Make-Up of the City is an Interdisciplinary Research Project funded by the Research Council of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Bringing together historians, archaeologists, geochemists and anatomists, the project wants to gain new insights into the composition and functioning of urban societies in the pre-modern Low Countries. It focuses on a late medieval and early modern parish cemetery in the Flemish city of Ieper, which was one of the largest industrial centres in Europe during the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Through a transdisciplinary study of the burial ground’s 1,200 human skeletons, involving historical methods, isotopic analyses and osteoarchaeology, Make-Up of the City aims to answer fundamental questions about the origins, health, well-being and nutrition of city-dwellers in the Low Countries between 1200 and 1800.
The project is now hiring for a PhD position in Interdisciplinary Studies: Sciences and Archaeology. The successful candidate will carry out the analysis of strontium, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen isotopes on samples from the human bone collection in Ieper, supervised by isotope specialists. S/he will publish her/his results in peer-reviewed publications, present her/his work at international conferences and promote the project through outreach activities and social media initiatives. Based at the AMGC (Analytical-Environmental and Geochemistry), MARI (Mediterranean Archaeological Research Institute) and HOST (Historical Research into Urban Transformation Processes) research groups on the VUB’s Etterbeek campus, s/he will be part of an interdisciplinary team and will be expected to engage with insights from history, archaeology, geochemistry and medicine. We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of two years, renewable for another two-year period after positive evaluation.
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