Postdoctoral Researcher in geomorphology (Pleistocene)

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The organisation

The Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (RGZM), Leibniz Research Institute for Archaeology is seeking a postdoctoral researcher with a focus on geomorphology for taking part in the project: Pleistocene Hunter-Gatherer Lifeways and Population Dynamics in the Ararat (paleo-lake) Depression, Armenia, supported by the Thyssen Foundation. The position will be located at the MONREPOS Archaeological Research Centre and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution Monrepos Castle, Neuwied, Germany. Starting January 2020, the length of the appointment is two (2) years at the German public service pay scale TV-L E13.

Project and aims

This project intends to examine core issues in paleoanthropology - how the interplay between environmental, demographic, and behavioural factors have shaped the Southern Caucasus Palaeolithic archaeological record. The research questions will be addressed with targeted survey and excavation at the margins of the Ararat Depression (Armenia). This study area was chosen as it lies at a relatively low elevation and includes diverse depositional environments. This exceptional habitat diversity in a small area is a natural laboratory to test hominin behavioural responses to variation in resource availability related to annual- and millennial-scale climatic oscillations. The project comprises of Palaeolithic surveys, test excavation and geomorphological mapping. The goals of the geomorphological research are in depth study of the of the region landscape evolution in relation to Palaeolithic sites preservation.

Applicant requirements

The project's Post-Doctoral Research (PDR) will carry out the geological, geoarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental components of the study, including a substantial fieldwork element. The research carried out by PDR will comprise the construction and maintenance of a GIS database, detailed geological and geomorphological mapping of the Ararat depression, and prospection for archaeological sites. In addition, the PDR will undertake detailed field description and sampling of key archaeological and sediment sequences, laboratory bulk sedimentological analyses, sediment thin section production and analysis, palaeoenvironmental analysis, and sediment and rock geochemical characterisation. The PDR will coordinate laboratory analyses. Allied to this work, the PDR will produce reports, publications and disseminate results at conferences and workshops.

The PDR should have a PhD in geology/physical geography/geoarchaeology and who also has a detailed knowledge of Pleistocene geological and geomorphological process and good technical abilities in geological/geomorphological mapping and GIS.