Pre-doctoral Researcher in the archaeoacoustics of rock art

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 25 Sep 2021



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


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 archaeoacoustics fieldwork and assist the Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher(s) in the post-processing of the data gathered during fieldwork and its analysis;
  • Assisting with the writing up of results
  • 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.
  • Enrol in the Societat I Cultura post-doctoral programme as soon as registration is open.
  • Write texts towards the completion of a doctoral thesis on a topic agreed with the PI.


Related to the whole project

  • Collaborate with the PI, the senior PDs and other team members for all required tasks and RLs in the project.
  • Attend to all meetings and seminars as possible being organised by the project
  • Prepare a paper for a reading workshop when required by the PI.

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 analysis of acoustic data.
  • Assist with the analysis of data making use of programmes such as GIS, adobe photoshop, and others


  • Actively work in academic dissemination by leading the co-writing of at least one article to be published in a peer-reviewed publication, if requested by the PI as first author.
  • Actively participate in non-academic dissemination for wider audiences agreed by the PI.


  • Perform other related duties as required.

Gross salary per year

Negotiable between

13.000 and 21.000€ Project Gross yearly salary

How to apply

Required documents

Application letter

Curriculum vitae

Proven experience in rock art studies

2 academic reference letters

All these documents should to be sent to 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

email subject

Application for a Pre-doctoral Researcher in the archaeoacoustics of rock art

View or Apply

Similar Positions