Dor Shilton


I am a writer and researcher living in Tel Aviv. I study human cultural evolution, with a particular focus on music, ritual, and social organization

I am interested in how novel interactive technologies changed human social structure during our evolutionary history, and how the relationship between music and social structure changed over time. 

I wrote my PhD thesis at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas in Tel Aviv University, under the supervision of Eva Jablonka, Daniel Dor, and Ian Cross.

I am currently  a postdoctoral fellow at the Edelstein Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a research affiliate at The School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at the University of Oxford. 

Besides my academic work, I have written short films, short fiction, and several pieces for the Israeli press, which you can find below.



Shilton, D., & Savage, P. E. (2024). Conflicting predictions in the cross-cultural study of music and sociality – Comment on “Musical engagement as a duet of tight synchrony and loose Interpretability” by Tal-Chen Rabinowitch. Physics of Life Reviews, 49, 7–9.

Shilton, D., Passmore, S., & Savage, P. E. (2023). Group singing is globally dominant and associated with social context. Royal Society Open Science.

Shilton, D., Jablonka, E. (2022) Rituals, Music, and the Landscape Metaphor. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion.

Shilton, D. (2022). Sweet Participation: The Evolution of Music as an Interactive Technology. Music & Science.

Shilton, D., Breski, M., Dor, D., & Jablonka, E. (2020). Human Social Evolution: Self-Domestication or Self-Control? Frontiers in Psychology. 

Shilton, D. (2019). Is Language Necessary for the Social Transmission of Lithic Technology? Journal of Language Evolution.


Jouma. Lunch Ticket, Summer/Fall 2020


David Graeber (Haaretz, 2020)

Reflecting on the Life of the Late Anthropologist and Anarchist

Martin Amis (Haaretz, 2019)

A Conversation on Writing, Innocence, and Literary Decorum 

(English Version)

Democracy in Rojava (Haaretz, 2019)

In the Heart of Syria's Darkness, a Democratic, Egalitarian and Feminist Society Emerges 

(English Version)

Lomax at the Mountain Music Festival, Asheville, North Carolina, early 1940

Music & Social Stucture (Alaxon, 2018)

From BaYaka Massana to the European Concert Hall: How Music Mirrors Culture (Hebrew)