PhD Opportunity in Stone Artefact Archaeology

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PhD opportunity in Australia to study stone artefacts in Myanmar and Southeast Asia. Details below.

FULLY FUNDED PHD OPPORTUNITY IN STONE ARTEFACT ARCHAEOLOGY IN MAINLAND SOUTHEAST ASIA

THE POSITION
Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD position in archaeology, within the Centre for Archaeological Science (CAS), University of Wollongong (UOW). The successful candidate will join a multi-disciplinary project that is seeking to generate new data related to the Late Pleistocene colonisation of Asia and Australasia by modern humans (Homo sapiens) and other archaic hominins present in the region at this time. This forms part of the ARC Australian Future Fellowship project led by Dr Ben Marwick, The archaeology of Thailand and Myanmar: A Strategic Region for Understanding Modern Human Colonization and Interactions Across our Region. This project is linked to Prof Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts’ ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship Out of Asia: unique insights into human evolution and interactions using frontier technologies in archaeological science. To address substantial questions concerning early modern human colonisation and adaptation in mainland Southeast Asia, we are developing a number of innovative archaeological-science techniques, and are assembling a research group with strengths in artefact analysis, geochronology, geoarchaeology, and archaeological chemistry.

The PhD candidate will study stone artefact assemblages to engage with major global and regional archaeological questions relating to the timing and nature of human activity during the Late Pleistocene in Southeast Asia and the wider region. The position will involve overseas fieldwork in Myanmar and an intensive, laboratory-based analytical research program. The candidate will be expected to help develop and apply novel techniques for analysing stone artefacts, and conduct an experimental program.

The candidate will receive a tax-free stipend of AUD 25,849 per year (indexed annually), for three and a half years. Research funding opportunities are available, with candidates encouraged to apply for the various university-wide schemes available at UOW and CAS. For more details, see http://www.uow.edu.au/research/rsc/prospective/index.html

THE INSTITUTION
CAS was established at UOW in 2010 to develop, integrate and apply modern scientific techniques to answer fundamental questions about human evolution and the analysis of material remains of past human life and activities. CAS is affiliated with the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES), bringing together researchers drawn from the physical, chemical, biological and geological sciences in partnership with science-based archaeologists. This means that there is plenty of scope to interact and collaborate with experts from across the Earth Sciences, and indeed PhD candidates are encouraged to do so.

CAS possesses a world-leading laboratory for archaeological science, equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for microscopy, compositional analyses and dating. CAS members have produced high-profile publications in the field of archaeological science. We have ongoing collaborations with experts in statistics and other departments at UOW; combined with the departmental expertise, this provides an exciting research environment with many opportunities for collaborative work. For more details about CAS, see http://cas.uow.edu.au/index.html

REQUIREMENTS
Candidates are expected to hold a first class undergraduate degree, preferably Honours (or equivalent), in Archaeology, Archaeological Science, or a related discipline. For US applicants a GPA of 3.8 or higher, and field experience, is expected. Desirable, but not essential details for all applicants, include: authorship of scholarly publications; a relevant post-graduate qualification in Archaeology or a related discipline; prior experience analysing stone artefacts; international fieldwork experience; and CRM/consulting experience.
Applicants will need to show an aptitude for analytical and experimental research, and must be proficient in English. The successful applicant will be fully committed to conducting independent and original scientific research, while also collaborating with others in the CAS team. The PhD candidate will be expected to disseminate this research in peer-reviewed journal articles and conference presentations, as well as in their final PhD thesis. They will be encouraged to undertake training in relevant analytical techniques and must be willing to conduct overseas fieldwork, in sometimes challenging environments.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE
If you are interested in applying for this position and satisfy the above requirements, then please contact Dr Ben Marwick by email to discuss your application and details of the application procedure. The deadline for full applications is 23rd October 2015, and the successful candidate is expected to begin work in early 2016.
Dr Ben Marwick
Senior Research Fellow,
Centre for Archaeological Science (CAS),
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences,
Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health,
University of Wollongong,
Wollongong, NSW 2522,
AUSTRALIA
E: bmarwick@uow.edu.au

PhD Scholarship in Geoarchaeology + Short course opportunity

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A PhD scholarship position is available at the University of Wollongong, Australia, focusing on geoarchaeology related to a project investigating the colonisation of Asia and Australasia by modern humans during the late Pleistocene. The deadline for applications is 31 July 2015.

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD position within the Centre for Archaeological Science (CAS), University of Wollongong (UOW). The successful candidate will join a multi-disciplinary project that is seeking to generate new data related to the Late Pleistocene colonisation of Asia and Australasia by modern humans (Homo sapiens) and other archaic hominins present in the region at this time. This forms part of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellowship project led by Prof. Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts, ‘Out of Asia: unique insights into human evolution and interactions using frontier technologies in archaeological science’. To address important questions concerning the origins of our species we are developing a number of innovative archaeological science techniques, focussed on combining archaeo-chemical, geochronological and geoarchaeological research strands.

