. pp. 101.

  • Belmaker, M. (2005). How low should we go? Using higher-level taxonomy and taphonomy in paleoecology. In Archaeozoology of the Near East VI. Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on the Archaeozoology of Southwestern Asia and Adjacent Areas (Buitenhuis, H., Choyke, A.M., Martin,L., Bartosiewicz, L. and Mashkour, M. eds.). ARC publications 123, Center for Archeological Research and Consultancy, Rijksuniversiteit, Groningen, The Netherlands. pp.
    9-24

  • Belmaker, M. (2001). The compatibility of mammalian paleoecological models, ‘Ubeidiya as a case study. Israel Journal of Zoology 47(2) pp. 176-177. Paper presented at The Annual Meeting of the Zoological Society of Israel. Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel (2000).

  • Belmaker, M. (2002). The first presence of Theropithecus sp. in the Southern Levant. Israel Journal of Zoology 48(2) pp. 165. Paper presented at The Annual Meeting of the Zoological Society of Israel. Haifa University, Haifa, Israel (2001).

  • Nadel, D., Tsatskin, A., Bar-Yosef Mayer, D.E., Belmaker, M., Boaretto, E., Kislev, M.E., Hershkovitz, I., Rabinovitch, R., Simmons, T., Weiss, E., Zohar, I., Asfur, O., Emmer, G., Ghraieb,T., Grinberg, E., Halabi, H., Weissbrod, L. and Zaidner, Y. (2002). The Ohalo II 1999 – 2000 season of excavation: A preliminary report. Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society 32: 17-48.

  • Belmaker, M., D. Nadel and E. Tchernov (2001). Micromammal taphonomy in the site of Ohalo II (19 Ky., Jordan Valley). Archaeofauna 10: 125-135.

  • Nadel D., Tsatskin, A., Bar-Yosef Mayer, D.E., Belmaker, M., Boaretto, E., Kislev, M.E., Hershkovitz, I., Rabinovitch, R., Simmons, T., Weiss, E., Zohar, I., Asfur,O., Emmer, G., Ghraieb, T., Grinberg, E., Spivak, P., Weissbrod, L. and Zaidner, Y. (2003). The Ohalo II 2001 season of excavation: A preliminary report. Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society 33: 9-36.

  • Belmaker, M., Tchernov, E., Condemi, S. and Bar-Yosef, O. (2002). New evidence for hominid presence in the Lower Pleistocene of the Southern Levant. Journal of Human Evolution 43: 43-56. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jhev.2002.0556 PMid:12098209 Impact factor 3.87

  • Nadel, D., Tsatskin, A., Belmaker, M., Boaretto, E., Kislev, M.E., Mienes,H., Rabinovitch, R., Simchoni, O., Simmons, T., Weiss, E. and Zohar, I. (2004). On the shores of a fluctuating lake: environmental evidence from Ohalo II (19,500 B.P). Israel Journal of Earth Sciences 53 (3-4): 207-223.

  • Tchernov, E. and Belmaker, M. (2004). The biogeographic history of fauna in the Southern Levant and the correlation with climatic change. In The Red Book. Vertebrates in Israel. (Dolev, A. and Perevolotsky, A. eds.). Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Tel Aviv. pp. 21-25.

  • Zohar, I. and Belmaker, M. (2005). Size does matter: Methodological comments on sieve sizes in fishbone assemblages. Journal of Archaeological Science 32: 635-641. Impact factor 2.14

  • Mart´ınez-Navarro, B., Belmaker, M. and Bar-Yosef, O. (2009). The large carnivores from ‘Ubeidiya (Early Pleistocene, Israel): Biochronological and biogeographical implications. Journal of Human Evolution 56: 514-524. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2009.02.004 PMid:19427671 Impact factor 4.09

  • Zohar I., Belmaker, M., Nadel, D., Gafny, S., Goren, M., Hershkovitz, I. and Dayan, T. (2008). The living and the dead: How do taphonomic processes modify relative abundance and skeletal completeness of freshwater fish? Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 258: 292-316. Impact factor 2.75

