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Portal > Offres > Offre UMR5189-BERRED-005 - CDD chercheur/chercheuse en papyrologie, analyse de réseaux sociaux (H/F), projet ERC "Desert Networks"

Research Fellow in papyrology, social network analysis (M/F), ERC project "Desert Networks"

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR5189-BERRED-005
Workplace : LYON 07
Date of publication : Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Type of Contract : FTC Scientist
Contract Period : 24 months
Expected date of employment : 1 October 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : between 2643 and 3766€ gross monthly according to experience
Desired level of education : PhD
Experience required : 1 to 4 years


"The social networks of the indigenous labour force under the reign of Antoninus at Mons Claudianus": International excavations conducted at Mons Claudianus between 1987 and 1993 have uncovered about 9,000 ostraca, which yield important insights into the organisation of the imperial granite quarries, but also into the daily life of the inhabitants of the northern part of the Egyptian Eastern Desert. Two reigns are mainly represented in this corpus: Trajan and Antoninus. The reign of Trajan corresponds to the construction of the Forum of Trajan and the Ulpia Basilica. On the other hand, we do not know of any building sites commissioned by Antoninus. It is assumed that the exploitation of the metallon under this emperor aimed to complete the programmes launched by Hadrian. A large part of the ostraca of Antoninus is made up of a set of c. 1200 monthly instructions sent by the native quarrymen and blacksmiths to their food steward, the kibariatès, concerning their salary and their future fruit ration. This documentary genre, characteristic of Mons Claudianus (notwithstanding rare examples in two neighbouring metalla, Porphyritès and Kainè Latomia), was entitled entolè. In this connection, two articles by H. Cuvigny, "The Amount of the Wages paid to the Quarry-Workers at Mons Claudianus", JRS 86, 1996, pp. 139-145 and "Deux ostraca du Mons Claudianus: O.Bahria 20 et 21", CdE 72, 1997, pp. 112-118 are provisionally consulted. The kibariatès (who was apparently only one of the workers delegated by his comrades) went down into the valley with these instructions and made the purchases requested (mainly food) and other expenses: debt repayments, loans to comrades, various contributions. An entolè typically begins with the heading: so-and-so's entolè for such and such a month. It includes names other than that of the worker: that of the kibariatès, that of the creditors or debtors, sometimes those of members of his family.
The network analysis will focus on this corpus, which Hélène Cuvigny has undertaken to publish (much of the text is already established). The texts are transcribed and entered in her O.Claud. database on File Maker to which the analyst will have access. Since this database has been partially completed by students and has not been systematically checked, it contains errors (particularly in the transcription of names or the entry of texts) that the analyst will report and correct. The analyst will have to take into account the occurrences of these characters in other Antoninian ostraca that are not entolai (private letters, lists of names, tituli on amphorae).
The expected results are : (1) a prosopography of the native workforce in Mons Claudianus under Antoninus; (2) the classification of names in the two groups between which it was divided according to geographical origin: the Syenites and the Alexandrians. Anthroponymia is a good indicator, but there are still doubtful cases that network analysis could help to decide; (3) an estimate of its number; (4) as the entolai are not dated, we still have no idea of the extent of the period covered: a few months? a few years? (5) There are different types of entolai, for example: series addressed to two kibariatai, series where the technonym kibariatès is replaced by kephalaiôtès, series where the price of foodstuffs is indicated, series where the wage scale is different, etc. Network analysis, by focusing not only on individuals, but also on other variables, will make it possible to establish links between them: month, stratigraphic unit, presence or absence of a particular contribution, etc.


The researcher's work will be carried out within the framework of the ERC project "Desert Networks. Into the Eastern desert of Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Roman Period" (StG n° 759078) led by Bérangère Redon (CNRS-HiSoMA). The researcher will work particularly within the WP5 team ("workpackage" 5) whose work is dedicated to the study of social networks in the Eastern desert through papyrological documentation (WP led by H. Cuvigny, CNRS-IRHT, director of the Institute of Papyrology of the Sorbonne, and Bérangère Redon). He or she will be in close contact with H. Cuvigny, who will give him or her access to his or her database. He or she will participate in the seminar of the Institute of Papyrology of the Sorbonne-University and in the seminar of the HiSoMA C axis (epigraphy seminar and "Mutations" seminar). He or she will also be expected to contribute actively to the research activities of the Desert Networks research group, in close liaison with the other members of the project.


PhD thesis in papyrology or in ancient history. Very good knowledge of Greek, ecdotics of documentary papyrus, ability to decipher them, familiarity with the sociology and administration of Roman Egypt, knowledge of the anthroponymy of Roman Egypt, skills in SNA ("Social Network Analysis") methods.

Work Context

The research carried out within the HiSoMA laboratory concerns ancient worlds, approached through the specialized disciplines of Ancient Sciences such as archaeology, history, literary studies, philology, epigraphy, numismatics, iconography, over a very long period extending from the Ancient Pharaonic Empire to the end of Late Antiquity, and in a coherent geographical space that corresponds mainly to the civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean.

Additional Information

Presentation of the project 'ERC Desert Networks - Into the Eastern Desert of Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Roman period' (ERC-StG n. 759078).
The desert is a paradox: it is both arid and rich in resources, a margin and an interface. Far from being a no-man's land, it is a social space of linked solidarities. The "Desert Networks" project aims to explore the reticular organization of such an area by focusing on the southern part of Egypt's Eastern Desert. Located between the Nile and the Red Sea, this has always been an attractive region for Egypt and beyond. Its ancient remains are admirably preserved and there are many ancient springs from the region itself. However, the history of its occupation and appropriation is still too often static and compartmentalized. The ambition of the project is to cross disciplinary boundaries and make an epistemological break by working for the first time in and on the Eastern Desert as a dynamic, long-term object (middle of the 2nd millennium BC - end of the 3rd century AD). The aim is to analyse the organisation of the different networks that link its different nodes using the connectivity theory that reshaped the scientific paradigms of the Mediterranean in the 2000s. For the first time, the project will gather all the data discovered in the region over the last 300 years, as well as data from excavations carried out by the project, into a database linked to a GIS.

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