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Tracking adhesive technologies from the Late Glacial to Holocene (Nice/York/British Museum)

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Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : mercredi 17 février 2021

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General information

Reference : UMR7264-ISATHE0-001
Workplace : NICE
Date of publication : Thursday, January 28, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Martine Regert (CEPAM, CNRS, Nice) Aimée Little (University of York) Rebecca Stacey (British Museum) Carl Heron (British Museum)
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 September 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

In Europe, birch bark tar is considered as a universal adhesive during prehistory but archaeological data is scarce and scattered. Assessing the role of adhesive substances in prehistoric technology requires cross-institutional training and access to samples from different archaeological contexts and environments. You will undertake chemical characterisation of adhesive samples from composite objects (hafted tools), various ceramic utensils, free lumps in the sediment and the measurement of mechanical properties of experimentally-produced adhesive products to understand the methods of production, choices and management of natural substances used for several purposes (hafting materials, repair or waterproofing ceramic vessels or other objects, etc.). A key aspect of the project is to establish the availability of raw materials involved in adhesive materials (birch, pine, etc.) and to identify whether other materials such as beeswax, ochre, charcoal etc. were used as additives to improve binding properties.

Work Context

You will be trained in lipid analysis at the CNRS (Nice, Regert) and apply this to adhesives on tools and utensils from a wide range of archaeological contexts (Early/Late Mesolithic to the most recent uses of birch bark tar in Europe) already identified across the network, with several samples already in hand from Mesolithic sites in Denmark, Neolithic and protohistoric sites in Europe and access to extensive collections at the British Museum.
You will conduct an experimental programme at the YEAR Centre (York, Little) in order to replicate/test adhesive admixtures using aceramic production methods. During your 2nd year, you will be seconded to the British Museum to work on their collections under the guidance of Heron and Stacey, both of whom are experts in the study of ancient organic substances, including birch bark tar. You will sample ethnographic and historical artefacts where their use is documented. You will liaise closely with ESR3 and ESR14.

Additional Information

the PhD fit within the programm ChemArch https://sites.google.com/palaeome.org/chemarch/home

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