Post-doctoral Research Associate for Leverhulme Project: People and Place

Durham University - Department of Archaeology

Background to the Role

People and place: the making of the Kingdom of Northumbria AD300-800 comprises a 3-year research project funded by The Leverhulme Trust. This project, based within the Department of Archaeology at Durham University, will exploit an aggregate of social and scientific approaches in an exploration of the burial record for the early kingdom of Northumbria. Charting the emergence, size and longevity of early states has challenged many anthropologists and archaeologists; the scope, duration and ethnic composition often proving elusive because of a lack of appropriate data.

Northumbria, a large kingdom forged from smaller polities in the 6th to 7th centuries, offers an opportunity to explore a powerful, contested territory: a region suggested by written and archaeological sources as a linguistic and cultural melting pot. People and Place will test and analyse, through burial data, the formation processes of one of the largest kingdoms in early medieval Britain.

Combining archaeological expertise with new scientific opportunities proffered through bioarchaeological and chronometric applications, the project will use a three strand programme of work to create a new and enhanced understanding of the populations and the processes of migration, mobility, identity-creation, social stratification, political aggregation and coalescence that underpinned the transformation of this frontier region.

Role of postholder

The postholder under the supervision of the Co-Investigators, will be one of 3 Research Associates based in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University working as a team to engage in key aspects of the project. This post will involve the osteological and isotopic analysis of skeletal assemblages curated in a variety of regional museums in Scotland and the north of England.

The post will involve travel for the purpose of analysing, sampling and acquiring datasets. Tasks will include the full osteological and palaeopathological analysis of human skeletal assemblages, the sampling and preparation of bones and teeth for isotope analysis of strontium, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen, coordinating a programme of radiocarbon dating, and the integration and interpretation of these skeletal data-sets with funerary evidence in order to explore questions of diet, mobility, health and social identity.

The post-holder will assist PDRA 3 to integrate scientific data within the GIS and will contribute to the creation and publication of all journal papers and the project monograph. The post-holder will support PDRA 1 and 3 in delivering conference papers and will support the PI in the production of annual reports to relevant funding bodies.

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Northern England