Archaeomalacology, the study of mollusc shells from archaeological sites, is a discipline that started in Israel in the 1930’s. Over the last thirty years shells from archaeological sites have been studied extensively and today we can reconstruct many of the different uses of shells throughout the ages. Some of the earliest shell beads in the world were discovered in Israel, atSkhulCave in Mt.Carmel, and QafzehCave in the Galilee (Fig. 1).

The archaeozoological collection contains animal bone remains from about 70 archaeological sites in Israel, excavated by the Israel Antiquities Authority and various Universities.

In general there exists a close connection between the development of the various natural history collections and the courses taught at that the Tel Aviv University. However that is not the case with the paleontological-geological collection, because courses in that field have never been part of the curriculum given at the Department of Zoology. Occasionally some fossils were collected by the staff or their students, when they carried out fieldwork in the Negev or elsewhere in the country in the wake of a course in zoology.