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The Thin Section Collection

The Laboratory for Microarchaeology holds one of the world's largest collections of archaeological materials in petrographic thin sections, comprising altogether about 16,000 items. The collection includes thin sections of archaeological ceramics of all periods from the entire eastern Mediterranean and West Asia including the Aegean, Crete, Cyprus, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, the Levant and Egypt. It comprises pottery, clay cuneiform tablets from important archives, seal impressions, figurines and other objects. The collection also includes samples of plaster, lithic and bone artifacts. A special section is dedicated to micromorphological thin sections of sediments from several important sites. Additionally, the collection contains comparative materials from different parts of the area, including clays, soils and sands having relevance to ancient technologies


An inventory database of thin sections in the collection is available as Microsoft Excel file (link to the right). The database is constantly updated, also on this website.


We consider our collection a central scientific resource for scholars and students worldwide, and offer it to the scientific community for study. Visiting scholars and students will be allowed to use the collection after reading, filling and sending the online application form (press button to the right to upload it). Requests to use the collection must be sent at least a month in advance using the application form, which can be downloaded here. They will be considered and replied within a working week (please consider rest days and national and academic holidays in Israel!). Visiting scholars are expected to be able to study the requested materials alone. Guidance hours are not included in this agreement. A visiting scholar will be allowed to use a microscope and the requested materials in the Microarchaeology Study Gallery (excluding teaching hours) for up to two weeks without tuitions. An extended period of time will be allowed according to the university’s guidelines regarding bench fees.

Photo by Marcio Tixiera Bastos

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Please send a short message for further inquiries and details about the collection.

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