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The Emergence of Copper Pyrotechnology in Western Asia

Project Description and Objectives

The emergence of sophisticated copper production in west Asia during the 5th-4th millennia BC is enigmatic, as As-Sb copper ores exist in Anatolia but lost wax casting of such alloys appears during the late 5th millennium BC only in the southern Levant. Turkey has often been suggested as the probable source for ores with specific reference to Arslantepe. Yet similar production methods were not found in Anatolia in this period but only in the following phase. The study will focus on the earliest copper production in the Levant (Ghassulian-Beer Sheva culture) and Anatolia (Arslantepe), with the aim of analyzing copper objects, casting residues and technical ceramics from workshops and find spots from the Levant and Anatolia to obtain information about their provenance, context, technology and possible interactions.

Work Plan:
After the preliminary bibliographical work and an acquaintance with the analytical methods, the ESR will proceed to examine by NDT and sampled materials (when possible) on a selection of copper products and related technical ceramics (kilns, crucibles, mold remains) from the southern Levant and Anatolia in museums, antiquities departments and other collections. Sample analyses will include petrography, metallography, XRD, ESEM, TGA/DTA, FTIR, ICP-MS. NDT will include pXRF, Raman, multispectral analysis and RTA imaging.

Expected Results:
The project will attempt to solve the riddle by systematic analyses of copper artifacts from the southern Levant (i.e., Nahal Mishmar hoard) and Arslantepe, workshop remains, technical ceramics and much-neglected non-metal leftovers, to highlight aspects of technology and provenance.

Type of Contract and Benefits

The selected ESR4 will be offered a full-time 36 months employment contract by the Ben Gurion University of the Negev Desert (BGU)

The contract will include the following allowances:

Living Allowance (LA) = € 3380,57 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

ESR5 will be awarded a joint Double Doctorate degree in cotutelle with the University of Rome La Sapienza (UNIROMA1) ESR5 research project will involve a secondment to the University of Rome La Sapienza (UNIROMA1) and to the University of Evora.

Additional Secondments to ED-ARCHMAT Beneficiaries and/or Partners could be planned according to ESR5 research needs.

Eligibility Criteria

Main Eligibility criteria are indicated in section ADMISSION RULES

ESR5 Specific Eligibility Criteria

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 15th July 2018.

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