Junior Post-doctoral Researcher in Rock Art Studies

Updated: about 1 year ago
Deadline: 18 Nov 2019


The ARTSOUNDSCAPES project deals with sound, rock art and sacred landscapes among past hunter-gatherers and early agricultural societies around the world. The potential of sound to stimulate powerful emotions makes it a common medium for conferring places with extraordinary agency. Ethnographic and ethnohistorical sources indicate that these sites are often endowed with a sacred significance and, in many cases, they also receive special treatment, including the production of rock paintings. Despite the aural experience being an integral component of the human condition and a key element in ritual, archaeology has largely been unable to study it systematically. Rock art landscapes are no exception and, although some studies have been made, they have largely been reproached for their lack of scientific rigour and subjectivity. ARTSOUNDSCAPES will fully address this weakness by investigating the perception of sound in rock art landscapes from an interdisciplinary approach reflected in its five Research Lines:

  • Research line 1: Characterising the acoustic properties of rock art landscapes. Aim: to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the acoustic properties of a series of rock art landscapes around the world in order to acquire scientifically accurate data for surveying relationships between sonic effects, soundscape perception and the positioning of rock art.
  • Research line 2: The psychoacoustics of rock art landscapes. Aim: to examine the sensations evoked in people by sounds and how they relate to auditory interpretations and physically measurable quantities; to explore auditory perceptions such as echolocation and the augmented audibility and intelligibility of distant sounds.
  • Research line 3: Neuropsychology and emotion in rock art landscapes. Aim: to test whether stimulation of the brain with the sound recorded in RL1 can induce patterns of brain activity related to particular emotions such as those provoked by altered or mystical states
  • Research line 4: Ethnographic and ethnohistorical sources. Aim: to critically revise ethnohistorical and ethnographic records related to music and sound among hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists and to look at ethnographic variation in sacred beliefs associated to sound in these same societies.
  • Research line 5: Phenomenological analysis of sacred emotion and rock art soundscapes. Aim: to combine the results obtained in the previous lines and attempt a phenomenological understanding of sacred soundscapes among late hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists around the world.


  • Work closely with the project PI, the Senior Post Doctoral Researcher(s) and the other team members;
  • Research on Research Line 1 (RL 1) especially in archaeoacoustic fieldwork and assist the Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher(s) in the post-processing of the data gathered during fieldwork and its analysis;
  • Collaborate with the PI and team members working in RL2 and RL3;
  • Undertake archival and literature research into the use of music and music instruments in past and present communities of interest to the project in an area of the world to be agreed with the PI;
  • Unless on fieldwork, attending meetings, conferences or travelling for archival and literature research allowed by the PI, a key responsibility of the researcher will be to work in the Department of History and Archaeology, University of Barcelona.


Related to the whole project

  • Collaborate with the PI, the senior PD and other team members for all required tasks and RLs in the project.
  • Attend to all weekly meetings and seminars as possible being organised by the project

Related to Research Line 1

  • Join fieldwork and assist the project PI and the Senior postdoctoral researcher(s) in the field;
  • Work together with the project PI and the Senior postdoctoral researcher in the post-processing of data and analysis of acoustic data.

Related to Research Lines 2 and 3

  • Assist the PI and the senior staff in ensuring that there is continuous, fluid and effective communication between RL2 and RL3 with the other project research lines aiming to, among other goals, produce joined-up academic work.

Related to Research Line 4

  • Undertake some archival and literature research into the use of music and music instruments in past and present communities of interest to the project in an area of the world to be agreed with the PI;
  • Undertake some archival and literature research into the cultural and religious meaning of acoustics in past and present communities of interest to the project in the same or not communities and area to be agreed with the PI;
  • Undertake some archival and literature research into sound recordings made of acoustics and music instruments in the past and present in a series of selected areas to be agreed with the PI;
  • Provide data for the database that will include the findings made during the archival and literature research, including the sound recordings.


  • Actively work in academic dissemination by leading the co-writing of at least two articles per year to be published in international peer-reviewed publications.
  • Actively participate in conferences agreed by the PI representing the ARTSOUNDSCAPES project with a paper at least once a year
  • Actively participate in non-academic dissemination for wider audiences agreed by the PI.


  • Perform other related duties as required.



FBG project number


Project title

The sound of special places: exploring rock art soundscapes and the sacred


Dr Margarita Díaz-Andreu García


Història i Arqueologia

Gross salary per year

Negotiable between € 18000-22500 € Gross yearly salary

Required documents

Application letter

Curriculum vitae

2 international publications if available

2 academic reference letters

All these documents should to be sent to m.diaz-andreu@ub.edu by the deadline. Large documents may be sent by alternative media such as Hightail or similar. Please, ask for acknowledgement of receipt

Send your application to:




Prof. Dr Margarita Díaz-Andreu

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Application for a Junio Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Junior in Rock Art Studies

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