Postdoctoral Research Position in Archaeological Science: Aarhus University, Denmark

Postdoctoral Research Position in Archaeological Science 905680

Applications are invited for a two-year postdoctoral position that will start on 1 September 2017 (or as soon as possible thereafter), to research past human subsistence, diet and/or mobility by means of stable isotope analyses and other archaeological science methods.

The DEDiT research project
The funding for this two-year postdoctoral position has been generously made available by the Aarhus University Research Foundation (Aarhus Universitets Forskningsfond), through the project entitled “Danish and European Diets in Time (DEDiT)”. The successful applicant will join the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies (School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University) and a research group led by Dr. Marcello A. Mannino (Associate Professor in Archaeological Science), comprising a PhD student and a laboratory assistant. Research that has recently been undertaken as part of DEDiT includes isotopic investigations of human diets in Denmark during the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Viking Age and Middle Ages. In addition, work has started on the study of mollusc shells from prehistoric Danish middens, based on sclerochronological and high-resolution isotope approaches. 

Aarhus University has a solid research infrastructure that includes the Aarhus AMS Centre (Department of Physics and Astronomy) and the Danish Interdisciplinary Centre for Plasma Mass Spectrometry (Department of Geoscience). As part of the DEDiT project, collaborations have been undertaken and are planned with colleagues at these facilities, where sample pretreatment and isotope analyses for the postdoctoral research can be conducted. 

DEDiT is a project that aims to initiate isotope-based archaeological research at the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, where a sample pretreatment laboratory is being set up. This facility will have strong work connections with Moesgaard Museum and, in particular, with its Department of Archaeological Science and Conservation. Planned methodological approaches include isotope analyses on bone and dentinal collagen (C, N, S, H), as well as on bioapatite (C, O). Additional methodologies that will be pursued are high-resolution isotope analyses of incremental-growth skeletal structures (i.e. teeth and shells).   
Research and postdoctoral project
The successful applicant will collaborate on research that has been recently initiated, or is at the planning stage, and for which funding is available. In addition, the postdoctoral researcher will be able to pursue projects of their own, in collaboration with the principal investigator and in compliance with the time constraints of a two-year contract. Applicants should therefore include a description of their intended research project during their prospective contract, providing details of the budget, timeline and expected scientific output of the work.

Proposed projects can focus on materials from prehistoric or historic periods, but should preferably focus on southern Scandinavia or northern Europe (depending on the interest of the research, proposals regarding materials from further afield may also be taken into account). The research should ideally be based on one or more of the methodological approaches described above, although preference will be given to projects that aim to reconstruct life histories through isotope analyses. Research that combines isotopic methods with physical anthropology, zooarchaeology or archaeobotany is also of interest.

Qualifications and job requirements
Applicants for the position must hold a PhD or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject and should also document:
• expertise in the application of isotope analyses on organic archaeological remains
• relevant laboratory experience and analytical skills
• an international research profile, as well as excellent research quality
• the ability to work independently and in collaboration within a research group.

The successful candidate will be encouraged to apply for funding, and expected to present their research at international meetings and publish results in peer-reviewed international scientific journals in a timely fashion. The position may involve some teaching commitments, as agreed upon with the head of department and principal investigator of the project.

The application must be submitted in English.
For further information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Marcello A. Mannino (

For more information about the application, please contact HR supporter Marianne Birn ( at the School of Culture and Society.