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Advanced Chemical analysis of organic materials from animal mummies in Ancient Egypt

Project Description and Objectives

This project proposes to understand the Egyptian society in its cultural and sociological workings through the study of organized worship around humans, sacred and sacralised animals. The aim of this project is to evaluate the composition of the balms used for the treatment of the body and their manufacturing process/preparation.

Work Plan: After the preliminary bibliographical work, the ESR will process to the selection of the samples and the sampling in museum or in other institutions. After a preliminary study by optical microscopy, the samples will be analyzed by FT-IR in order (I) to obtain characterized fingerprint, (II) determine the organic and/or mineral composition and (III) to elaborate groups for samples using ACP tool.

Then, the student will optimize the selective extraction of each organic family of constituents by using SPE for example. Finally, the optimization of GC conditions will permit to clearly identify each chemical markers from The different classes of compounds present in balms. Mass spectrometry and MSn are powerful analytical tools to identify chemical biomarkers and/or markers of alteration.

Expected Results: The Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC/MS) are two complementary methods of choice for the study of archaeological organic materials. These analytical techniques will be used to analyze a great number of samples corresponding to balms of human and animal mummies from museum collections or from other institutions. The expected results will permit to more understand these burial practices and to have a better knowledge of the type of materials usually used during mummification processes.

Type of Contract and Benefits

The selected ESR10 will be offered a full-time 36 months employment contract by the Universitè d’Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse (UAPV)

The contract will include the following allowances:

Living Allowance (LA) = € 3452,10 per month corresponding to the monthly salary for the fellow before any deductions: contributions of both employers and employees to social security, pension, taxation.
Family allowance (FA) = 500€ per month. The LA will be paid only if the recruited ESR has a family* status at the time of recruitment.
Mobility Allowance (MA) = 600€ per month. The MA is a contribution to household, relocation and travel expenses.

*"Family" means persons linked to the researcher by marriage (or a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the legislation of the country where this relationship was formalised) or dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher.

Doctoral Degree

ESR10 will be awarded a joint Double Doctorate degree by the Universitè d’Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse (UAVP) in cotutelle with the Ben Gurion University of the Negev Desert (BGU).

ESR10 research project will involve a secondment to the the Ben Gurion University of the Negev Desert (BGU). Additional Secondments to ED-ARCHMAT Beneficiaries and/or Partners could be planned according to ESR9 research needs

Eligibility Criteria

Main Eligibility criteria are indicated in section ADMISSION RULES

ESR10 Specific Requirements

The candidate must:
Hold a M.Sc degree and/or an equivalent 5-years diploma;
Have a very good knowledge in chemistry and more particular in analytical chemistry, physical chemistry and biology.

Additional Requirements:
Candidats already having experience in archaeometry and having an interest in cultural heritage science are welcome.

One of the following certificates of English language knowledge, regardless of the date of obtainment:
IELTS with a minimum score of 5.0;
One of the language certificates recognized equivalent to IELTS 5.0 by the Foreign Languages Centre and detained at the webpage: or a declaration of having a Ba. and/or M.Sc. degree issued by a University in which courses are taught in English, i.e. “The medium of instruction was English”. Certificates not included in the list above will not be accepted;
Valid GRE® General Test, possessed by the application deadline.

The start of the PhD Programme is 1st November 2018 and candidates should arrive at BGU by the October 14th 2018 at the latest.

Doctoral Training Programme : The minimum stay at Ben Gurion University of the Negev for being awarded the PhD Title is 18 months and the secondment periods must comply with this.

Candidates are required to meet the following criteria detailed at the following link:

All these requirements should appear on the student personal page in order to be admitted to the final exam.

Please note the local requirements for doctoral studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, as specified in the following link: , including mandatory credits, progress reports, and the appointment of a Graduate students' Committee of the Kreitman School.

Application Deadline

The deadline for the online submission of completed application forms available under section APPLICATION of the ED-ARCHMAT website is 21rst June 2018.

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