Rachel Kalisher
Updated on 2.23.2023

ORCiD: 0000-0002-7765-2352


2023 (Exp)Ph.D., Archaeology, Brown University
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
Advisor: Andrew Scherer
2022 (Exp)Sc.M., Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, Brown University
2017M.A., Human SKeletal Biology, New York University
Thesis: Beyond Diet: Using Dental Wear to Explore Iron Age IIA Philistine Lifestyle
Committee: Shara Bailey, Timothy Bromage, Pam Crabtree
2015B.A., Anthropology; Classical Civilizations, University of Florida
Thesis: Patterns in Death: A Re-Evaluation of Middle Bronze Age Burial Customs at Tel Megiddo


In reviewAmir, A., Kalisher, R., Cradic, M.S.C., Martin, M.A.S., Neumann, R., Gadot, Y., Finkelstein, I. “Wine offerings in intramural burials at Middle Bronze Age Megiddo.” Archaeometry.
In reviewKleiman, A., Hall, E., Kalisher, R., Dunseth, Z.C., Sapir-Hen, L., Homsher, R.S., Adams, M.J. and Finkelstein, I. “Crisis in motion: The final days of Iron Age I Megiddo.” Levant.
2023 Kalisher, R., Cradic, M.S., Martin, M.A.S., Adams, M.J., Finkelstein, I. “A social perspective on surgical care in the ancient past: A case study from Tel Megiddo, Israel”. PLOS One.
2023Cerrito, P., Hu, B., Kalisher, R., Bailey, S.E., Bromage, T.G. “Life history in primate teeth is revealed by changes in major and minor element concentrations measured via field-emission SEM-EDS analysis.” Biology Letters.
Cerrito, P., Hu., B., Goldstein, J., Kalisher, R., Bailey, S.E., Bromage, T.G. “Elemental composition for primary lamellar bone differs between parous and nulliparous rhesus macaque females.” PLOS One.
2021 Cerrito, P., Cerrito, L., Hu, B., Bailey, S.E., Kalisher, R., Bromage, T. “Weaning, parturitions and illness are recorded in Rhesus Macaque (M. mulatta) dental cementum microstructure.” American Journal of Primatology e23235.
2020 Agrant-Tamir, L,… Kalisher, R.,… Pinhasi, R., Carmi, S., Finkelstein, I, Carmel, L, Reich, D. A Genomic History of the Canaanites. Cell 181 (5): 1146-1157. doi: 10.1016/j/cell.2020.04.024 


In press Kalisher, R. “The Human Skeletal Remains from Burial 16/H/45.” In, Megiddo VII: Decoding Death, the Shmunis Family Foundation’s Investigation of Two Elite Bronze Age Tombs. Eds. Cradic, M.S.C., Adams, M.J., Martin, M.A.S., Finkelstein, I. Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University. Eisenbrauns.
In pressKalisher, R. “The Human Skeletal Remains from Tomb 50.” In: Cradic, M.S.C., Adams, M.J., Martin, M.A.S., Finkelstein, I., eds., Megiddo VII: Decoding Death, the Shmunis Family Foundation’s Investigation of Two Elite Bronze Age Tombs (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology). Tel Aviv University Press, Eisenbrauns.
2022Martin, M.A.S., Cradic. M.S.C., Kalisher, R. “Area K: Intramural Pit and Jar Burials.” In: Finkelstein, I. and Martin, M.A.S., eds., Megiddo VI: The 2010-2014 Seasons (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology). Tel Aviv.  
2021Dunseth, Z.C. and Kalisher, R. “Food Spoilage.” In, The Handbook to Food in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel. Eds. Fu, J., Shafer-Elliot, C., and Meyers, C. T & T Clark, pp. 267-294.


