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Fachbereich Philosophie und Geisteswissenschaften - Institut für Griechische und Lateinische Philologie

Research assistant (praedoc) (m/f/d) 65%-part-time job Limited to 3 years Entgeltgruppe 13 TV-L FU reference code: SCALoFRAGM

Bewerbungsende: 25.05.2020

PhD position in the project Scales of fragmentation: bioarchaeological evidence of economic and social transformation from the Late Roman to Early Medieval period in the Eastern Mediterranean

Scales of fragmentation is a unique interdisciplinary attempt at understanding the changes in human diet, nutrition, health and subsistence strategies during the transition from Roman Antiquity into the early Middle Ages. It takes as its focus the Eastern Mediterranean (the core lands of the Later Roman Empire) in the late antique period, ca. 300-800 AD, starting with a selection of eleven sites from Sicily to Lebanon. Our main hypothesis – which we will test using the state-of-the-art methods of archaeological science – is that as the Late Roman world system fragmented in the course of Late Antiquity, subsistence strategies were becoming increasingly based on local environmental resources, with important consequences for human nutrition. Diets were becoming more diverse, while at the same time sites with strong connection to the remnant Roman state of the early Middle Ages (Byzantium) maintained at least some elements of their Late Roman subsistence strategies. The methodology of our project is based on the most recent developments in the field of bioarchaeology. We will conduct an isotopic study of collagen(including single amino acids isolated from collagen) and bioapatite from human bone samples.

We will combine the study of human remains with a thorough review of the available historical and archaeological data on exchange networks and subsistence strategies of Late Antiquity, as well as with the palaeoenvironmental data on the structural changes in Mediterranean landscapes. The project is funded by the DFG and the Polish NCN, it is based at three host institutions: the FU (Byzantine Studies), the University of Warsaw (Archaeology), and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena (Palaeo-Science & History Group).

Job description:
The PhD student’s task will be analyse the connections between changes in human diet and nutrition, and the landscape transformations taking place across the Mediterranean at the end of Antiquity. The PhD thesis will be based on project results, published archaeological and environmental data, as well as written sources. The PhD student will be jointly supervised by Prof. Dr J. Niehoff-Panagiotidis (FU) and Dr hab. A. Izdebski (MPI). Tasks typical for a PhD position in history/archaeology/Byzantine Studies include: analysis of ancient textual sources from critical editions and of published archaeological reports; writing of publications; producing small datasets in Excel or Access; analysing environmental data from online repositories and scientific publications; help with coordination of workshops and project communication between the three institutions/groups involved. Regular business trips are to be expected. The position is meant to further the career and qualifications of the candidate.

Completed postgraduate university education (at the latest by the time of appointment), ideally in history (ancient/medieval), archaeology, or Byzantine Studies.

• Advanced knowledge and communication skills in English;

• Knowledge of more than one ancient language (Greek, Latin, Syriac, Armenian);
• Research and study focus on Late Antiquity;
• Experience with archaeological and in particular bioarchaeological (physical anthropology) research methods, or other natural scientific approaches to the study of the past;
• Knowledge of the other project languages: German, Polish;
• Experience with MS Office;
• Experience with natural scientific or quantitative methods;
• Team spirit;
• Readiness to learn methods and techniques from beyond one’s disciplinary comfort zone;
• Strong interest in interdisciplinary collaboration, demonstrated with previous activities.

As part of the selection procedure, there will be a video interview with selected candidates on 22.06.2020. The interview will take place in English.

Stellenauschreibung vom: 05.04.2020