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Sulphur isotope analysis of archaeological populations.

   School of Archaeology

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  Dr Gundula Muldner  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project


Sulphur isotopes have been analysed in archaeological human and faunal remains since the 1990s. It is only recently, however, that advances in isotope ratio mass spectrometry have made it possible to produce data on a large scale, providing an opportunity to develop new applications of this technique.

We seek to take advantage of new analytical facilities at the University of Reading by encouraging applications by prospective PhD students who are interested in applying sulphur isotope analysis, in combination with other light isotopes, to archaeological human or animal populations to address questions of diet, mobility, and methodological development. Topics include:

• Sulphur isotopes for refining dietary interpretation and/or sulphur isotopes and mobility, especially in      historical (Roman to Post-Medieval) European populations,

• Improving sulphur isotope baselines for mobility studies, especially in Britain and other European countries.

• Diagenesis and quality control.

The Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading has an international reputation for the quality of its research and is at the forefront of social and scientific research on issues of global cultural and environmental importance and contemporary relevance. 97% of our research was judged to be of international standing in the latest Research Excellence Framework, 2014. Our expertise spans the Palaeolithic to the Medieval periods, and regions of the world including the UK, Europe, Middle East, South America and China. Find out more on our research page:

Archaeological science at Reading is supported by a range of dedicated laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment in the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science and the University’s Chemical Analysis Facility, see here:

Applicants will require a 2.1 or equivalent in archaeological science, chemistry or a cognate subject, and preferable a Masters’ degree relevant the research proposal. We welcome initial enquires and will support the development of a research proposal and student-led applicants for funding. Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Gundula Müldner ([Email Address Removed]). 

Funding Notes

Prospective students will be supported by relevant staff in applications to available funding schemes; see :


Lodwick, L., Campbell, G., Crosby, V. and Müldner, G. (2021) Isotopic evidence for changes in cereal production strategies in Iron Age and Roman Britain. Environmental Archaeology: the Journal of Human Palaeoecology, 26 (1). pp. 13-28. ISSN 1461-4103 doi:
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