2022“Disease in Antiquity” for course, Archaeological Method and Theory, at Reed University (Nov. 16).
2021“Bioarchaeology” for course, World Archaeology, at California Institute of Technology (April 20).
2021, 22“Human Osteology and Paleopathology” for course, Pandemics, Pathogens, and Plagues in the Greek and Roman Worlds, at Brown University (September 17).
2020“STEM in the Humanities: Interdisciplinarity as a Research Strength” for course, Communicating the Sciences, at University of Rhode Island (February 12).
2019            “Human Osteology in Archaeology” for course, Biological Anthropology Methods, at California State University Long Beach (November 25).
2019 “Introduction to Bioarchaeology” for course, Field Archaeology in the Ancient World, at Brown University (October 30).


2023Brown University: Instructor of Record
ANTH 1720: The Human Skeleton (Spring)
2022Brown University: Teaching Assistant
ANTH 0500/ ARCH 0100: Anthropological Archaeology (Fall)
2021 Brown University: Teaching Assistant
ANTH 0310: Human Evolution (Spring)
2018Brown University: Teaching Assistant
ARCH 0730: The Secrets of Ancient Bones (Ancient DNA) (Fall)
2017 Brooklyn College, CUNY: Instructor of Record, Adjunct Lecturer CORC3307: Forensic Science (Spring 2017)  


Papers presented

2023Kalisher, R. “Cranial trephinations as medical intervention in the Ancient Near East,” American Association of Biological Anthropologists (AABA) Annual Meeting. Reno, NV (Accepted)
2022 Cerrito, P., Hu, B., Kalisher, R., Bailey, S.E., Bromage, T.G. “Histological and elemental markers in teeth help reconstruct decedent-specific lived experiences,” American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS), Seattle, WA (Feb. 21-25).
2019 Kalisher, R. “Power and Pathology: Osteological Results from an Elite MB III Chamber Tomb at Tel Megiddo,” American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), San Diego, CA (Upcoming November 2019)
2019 Kalisher, R. “Building a Better Bioarchaeology: Using a Case Study from Tel Shimron, Israel, to Challenge the Production and Value of Bioarchaeological Field Knowledge,” Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG), Syracuse, NY (May 2-4)
2018 Kalisher, R. “Perspectives on Ancient Disability and Healthcare: Examination of a Trephination from Late Bronze Age I (c. 1550-1400 BCE) Megiddo, Israel,” ASOR, Denver, CO (November 14-17)
2017 Fu, J., Fox, S., Kalisher, R., Marklein, K., Aja, A. “The Philistine Cemetery at Ashkelon: Funerary Remains and Mortuary Practice,” Society for American Archaeology (SAA), Vancouver, BC, Canada (March 29-April 2)
2016 Fox, S., Marklein, K., Kalisher, R. “The Contextual Study of the Human Skeletal Remains from the Philistine Cemetery at Ashkelon,” ASOR, San Antonio, TX (November 16-19)
2016 Kalisher, R., Dudas, M. “The reliability of sexing the pelvis by factoring in age: A pilot study,” Bioarchaeologists’ Northeast Regional Dialogue (BNRD), Oneonta, NY (October 29)

Posters presented

2022Kalisher, R., Goldstein, J.Z., Cerrito, P., Swartz, S., Bromage, T.G. “Life Histories in Histology: Exploratory Research in Three Bone Tissues.” Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences 3: Rethinking the Paradigm, Cornell University, NY. (Oct. 7-9).
2017 Fox, S., Marklein, K., Kalisher, R., Faerman, M., and Smith, P. “Symphalangism Among the Philistines at Ashkelon, Israel,” Paleopathology Association (PPA), New Orleans, LA (April 18-19)
2017 Fox, S.C., Marklein, K., Kalisher, R., Faerman, M., Smith, P., Master, D., Aja, A. “As Tall as Goliath? Stature Among the Philistines at Ashkelon,” American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA), New Orleans, LA (April 19-22)
2017 Marklein, K., Fox, S., Kalisher, R. “Down in the mouth: Distributions of dental and oral conditions in human skeletal remains from Philistine period Ashkelon, Israel,” PPA, New Orleans, LA (April 18-19)
2017 Kalisher, R. “Differentiating dental wear patterns: A dental microwear study on the Philistine population from Ashkelon,” AAPA, New Orleans, LA (April 19-22)


