The University of Stavanger invites applicants for a PhD Fellowship in Iron Age textile manufacture at the Museum of Archaeology, Department of Collections. The position is vacant from 01.08.2022.
This is a trainee position that will give promising researchers an opportunity for academic development through a PhD education leading to a doctoral degree. The appointment is for three years with research duties exclusively.
The hired candidate will be admitted to the PhD program in Social Sciences. The education includes relevant courses to about six months of study, a dissertation based on independent research, participation in national and international research environments, relevant academic communication, a trial lecture and public defense. Read more about the PhD education at UiS on our website.
The main objective of this PhD-project should be to achieve novel knowledge of Iron Age textiles and wool production, by using a combination of archaeological, experimental and/or archaeometric research methods.
Wool is a central component in Iron Age textile products. The Museum of Archaeology wishes to activate and showcase an understudied material in the collection: our unique corpus of wool textiles from southwest Norway. The Migration period in particular stands out due to its wealth of information regarding textile production, in particular high quality textile products, such as the tablet woven bands. The material from south-western Norway can be the main focus of the study or can be compared with material from other regions in Norway or further afield. Applicants can also choose other geographical areas, materials and periods for comparison, if suited to meet the objectives.
The manufacturing of wool and textiles of high quality involve a long and complex production sequence, based on a wide spectrum of knowledge, beginning with the breeding of sheep, feeding and grazing regimes, the plucking, sorting and dying of the wool, to the finished cloth or tablet woven band. Empirical knowledge of the operational chains and the spectrum of actors involved in prehistoric textile production is needed. Rather than focusing on one specific textile production technique, the successful candidate will take into account the whole complex of the production sequence and from there, zoom in on aspects of the process (production, use, deposition, context). Studies aiming to identify wool colours and thus the aesthetic and visual aspects of the Iron Age dress are also welcome.
Textiles and textile production is also central to developing new understandings of Iron Age everyday life, social conditions, technology, aesthetics, ritual and economy. Clothes in general, make up an understudied material in Iron Age research. The importance of the textile craft is documented through the deposition of textile tools such as loom weights in settlements/houses and spindle whorls and weaving battens in burials. Textile tools appear to be important in the materialization of identity; some tools, such as spindle whorls, heckles and weaving battens, may represent particular gendered identities. The production of wool is also entangled with sheep breeding. Hence, various theoretical perspectives can be employed, such as human-sheep engagement, gendered craft, transmission of knowledge and apprenticeship, to focus on textile craft and crafter(s), transmission of craft and the animals involved in wool-production.
The research on archaeological textiles and textile manufacture techniques is currently expanding, and new methodologies, including experimental approaches, use-wear studies and scientific analyses can potentially open novel avenues documenting, analyzing and visualizing wool- and textile production and manufacture. Possible approaches may include micro IRT-analysis, residue analysis, microarchaeological studies of fibres/hairs, characterisations of ancient sheep breeds and wool types through microscopic methods and digital images such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) or transmitted light microscopy (TLM), strontium isotope analysis to analyse textile provenance. The material must be handled/examined with assistance from the conservation lab at the museum. Experimental approaches and collaborations with modern master weavers and their products also make up a valuable contribution to a more profound understanding of textile craftmanship.
“Learning for life” is a central theme in the University of Stavanger’s strategic plan, and the museum can make a unique contribution to this by focusing on past practices and systems of practical knowledge transfer.
Potential avenues of investigation which invite collaboration with research communities in conservation, craft and experimental archaeology include for example:
- Biographies of wool production or the production of clothes/textiles
- The exploitation and use of plants and other substances used as pigments in textile dying.
- Understanding textile-production or dying techniques through experimental approaches
- The relationship between sheep and wool-production
- The manufacture and use of textile tools, such as spindle whorls and weaving battens
- Experimental and use-wear studies of loom weights, weaving-battens and spindle whorls
As an applicant, you must attach a project description that formulates a preliminary project proposal for a doctoral project within the subject area, which explains the problem, relevant research questions, theoretical and methodological approach. Your project proposal will be included in the application assessment.
During the first three months of the employment period, the project proposal and progress plan will be further developed in cooperation with your supervisors and completed for the final plan for the PhD-project. A project proposal template can be found here.
We are looking for applicants with a strong academic background who have completed a five-year master degree (3+2) within archaeology, preferably acquired recently; or possess corresponding qualifications that could provide a basis for successfully completing a doctorate.
To be eligible for admission to the doctoral programmes at the University of Stavanger both the grade for your master’s thesis and the weighted average grade of your master’s degree must individually be equivalent to or better than a B grade.
Applicants with an education from an institution with a different grade scale than A-F, and/or with other types of credits than sp/ECTS, must attach a confirmed conversion scale that shows how the grades can be compared with the Norwegian A-F scale and a Diploma Supplement or similar that explains the scope of the subject that are included in the education. You can use these conversion scales to calculate your points for admission.
Emphasis is also placed on your:
- motivation and potential for research within the field
- professional and personal skills for completing the doctoral degree within the timeframe
- ability to work independently and in a team, be innovative and creative
- ability to work structured and handle a heavy workload
- having a good command of both oral and written English
- a PhD education in a large, exciting and socially important organisation
- an ambitious work community which is developing rapidly. We strive to include employees at all levels in strategic decisions and promote an informal atmosphere with a flat organisational structure.
- salary in accordance with the State Salary Scale, l.pl 17.515, code 1017, NOK 491 200 gross per year with salary development according to seniority in the position. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
- automatic membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which provides favourable insurance- and retirement benefits
- favourable membership terms at a gym and at the SIS sports club at campus
- employment with an Inclusive Workplace organisation which is committed to reducing sick leave, increasing the proportion of employees with reduced working capacity, and increasing the number of professionally active seniors
- “Hjem-jobb-hjem” discounted public transport to and from work
- as an employee in Norway, you will have access to an optimal health service, as well as good pensions, generous maternity/paternity leave, and a competitive salary. Nursery places are guaranteed and reasonably priced
- relocation programme
- language courses: On this page you can see which language courses you may be entitled to (look up “language courses” under employment conditions)
University of Stavanger values independence, involvement and innovation. Diversity is respected and considered a resource in our work and learning environment. Universal design characterises physical and digital learning environments, and we strive to provide reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities.
You are encouraged to apply regardless of gender, disability or cultural background.
More information on the position (and project description) can be obtained from Associate Professor and Head of research at the museum, Anja Mansrud, e-mail: [email protected], tel: +47 41682138, or Head of Department Håkon Reiersen, e-mail: [email protected], tel: + 47 51832588
Information about the appointment procedure can be obtained from HR advisor, tel: +47 51831216, e-mail: [email protected].
To apply for this position please follow the link https://www.jobbnorge.no/en/available-jobs/job/222627/phd-in-iron-age-textile-manufacture-biography-apprenticeship-and-knowledge-production. Your application letter, relevant education and work experience as well as language skills must be registered here. In your application letter, you must state your research interests and motivation for the position.
The following documents must be uploaded as attachments to your application:
- project proposal, a project proposal template can be found here.
- CV with a full summary of your education and experience
- references, certificates/diplomas and other documentation that you consider relevant
- Diploma Supplement or similar and a confirmed conversion scale if this is required
- publications or other relevant research work
Applications are evaluated based on the information available in Jobbnorge at the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above and that you have attached the necessary documentation.
The documentation must be available in either a Scandinavian language or in English. If the total size of the attachments exceeds 30 MB, they must be compressed before upload.