Contrat post-doctoral : analyses multi-isotopiques / Post-doctoral position : multi-isotopic analyses

Article publié le 2 novembre 2018 | Catégorie(s) : Actualités de la recherche, recrutements

Postdoctoral Research Position in Archaeological Sciences: multi-isotopic analyses

Applications are invited for a 1 year renewable postdoctoral position that will start on January 2019 (may be slightly delayed for exceptional conditions) for research on Neolithic human diet and mobility by means of multi-isotopic analyses in correlation with other archaeological sciences deployed in the transdisciplinary project « NEOGENRE ».

The “NEOGENRE” ANR research project

The funding for this postdoctoral position has been made available by the ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche), through the project entitled “Gender relations in the Neolithic: biology, societies, symbols (NEOGENRE)” (Projet-ANR-17-CE27-0023) led by Aline Thomas (Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle). This project aims to shed light on the role of sexual dimorphism within the organization of European Neolithic populations (Paris and Rhine basins), which were among the first complex and ostensibly hierarchical societies (5th millennium BC). At a societal level, the project seeks to reveal the discriminatory dynamics of the expressions of gender. From an anthropological and biological standpoint, it seeks to evaluate the inter-population variability of sexual dimorphism in relation to environmental, natural and cultural factors. In this manner, the NEOGENRE project aspires to study the manifestations of difference, as well as shed light upon a wide variety of spheres of Neolithic life, including ideology, power, activities, health, diet and mobility. The analysis of the human remains is inclusive (morphological, paleo-pathological, isotopic and paleo-genetic) and the cultural data is contextualized and informed by specialized and direct analysis of the burials and the grave goods.

The postdoctoral position

The home laboratory of the postdoctoral position is the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle.
The successful applicant will be geographically assigned into two units of research, successively:

  • Laboratory of Lampea UMR 7269 (Aix-en-Provence) under the supervision of Estelle Herrscher in collaboration with Vincent Balter from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon UMR 5276 (Lyon), for the first analytical portion of the project.
  • Laboratory of Eco-anthropologie UMR 7206 (MNHN, Paris) for the processing of the raw data and the crossing of data with the other related bio-archaeological research, under the supervision of Aline Thomas. This laboratory provides a multidisciplinary theoretical framework (genetic, ethnological, anthropological) for the theme of nutrition (adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, nutritional transition, image of the body, perception of food).

Technical skills

The project focuses on French human Neolithic material that is new from an isotopic point of view. The planned methodological approaches include isotope analyses on bone and dentin collagen (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S) and on bioapatite (Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca, δ44Ca, 87Sr/86Sr). As related to the issue of diet and residential mobility, a scientific monitoring will aim to stay at the forefront of the isotopic techniques, methods and markers exploited, in relation to the rapid progress of research in this field. The challenge will be to maintain an exploratory approach, throughout several stages of analysis.

Qualifications and job requirements

Requirements include a Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology or geochemistry and a record of achievement in the use of stable isotopic analysis.


  • Training and experience with laboratory techniques on bio-archaeological material (preparation of samples for C, N, S, O and Sr analysis)
  • Effective time management skills and ability to efficiently coordinate research analyses through to publication
  • The ability to work independently on his/her own topic and in collaboration within an interdisciplinary research group
  • Candidates are expected to be enthusiastic about learning and exploring interdisciplinary research topics
  • We are seeking for individuals fascinated by archaeology and archaeological science, passionate about research, and keen to be a part of a young, growing, and dynamic interdisciplinary project


  • Experience of fieldwork or laboratory research focused on human remains
  • Experience working in cultural resource management (contract archaeology) or in academic excavation and scientific research settings
  • Knowledge of the European Neolithic

To apply:

Submit, by November 30, 2018:

  • A cover letter expressing your experience and interest in the topic of the project
  • Your CV
  • Your undergraduate and master’s transcripts
  • Names of 2 references – They may be requested to send us a supporting letter

For further information about the position, please contact Aline Thomas ( and Estelle Herrscher (
Send your application by email to,,