PhD Scholarship researching ancient seafaring to Australasia

Potential PhD students take note, a scholarship to study at the University of Southampton to investigate seafaring to Australasia. Deadline is 13 April 2015 but scholarship is limited to UK or EU students only.

PhD studentship in Prehistoric Archaeology and Oceanography: Exploitation of prevailing winds and currents by the earliest known seafarers, reaching and colonizing Australasia c.50,000 years ago

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship in the Faculty of Humanities in collaboration with the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton. This studentship is funded through an SMMI Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship Award, to start October 2015. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of Dr Helen Farr (Archaeology), Prof Robert Marsh (Ocean and Earth Science) and Dr Ivan Haigh (Ocean and Earth Science).

Around the modern world, migration is a politically charged issue, however, migration is an ancient phenomenon. Long-distance maritime migration can be seen as early as 60-50,000 years ago, with the movement of Anatomically Modern Humans from the Sunda basin (southeast Asia) to Sahul (Australasia). The archaeological record of early settlement is limited, but evidence suggests short crossings from southeast Asia to Papua New Guinea and northern Australia at a time when sea levels reached c.60-80 m lower than today. This project brings reconstructions of past climate and ocean currents alongside archaeological evidence for the human colonization of Australasia, to better understand how ancient human migration was both a response, and a solution, to social and environmental challenges. Simulations of palaeo ocean drift in the region will be developed and used to investigate ancient seafaring.

Details here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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