The geoarchaeological component of this project is focussing on spatially-resolved data acquisition at the micro-scale, linking on-site indicators of environmental change to the wider dynamics of the Quaternary landscape and climate systems. We are interested in how hominins interacted with the environments in which they lived, and the directionality of these interrelationships. Archaeological sediments are laid down and post-depositionally modified through the complex interplay between a broad range of geomorphic and anthropogenic processes. These processes leave behind diagnostic signatures that can be sought and identified at the micro-scale, allowing for additional dimensions of data to supplement more traditional field and laboratory techniques. The position will involve overseas fieldwork at archaeological sites in Southeast Asia, and an intensive, laboratory-based analytical research program.

Download more information here (pdf file)

Also, the Centre for Archaeological Research at the University of Wollongong is organising a short course from 16-20th November on Micromorphology.

A 1-week intensive, hands-on short course focussing on the application of micromorphology to the interpretation of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental sequences.

Course information can be downloaded here (pdf file)

University of Wollongong to help work on Sumatra cave excavations

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The Indonesian National Research and Development Center for Archaeology and University of Wollongong’s Centre for Archaeological Science will collaborate on the Gua Harimau site in Sumatra.

Art, bodies found in ancient caves
Illawara Mercury, 11 April 2013
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The new face of the Hobbit

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A new facial reconstruction of Homo floresiensis was introduced last week at the Australian Archaeological Association’s annual conference and also made its rounds in the news media. Reconstructions of the hobbit have been commonplace, but what makes this face different is that Susan Hayes has published a paper on the reconstruction, explaining how and why this face was derived from the bones. Here’s a roundup of the news:

Reconstruction of Homo floresiensis, Susan Hayes, University of Wollongong

Reconstruction of Homo floresiensis, Susan Hayes, University of Wollongong

Hobbit face revealed
Cosmos, 10 December 2012

Real-Life ‘Hobbit’ Face Revealed
LiveScience, 10 December 2012

‘She’s not pretty’ – meet a real hobbit
The Age, 10 December 2012

The Flores Hobbit’s face revealed
The Conversation, 10 December 2012

What a hobbit REALLY looks like: Researchers reconstruct the face of Homo floresiensis
Daily Mail, 10 December 2012

New face for ancient ‘Hobbit’ unveiled
Illawara Mercury, 10 December 2012

Hobbit Face: Homo Floresiensis Researchers Reconstruct Facial Features Of Ancient Human
Huffington Post, 11 December 2012
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More to be found in the Hobbit lands?

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06 May 2007 (The Age) – The real news of this story is that Dr. Morwood, from the team who discovered the hobbit hominid in Flores, is about to begin an archaeological investigation into the islands of Timor and Sulawesi, near Flores where our favourite controversial hobbit was found. This rest of the story, about finding the existence of other extinct animal and human species a la homo floresiensis is still entirely speculative.

From the hobbit team, more human relations

More bizarre, extinct human species — dwarfs and even giants — could be uncovered in Indonesia’s southern islands, with the Australian discoverer of the “hobbit” set to begin fresh diggings next month.

Mike Morwood — who with fellow Australian Peter Brown led the team that discovered the hobbit, Homo floresiensis, in 2003 — is predicting further species will be uncovered on the islands of Timor and Sulawesi, which are near Flores.

Professor Morwood, with a team headed by Indonesian archaeological professor Fachroel Aziz from Indonesia’s Geological Survey Institute, will soon start excavations in the Atambua Basin of Timor. Afterwards, the team will begin diggings in Sulawesi and will return to the Ling Bua cave in Flores, where the hobbit species was uncovered.

“We predict a number of these islands are probably going to have their own endemic human species, and many of them will be small,” Professor Morwood, from the University of Wollongong said.

Professor Morwood flagged that any new human species found on Timor and Sulawesi would be called Homo timoriensis and Homo celebesiensis (Celebes being the former name of Sulawesi).

He said these new species would have evolved separately on their respective islands for more than a million years. Although they could be similar is size, they would be different enough to warrant their own species name.

Professor Morwood said further archaeological finds would help answer the puzzling question of the ancestry of the hobbit, which could lead to a total redrawing of the human family tree. A popular explanation is that the hobbit — and any species that lived in Timor and Sulawesi — are descended from Homo erectus, which lived in Indonesia, notably Java, for thousands of years. But this was probably wrong, Professor Morwood said.

“Some of the traits of Homo floresiensis are so primitive — they’re more primitive than you find in Homo erectus. It seems likely that the ancestor was something before Homo erectus,” he said.

If true, this would revolutionise our understanding of human history because Homo erectus was believed to be the first early human that was advanced enough to leave Africa.


Related Books:
Little People And a Lost World: An Anthropological Mystery by L. Goldenberg
Human Origins : The Fossil Record by C. S. Larsen