  • Condemi, S., Voisin, J.-L., Belmaker, M. and Moncel, M.-H. (2010) Revisiting the question of Neanderthal regional variability: a view from the Rhoˆne Valley Corridor. Collegium Anthropologicum 34 (3): 787-796. Impact factor 0.61

  • Belmaker, M. (2010) The presence of a large cercopithecine (cf. Theropithecus sp.) in the ‘Ubeidiya Formation (Early Pleistocene, Israel). Journal of Human Evolution 58: 79-89. Impact factor 4.09

  • Bar-Yosef, O. and Belmaker, M.. (2011) Early and Middle Pleistocene faunal and hominin dispersals through Southwestern Asia Quaternary Science Reviews: Early Human Evolution in the Western Palaearctic: Ecological Scenarios Edited by Jose Carrion, James Rose and Chris Stringer 30 (11-12): 1318-1337.

  • Marder, O., Yehurun, R., Lupo, R., Bar-Oz, G., Belmaker, M., Ron, H., and Frumkin, A. (2011) Mammal remains at Rantis Cave, Israel, and Mid-Late Pleistocene Human subsistence and ecology in the Southern Levant. Journal of Quaternary Science 26 (8): 769-780.

  • ‡ Henry, D.O., Belmaker, M. and Bergin, S.M. (in press). The influence of landscape on Neanderthal range viewed from the Levant. Quaternary International.

  • Martinez-Navarro, B., Belmaker, M. and Bar-Yosef, O. (2012) The Bovid assemblage (Bovidae, Mammalia) from the Early Pleistocene site of ‘Ubeidiya: Biochronological and biogeographical implications for the fossil and lithic bearing strata. Quaternary International 267: 78 – 97.

  • Stutz, A.J., Shea, J.J., Rech, J., Pigati, J., Wilson, J., Belmaker, M., Albert, R.M., Arpin, T., Cabanes, D., Clark, J. L., Hartman, G., Hourani, F., White, C. E., , L. N., Stutz. (2015) Early Upper Paleolithic Chronology in the Levant: New ABOX-SC AMS Results from the Mughr
    el-Hamamah Site, Jordan. Journal of Human Evolution 85: 157-173

  • 30. Belmaker, M. (2002). ”The mice that the mar your land” The small mammals of Ohalo II and the environment. In Ohalo II, a 23,000-year-old Fisher-Hunter-Gatherers’ Camp on the Shores of the Sea of Galilee (Nadel, D. ed.). Hecht Museum, Haifa University, Haifa. pp. 34-35 (Hebrew) and 36-37 (English).

  • Lupo, R., Marder, O. Frumkin, A. Bar-Oz, G. Yeshurun, R. and Belmaker, M. (2009). Rantis Cave. Preliminary Report. Hadashot Arkheologiyot Excavations and Surveys in Israel (HA-ESI) 121: (In English and in Hebrew). Available online at www.hadashot-esi.org

  • Peleg, Y., Marder, O., Belmaker, M., Goder, M., Yeshurun, R. and Frumkin, A. (2010). Emaunel Cave Preliminary Report. Hadashot Arkheologiyot Excavations and Surveys in Israel (HA-ESI) 122: (In English and in Hebrew). Available online at “http://www.hadashot-esi.org.il/report_detail_eng.aspx?id=1589&mag_id=117”>www.hadashot-esi.org.

Courses Taught

  • First Year College Experience
  • Human Development and Diversity Lab
  • Human Development and Diversity: Physical Anthropology
  • Regional Studies in Prehistory

Professional Affiliations

  • The Israel Prehistoric Society
  • Palestine Exploration Fund
  • American Geophysical Union
  • The Society for Vertebrate Paleontology
  • The Paleontological Society
  • The Israel Zoological Society
  • American Research Institute of the South Caucasus
  • Society for Archaeological Sciences
  • The American Quaternary Society
  • Society for American Archaeology
  • The American Association of Physical Anthropology
  • The Paleoanthropology Society
  • The International Council for Archaeozoology

Awards & Honors

  • The Israel and Edit Pollack award