Learning and Teaching Administrator
Durham University’s Department of Archaeology is one of the UK’s best, with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. We are regularly ranked one of the top three Archaeology departments in the UK (e.g. 2nd Research Excellence Framework [REF] 2021 and one of the top ten globally (World University QS rankings 2021). Our expertise covers a broad chronological and geographical span, from the Palaeolithic to the present-day, and from South Asia to the Mediterranean, Europe and the British Isles, We have a strong research presence in Southwest Asia, that embraces fieldwork, visual and material culture studies and bioarchaeology. We have a range of cutting-edge laboratories, including well-developed facilities for isotopic research, extensive commercial infrastructure, and a network of heritage-sector collaborators. The Department of Archaeology works closely with staff in two Durham University museums, the Oriental Museum and the Museum of Archaeology. These house some outstanding archaeological collections, including East and Western Asian antiquities. For further information on our current projects, research and teaching see www.dur.ac.uk/archaeology
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the field of the landscape archaeology of Southwest Asia, working on the Climate, Landscape, Settlement and Society: Exploring Human-Environmental Interaction in the Ancient Near East (CLaSS) project (https://www.durham.ac.uk/departments/academic/archaeology/research/archaeology-research-projects/the-class-project/). The project is funded by the ERC and began in 2019, and the postholder will report to the project PI, Dr Dan Lawrence. The CLaSS project investigates the relationship between climate fluctuations and the emergence of complex social and political formations over the Holocene. The project has been collecting archaeological settlement data and archaeobotanical data (plant and tree remains) and zooarchaeological data for the entire Fertile Crescent region, and combining these with climate simulations derived from General Circulation Models (GCMs). The resulting datasets represent the largest of their kind ever compiled, covering the entire Holocene and an area of 600,000km2.
The postholder will be responsible for the maintenance and organisation of the existing settlement datasets and database, and will also lead on the development of land use models using a variety of techniques and drawing on the full range of data sources available within the project. They will have access to the university supercomputing services to support this work. They may also be required to produce maps and perform simple spatial analysis for other members of the project, such as the archaeobotanical team. They will be involved in publications, with opportunities as both a first and co-author, and will also engage in project-related administration and other activities supporting the work of a project. The Durham team is collaborating with partners at the Universities of Tübingen and Leeds, and there may be opportunities to travel for research visits and conferences.
The successful applicant will be expected to make a significant contribution to the following priority areas of CLaSS research activity at Durham, which are focused on the analysis of large scale patterns of settlement and land use across the Fertile Crescent. This will include:
- Diachronic analyses of regional and inter-regional change in settlement and demography
- Drawing on a range of spatial modelling techniques and datasets to model land use at regional scales
- Develop techniques for integrating climate, environmental and archaeological data