“Using the Israel sites as a case study, we will study changes to coastal settlement patterns in prehistory,” says Dr Wiseman.
“The study will analyse the human response to climate change according to the archaeological record and evaluate changes in the use of coastal landscapes over the course of habitation of these prehistoric settlements.”
Using cutting-edge 3D visual technology to record the submerged Neolithic sites, Dr Wiseman hopes to understand the influence of environmental change and unlock the significance of these ancient underwater cultural sites.
“The project will contribute to the technological development of ancient sea-level studies, human adaptation to climate change, and exploration in the marine environment through underwater archaeological, geophysical and machine learning techniques,” says Dr Wiseman.
The research, directed by Flinders University’s Professor Jonathan Benjamin and Discovery Early Career Researchers Award Fellow Dr John McCarthy, is hosted and supported in Israel by Professor Assaf Yasur-Landau from the University of Haifa.
“This research hopes to provide insights into the history of human interaction with the sea, at a period of time where sea-level rise had significant impacts on coastal habitation,” says Professor Benjamin.
The international project was made possible with the support of the Allen Bolaffi Future Fund at Flinders University, which has funded Dr Wiseman’s salary and costs to undertake the research, as well as fieldwork expenses for the archaeological excavations in Israel.
Allen Bolaffi was a well-known and highly respected businessman and a leading figure in the Jewish community, serving as President of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (SA) for 20 years.
After Allen’s untimely death in 2014, the Allen Bolaffi Future Fund was created with a generous donation from then Vice-Chancellor Michael Barber. The fund quickly grew from an outpouring of generous support from Allen’s associates, friends and family.
The fund honours Allen’s life by supporting a cause he was passionate about – partnerships between Australia and Israel. The Bolaffi family are pleased that Allen’s legacy is supporting this cutting-edge, international maritime archaeology project.
Dr Wiseman says she is profoundly grateful for the support.