Thursday, May 14, 2015

Post-Doctoral Position

1-year Post doctoral research position, September 1st 2015 – August 31st 2016
A research Program on Iranian Metal ware
Department of Islamic Art - Louvre Museum / Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France

Scientific context

The Louvre hosts one of the most remarkable collections of metal ware from the Islamic world. Among this holding are 150 objects originating from Iran, in addition to 79 objects from the greater Iranian world. They are comprised of small vessels for food and drink; personal items for bathing, cosmetics and perfumes; decorative objects; and utility items such as candlesticks and incense burners.

While Near East metal ware production has been thoroughly studied, metal ware from the Persian and Indian worlds during the Islamic Period have until now been less investigated. Thus, with its 229 items, the analytical data from the Louvre collections will represent a large input in the field. New avenues of research may be brought to light such as the possibility to identify specific centers of productions.

The Islamic Art Department’s collection dates from the 8th through the 19th centuries. The works of art that will be studied can be divided into the following groups:

- Medieval Persian World (11th-13th centuries): 93 objects
- Southwestern Iran (13th-14th centuries): 30 objects
- Western and Eastern Greater Iran (15th century): 19 objects
- Late Persian World (16th-19th centuries): 21 objects
- Iran or India (16th-19th centuries): 37 objects

The works of art in the Louvre’s holding are often unique pieces and reveal the range of Persian craftsmanship. Several types of techniques, such as repoussé, inlay, engraving and relief, were used with extraordinary skill, and delicately written inscriptions and calligraphy decorate the pieces providing valuable information on their origin. However, to date, the study of these objects has been based on archaeological, historical and epigraphic data, and has exclusively focused on dating, attribution, inscription and style.

The Department of Islamic Art’s project will focus on its collection of Persian metalwares from an archaeometallurgical perspective. The initiative will concentrate on the identification of the materials used to create these stunning objects – mainly copper alloys, often inlaid with silver, gold, and/or copper. This type of technical investigation has never been conducted on the collection and will be extremely valuable to the understanding of the elements and techniques used by artisans and workshops. A detailed examination of the metallurgical composition of certain pieces will also allow a more precise identification of their origin. For example, many of the objects in the collection are currently classified as Iranian or Indian, as metal ware from both territories present similar characteristics in form and in decoration. A metallurgical analysis will discern the origin of the metals and thus help determine where the objects were created. The archaeometallurgical program will also focus on the manufacture and the ornament techniques. This shall represent the most time-consuming part of the project

The two first corpus (11-14th c) have been studied during 2014-2015, the 1-year postdoctorate position will focus on the three last corpus (15-19th c).

Skills required
Applicants shall have a PhD degree in archaeometallurgy or related field. They shall be experienced in archaeometallurgical investigations, including elemental analysis of metals and manufacture techniques. Most time will be spent in the close examination of the artifacts in order to find out the fabrication and decoration techniques. Therefore, the candidate shall be particularly interested and skilled in these technical aspects. Particular interest in medieval and Early modern Indo persan will be appreciated.

The position for this post-doctoral fellow will be funded for an initial period of one year, with the possibility of being renewed for a further period. The net annual level of remuneration is 28,000 €

The research will be led in collaboration with the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France (C2RMF). It will be managed by Annabelle Collinet, Ph. D, research associate in the Louvre’s Department of Islamic Art Department, and David Bourgarit, Ph. D, archaeometallurgist at the C2RMF.

Applicants interested in this position should contact Annabelle Collinet ( and David Bourgarit ( Applicants should provide a statement of purpose regarding the  proposed research of one page in length, together with a full CV, and  the names and e-mail addresses of three academic referees. We aim to make an appointment to this position by June 30th 2015.

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