PhD in Hominin Behaviour and Environments of Pleistocene West Africa

The Lise Meitner Research Group on Pan African Evolution (Pan-Ev) is pleased to announce a three-year funded doctoral studentship on hominin behaviour and environment in Pleistocene West Africa. The Pan African Evolution Research Group is developing innovative interdisciplinary methods and conducting fieldwork in West Africa to test hypotheses about human evolutionary processes across the continent.

The advertised studentship will include the analysis of Earlier and Middle Stone Age (ESA and MSA) archaeological and contextual environmental data from several field sites in West Africa, ultimately using computational approaches, broadly construed, to understand them.

The successful candidate will have a background in archaeology and/or physical geography, with significant fieldwork experience (commensurate with career stage) and skillsets in, or a willingness to learn, GIS, lithic analysis and computational methods of analysis.

 

Your tasks

  • Comprehensively research the recent and historic literature concerning reported ESA and MSA archaeological sites in West Africa and their environmental context
  • Conduct fieldwork at several field sites in West Africa, together with a team of specialists
  • Analyse stone tools recovered from new excavations from West Africa
  • Integrate human and climate records, exploring a range of possible computational approaches, including simulations.

 

Your qualifications

Essential:

  • Have, or be about to obtain, a Masters degree or equivalent qualification in Palaeolithic or Prehistoric Archaeology or a closely-related field as iterated above.
  • A strong record of examination at undergraduate and masters level.
  • Willingness to travel from Europe to Africa to spend considerable amount of time at various field sites in West Africa, working with an international and interdisciplinary research team.
  • Fluency in English (speaking, reading and writing).
  • Effective time management skills and ability to efficiently coordinate research analyses through to publication.

 

Desirable: 

  • Knowledge of the Pliocene and Pleistocene archaeological record of Africa.
  • Fieldwork experience at African Palaeolithic sites with field skills, e.g. using a total station.
  • Familiarity with archaeological and archaeological science methodologies, such as zooarchaeology, environmental science, geochemistry (lithic sourcing), stable isotopes, and/or chronometric dating. 
  • Fluency in French
  • Analytical skills in statistics, modelling and simulations or a willingness to learn

We offer intellectual, technical and resource support for the development of world-leading research and the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team of PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and scientific staff. The successful candidate will also have access to cutting-edge facilities and equipment and the opportunity to be part of the institute’s exciting interdisciplinary environment. Additional student support and training will also be provided through enrolment in the new interdisciplinary International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS), run between the Institute and Friedrich Schiller University, Jena.  Finally, we offer an excellent, friendly English language research environment.

 

How to apply

Please submit your application as a single pdf file in English, consisting of a letter of motivation and your CV by March 31, 2019. Please also list three referees that we can contact for references.

The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply. The Max Planck Society also seeks to increase the number of women in areas where they are under-represented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

Please use this link for applying:
https://lotus2.gwdg.de/mpg/mjws/perso/shh_p009.nsf/application

Contact:

Dr. Elenaor Scerri
scerri@shh.mpg.de

 
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