Postdoctoral Fellowship in Bone technology

This job offer has expired

    Université de Bordeaux / University of Bordeaux
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    30/01/2022 01:00 - Europe/London
    France › Talence


The GPR ‘Human Past’: our group and our research / Le GPR “Human Past”: notre groupe et notre recherche

The GPR (Grand Programme de Recherche) ‘Human Past’ is an interdisciplinary research project supported by the University of Bordeaux's Initiative d’Excellence. ‘Human Past’ gathers ~110 researchers from 3 laboratories (PACEA, AUSONIUS, and Archéosciences Bordeaux) affiliated with the University of Bordeaux (UB) and the University of Bordeaux Montaigne (UBM). Our expertise combines Biological Anthropology, Classical and Medieval Archaeology, Prehistory, Protohistory, History, Epigraphy, Archaeometry, Geochronology and Computer Science Applications to Cultural Heritage.

’Human Past’ aims to document, characterize and understand the tipping points that have induced major biological and cultural changes within past human populations. Spanning a large chronological period (from Prehistory to historical times), our research aims to identify the steps that enabled a primate originally adapted to African ecosystems to evolve into a species that occupies and impacts every ecosystem on the planet. Biological and social systems will be scrutinized at different scales from a multitude of perspectives with particular attention paid to phenotypic and genetic variability, cognition, technology, social organization, belief systems, and genetic and cultural adaptive strategies that drive human societies.

This position advertisement belongs to the first part of the funding scheme, planned for 4 years.

Project description / Description du projet

Because of their ubiquity and durability, knapped stone tools are generally considered the only component of the archaeological record that can provide reliable information on long-term trends in the technological and cognitive evolution within our lineage. Osseous technologies have not attracted the attention they deserve. Unlike stone tools, the final shape and size of bone tools, produced with techniques such as grinding, scraping and grooving, may be highly controlled. For this reason, bone tools are particularly appropriate in characterizing technical systems, disentangling style from function, inferring the degree of complexity of a human culture, and identifying tipping points in cultural evolutionary trajectories. Bordeaux researchers hold a world-leading position in this research domain, as demonstrated by studies on bone tool use by early hominins in Southern and Eastern Africa, the identification of the first formal bone tools used by anatomically modern human in Africa, bone tools used by Neanderthals, and the characterization of a variety of osseous artifacts from Europe, Africa, Northeast and East Asia.

For the present postdoctoral offer, we are looking for a specialist who has a demonstrated experience in the study of osseous artifacts, who masters multiple analytical approaches, and can contribute with their research to understand tipping points in the evolution of osseous technologies in different geographic and chronological contexts. The candidate will conduct independent research while also collaborate with members of GPR WP3 “How and why do novel cultural traits emerge, propagate and disappear?”.

Adequacy of the postdoctoral project with the objectives of the GRP / Adéquation du projet post-doctoral avec les objectifs du GPR

Bone tools are particularly appropriate to characterize technical systems, infer the degree of complexity of a human culture and identify tipping points in cultural evolution, a central goal of the GPR “Human Past”. In the framework of WP3, this field of research will take a major step forward both from a methodological standpoint and through the identification of tipping points at regional and global scales.

More Information

Selection process

The candidate will submit their application, consisting of a letter of motivation (2 pages max.) and a CV (including list of publications, if applicable), to the supervisors mentioned in the job description, and to Adrien Pourtier (adrien.pourtier@u-bordeaux.fr), Francesco D'Errico (francesco.derrico@u-bordeaux.fr) and Adeline Le Cabec (adeline.le-cabec@u-bordeaux.fr), before January 30, 2022.

Additional comments

The Post-Doctoral researcher will be willing to travel in and outside Europe.

Offer Requirements


The candidate must:

- hold a PhD in archaeology or anthropology, be experienced in prehistoric bone technology, experimental archeology, microscopy, quantitative approaches applied to the archeological record.

- demonstrate they are an active international researcher, fit for large-scale comparisons.

- be fluent in English and preferably also in French.

- have a demonstrated experience in the preparation and submission of articles in English.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université de Bordeaux / University of Bordeaux
351 cours de la Libération

EURAXESS offer ID: 727892


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