2022- PresentPalmachim, Israel | Chief bioarchaeologist
Excavation directors: Assaf Yasur-Landau, Shirly Ben-Dor Evian
2017- PresentTel Shimron, Israel: Area Supervisor and Chief Bioarchaeologist
Excavation directors: Daniel Master, Mario A.S. Martin.
2016- Present The Tel Megiddo Expedition, Israel: Chief Bioarchaeologist
Excavation directors: Israel Finkelstein, Mario A.S. Martin, Matthew J. Adams.
2015-Present The Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, Israel: Biological anthropologist
Independently analyzed, processed, and reorganized skeletal material from 2014 and 2015. Worked as part of a small team of osteologists in 2016 and 2017.
Excavation directors: Daniel Master, Lawrence Stager.


2018 Horvat Tevet, Israel: Consulting biological anthropologist
Excavation director: Omer Sergei.
2016Histology and Correlative Microscopy Center, Dept. of Biomaterials and Biomimetics: Intern
Worked with multiple methods of microscopy and dental casting to best understand the depth of biographical information that can be discerned from teeth. Located at NYU. Lab PI: Timothy Bromage
2015 C.A. Pound Human Identification Lab at the University of Florida: Intern
Responsibilities included human maceration, assistance with radiographic analysis and reorganization project of the zooarchaeological remains. Lab PI: Michael Warren
2014-15Florida Museum of Natural History: RTI Analyst, Research Assistant Performed RTI on a collection of incised and complicated stamped pottery from North Florida and Southern Georgia. Produced images were used to establish trade connections between Native American tribes.
2013 Tel Kabri, Israel: Volunteer
Excavated a Canaanite Middle Bronze Age palace and discovered the oldest and largest personal wine cellar in the Near East. Excavation directors: Eric Cline, Assaf Yasur-Landau.
2012-13 Florida Museum of Natural History: Assistant to Collections Manager Cleaned archaeological material from Florida sites, as well as organized museum collections. Assisted in the creation of museum exhibit of archaeological material from St. Augustine, FL.
2012Southeast Archaeological Laboratory (Gainesville, FL): Intern
2012St. John’s Archaeological Field School (Ocala, FL): Student


2022Biblical Archaeology Society: Invited Reviewer of Excavation Fellowships
2021 Brown University Title IX Coordinator Search: Invited Committee Member
On a committee of six, including interim Title IX Coordinator, reviewing and interviewing candidates for the position of Title IX Coordinator. The search is led by the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.
2021Task Force on Doctoral Education at Brown University: Committee Member
On a task force of Brown community members, comprised of 16 faculty and 3 graduate students. Led by the co-deputy dean of the Graduate School. Charged with developing recommendations for promoting outstanding, innovative graduate education that supports the University’s excellence in research and teaching while also preparing graduates for desired career outcomes.
2019- Brown University Title IX Council: Graduate Student Council (GSC) Representative
Received yearly training to participate in hearings. The hearing committee is responsible for reviewing all confidential case materials, including investigatory findings, determining the responsibility of the respondent, and determining sanctions at the end of the cases.
2019-20 State of the Field 2020: Levant: Organizing committee member, Brown University (CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19)
2019 “Think Like an Archaeologist”: Instructor
Program coordinated by Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum and the Providence Public School system. Archaeologists visit local middle schools and teach five sessions introducing archaeology.
2019- [email protected]: Organizing member
Group composed of women and queer-identifying archaeologists to come together and discuss personal and professional components of our work.
2018-19 State of the Field 2019: The Ancient DNA Revolution in Archaeology: Organizing committee member, Brown University
2017,21- Graduate Student Mentor, Brown University
2016 AAPA Annual Meeting, Student volunteer
2016 Women in Science, Graduate student mentor, New York University  


ImageJ Analysis

Impressions and casting

Gross anatomy dissection, maceration

Microscopy (Optical and SEM)

Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI)


English (native proficiency)

Spanish (excellent reading, good speaking, good writing)

Hebrew (excellent reading, conversational speaking, good writing)


American Association of Biological Anthropologists (AABA)

American Schools for Oriental Research (ASOR)

Phi Beta Kappa