Animal ecology and management during the transition from mobile hunting-gathering to sedentary agriculture.

   School of Archaeology

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof R J Matthews, Dr A Pluskowski  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

A funded PhD position in zooarchaeology to start on 14 January 2019 is available to contribute to the ERC-funded MENTICA project. The successful applicant will work with Prof Roger Matthews and colleagues at the University of Reading to investigate changing environments, animal ecology and management and community food-ways and sustainability during the transition from mobile hunting-gathering to sedentary agriculture.

The primary roles of the PhD in Zooarchaeology will be to conduct research and prepare a thesis on the faunal assemblages from new excavations at Epipalaeolithic and Early Neolithic sites in Iraq and Iran. The successful applicant will analyse the faunal remains from these sites in order: to investigate distinctive food-way strategies and preferences at the diverse scales of communities associated with buildings, neighbourhoods, sites and regions; to contribute to the integration of the zooarchaeological food-ways analysis with the stable isotope studies conducted on animal and human remains and with the archaeobotanical evidence recovered; to contribute to the articulation of the trajectories and sustainability of Epipalaeolithic to Early Neolithic food procurement and consumption; and to investigate the role of seasonality and environmental change in the transition from mobile hunting-gathering to more sedentary agricultural food-ways. Interviews will take place on Wednesday 12th December.

You will have:
• A Master’s degree in archaeology or a related field, preferably with merit or distinction or equivalent
• Experience of techniques in the identification, recording, and analysis of faunal remains
• Experience of archaeological fieldwork and, in particular, the recovery of faunal remains
• IT skills in the use of relevant software packages for complex data analysis
• The ability to work flexibly and to meet deadlines
• The ability to interact professionally with a wide range of researchers, officials, the media and the public
• Excellent written and spoken English.

Funding Notes

This studentship is funded by the European Research Council (ERC), and covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, research costs, travel costs to national and international conferences as well as an annual stipend of £14,777 for three years. This studentship is open only to UK/ EU fee-status students only.


Applicants should also arrange for two academic referees, who may submit letters of reference via email upon request.

Where will I study?