About Zohar Amar

Lecturer in the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archeology at Bar-Ilan University. Married to Tamar (nee Ben Zimra) and they have six children and grandchildren. Lives in Neve Tzuf (Halamish).


Amar deals with multidisciplinary research in natural history on Jewish sources and in the light of classical sources and Arabic literature. Specializes in the identification of plants and animals in the Bible, in the literature of the rabbinic sages and the Middle Ages, especially the writings of Maimonides. The studies cover a wide range of subjects, including: the history of medicine and ethno-pharmacology in traditional societies, material culture, and daily life in the ancient world.

Among his most prominent studies in recent years are: documents from the Cairo Genizah as a source of knowledge of practical medicine in the Middle East in the Middle Ages, the re-identification of biblical plants, traditional agriculture crops, ancient paper, ancient textiles and the study of ancient dyes, the discovery of the kermes oak insect  as a source of dye, gemstones, incense and spices; the return of the Opoalsamum [Balsam] to the Land of Israel, traditional healing herbs used by the Jews of Yemen and Ethiopia, and a documentation of kashrut traditions of kosher animals in Jewish communities.

To date, more than 250 scientific articles have been published in Israel and abroad, and 30 books and pamphlets, containing ancient medical manuscripts heretofore unpublished.

Reference to the Wikipedia entry

Reference to list of publications