En poursuivant votre navigation sur ce site, vous acceptez le dépôt de cookies dans votre navigateur. (En savoir plus)

PhD Contract M/F "Typological and functional analysis of ritual and domestic ceramics among the Mochicas (Peru)."-Contrat doctoral H/F « Analyse typologique et fonctionnelle de la céramique rituelle et domestique chez les Mochicas (Pérou). »

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : jeudi 7 juillet 2022

Assurez-vous que votre profil candidat soit correctement renseigné avant de postuler. Les informations de votre profil complètent celles associées à chaque candidature. Afin d’augmenter votre visibilité sur notre Portail Emploi et ainsi permettre aux recruteurs de consulter votre profil candidat, vous avez la possibilité de déposer votre CV dans notre CVThèque en un clic !

General information

Reference : UMR8096-NICGOE-001
Workplace : PARIS 04
Date of publication : Thursday, June 16, 2022
Scientific Responsible name : Nicolas Goepfert
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

The PhD will focus on typological and functional analyses of ceramics from the Mochica culture that developed between AD 100-800 on the northern coast of Peru. Known for their imposing pyramids, ceramic craft and goldsmithing, the Mochica form one of the first Andean proto-states. Among the pottery productions, the prisoner vases constitute emblematic artifacts of the Mochica culture. These vases-effigies in the form of prisoners illustrate naked male figures with their hands tied behind their backs, their genitals visible, often sitting cross-legged. They were found in funerary and sacrificial contexts of the site of Huacas de Moche and several tens of others are known at present and preserved in the Larco Herrera museum in Lima. In spite of their recurrence in funerary and sacrificial contexts, little data is currently available to understand their symbolic function, the reason for their deposit in the burials and their place in the Mochica ceremonial ideology.

Often considered as offerings and studied mainly for their iconography, these vases probably contained liquids or food. Nevertheless, no systematic study has been done to inform their true social and symbolic function, as well as their performative value. Were they representations of human sacrifice, a central ritual in the Mochica cosmogony (and of the pre-Hispanic Andes in general)? Do these vases constitute a substitution of a sacrificial victim? Are they the receptacle of a liquid intended for the deceased? Did they have other functions?

A more general study of Mochica vessels (prisoner jars, bottles, jars...) will allow us to better understand the use of these ceramics and thus to bring together ritual and functional aspects.
This study will be based on the meticulous analysis of several hundred vases.
• Functions as containers: typo-morphological analysis, traceological study and ethnoarchaeological investigation
• Performative function (context, associations etc.)
• Symbolic function (iconography)
• Ideological and cultural significance of the object within and outside the Mochica culture

The aim is to analyze their use in funerary practices and their function within these contexts, to determine if there are recurring characteristics to these productions and to carry out a traceological study that will allow observing and identifying use-wear patterns that can provide insights on the function of these vessels. One of the hypotheses proposed is that these vessels were used to contain liquids, perhaps chicha (corn alcohol of pre-Hispanic origin). Chicha was, and still is, consumed at the funeral of a deceased person. The production of chicha in the vicinity of the Huaca de la Luna site, more than 2000 years after its foundation, is documented from the Mochica period.

In what type of container was chicha produced? Were the skills maintained over such a long period of time, despite the Spanish colonization? Is this proximity between this archaeological site and chicha production an exception? Was chicha contained in these vases? An ethno-archaeological study on the production of chicha carried out in the surroundings of the archaeological sites will allow to recover containers in order to observe the traces left by this liquid. These present-day vessels will then be compared to the archaeological ones. Interviews will be conducted with the producers to better understand their techniques and the choice of containers used during the different stages of preparation of the beverage.

Work Context

The PhD student will be registered at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in the ED 112 (doctoral school of archaeology). He/she will be attached to the UMR 8096 Archéologie des Amériques (ArchAm). The project is part of the call for "Doctoral Contracts with International Mobility - 2022" and has as a partner the French Institute of Andean Studies (IFEA-UMIFRE 17 MEAE-CNRS) in Lima, where the fieldwork will be carried out.
The thesis will be supervised by Nicolas Goepfert (Researcher, CNRS), Julien Vieugué (Researcher, CNRS) and Juliette Testard (Researcher, CNRS). The PhD student will participate in the scientific activities of the laboratory.

Constraints and risks

The PhD contract includes an obligation of mobility to Peru. The PhD student will carry out this mobility, preferably 6 months per year, to study archaeological assemblages and to acquire ethnoarchaeological data necessary for his research. The field of study is located on the northern coast of Peru, around the city of Trujillo, and in Lima. During this period, he/she will be hosted by the French Institute of Andean Studies, which is a UMIFRE (Mixed Unit of French Research Institutes abroad under the dual supervision of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CNRS). IFEA will provide administrative and logistical support and will constitute a stimulating scientific environment through collaborations with local actors.

Additional Information

• The candidate (M/F) must have a Master's degree in archaeology, preferably in pre-Columbian archaeology on a theme related to the analysis of a ceramic collections
• Knowledge of functional (use-wear) analysis in archaeology
• Ability to work in a team and independently
• Field experience in Peru is appreciated
• Fluency in French and Spanish

The selection process is divided into two stages: a first selection will be made on the basis of the candidate's file and an interview will be organized in July for the selected candidates (M/F).

Applications must include the following documents
- CV in French, English or Spanish.
- a cover letter of 1 or 2 pages in which you explain why the proposed theme interests you.

We talk about it on Twitter!