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Reference : UMR5133-JOHLHU-001
Workplace : LYON 07
Date of publication : Friday, October 1, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Johanna Lhuillier et Michel Rasse
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 December 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly
Description of the thesis topic
Provisional title: "Adaptation trajectories in the semi-arid piedmont: geohistory of irrigation in Surkhan Darya province (Uzbekistan)".
The thesis aims at studying the trajectories of human occupation in the Kugitangtau foothills, through a study of the evolution of agricultural practices, in particular irrigation, from the Bronze Age to the present day. The successive irrigation networks, their remains and their traces in the landscapes will thus constitute the main entry key to a research on the modalities of interactions between societies and environments in an environment constrained by the topography and the marked seasonality of rainfall. Although the analysis covers the long term (about 4200 years), two key periods of transformations in the relationship between societies and their environment will be more specifically considered: the period from the Middle Bronze Age to the end of the Achaemenid period, especially the second millennium BC, which will be the subject of an in-depth study in connection with the excavation of Early Iron Age sites carried out by the French Archaeological Mission of Protohistoric Bactria (MAFBAP, dir. Johanna Lhuillier); the 20th and 21st centuries, whose intensive transformations of the environments and landscapes partially obscure the previous socio-spatial and socio-environmental organisations. The work will therefore aim to document the evolution of environmental conditions (paleoenvironment), ancient networks and practices (geoarchaeology and geohistory of irrigation), and recent changes in landscapes and practices (geography and dynamic geomorphology). The expected results will make it possible to question the notions of environmental determinism, possibilism and niche construction, and to analyse the resilience and adaptation strategies of mountain societies over the long term.
The doctoral student will be registered at the University Lumière Lyon 2 and his/her doctoral research will contribute to the ANR project TransOxus - Resilience of Protohistoric Societies: Adaptation Strategies and cultural Transformation during the 2nd Millennium BCE in southern Central Asia (dir. Johanna Lhuillier), which is at the origin of the funding of the contract, as well as to the archaeological work of the MAFBAP. She/he will be supervised by Michel Rasse (geographer, Archéorient), Johanna Lhuillier (archaeologist, Archéorient) and Maël Crépy (geographer, geoarchaeologist, IFAO and Archéorient). The team is made up of specialists from various disciplines (archaeology, archaeobotany, ceramology, geoarchaeology, geography, geomatics, geophysics) and thus offers a broad multidisciplinary approach.
Constraints and risks
The realisation of the PhD will require several months of stay in Uzbekistan, during the work of MAFBAP and during research stays in archives and documentation centres.
The candidate should, at the time of application, hold a Master's degree (or equivalent) in geography with a strong research component. The doctoral work envisaged is based on diversified skills and solid experience in:
- Sedimentological analyses in the laboratory;
- Processing and interpretation of satellite images;
- Research and exploitation of archives, in particular cartographic archives;
- Geomatics (vector and raster processing);
- Field geoarchaeology.
In addition, fluency in English (minimum level B2) is required. Some knowledge of Uzbek and/or Russian is also desirable.
The position requires knowledge of the environmental contexts specific to Central Asia, and particularly southern Uzbekistan, and/or previous experience of working in/on these environments.
Finally, an aptitude for working in a team and in a multidisciplinary context, and an archaeological and/or historical culture of Central Asia are essential for the success of the proposed thesis.
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