PostDoctoral Researcher in geomorphology (Pleistocene / Early Holocene)

Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (RGZM), Mainz

The Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Leibniz Research Institute for Archaeology (RGZM, www.rgzm.de) is seeking a postdoctoral researcher with a focus on geomorphology for taking part in the project: Pleistocene Hunter-Gatherer Lifeways and Population Dynamics in the Ararat (paleo-lake) Depression, Armenia, supported by the Thyssen Foundation. The position will be located at the MONREPOS Archaeological Research Centre and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution Monrepos Castle, Neuwied, Germany (www.monrepos-rgzm.de). Starting January 2020, the length of the appointment is two (2) years at the German public service pay scale TV-L E13.

 Project and aims:

This project intends to examine core issues in paleoanthropology – how the interplay between environmental, demographic, and behavioural factors have shaped the Southern Caucasus Palaeolithic archaeological record. The research questions will be addressed with targeted survey and excavation at the margins of the Ararat Depression (Armenia). This study area was chosen as it lies at a relatively low elevation and includes diverse depositional environments. This exceptional habitat diversity in a small area is a natural laboratory to test hominin behavioural responses to variation in resource availability related to annual- and millennial-scale climatic oscillations. The project comprises of Palaeolithic surveys, test excavation and geomorphological mapping. The goals of the geomorphological research are in depth study of the of the region landscape evolution in relation to Palaeolithic sites preservation.

Applicant requirements:

The project's Post-Doctoral Research (PDR) will carry out the geological, geoarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental components of the study, including a substantial fieldwork element. The research carried out by PDR will comprise the construction and maintenance of a GIS database, detailed geological and geomorphological mapping of the Ararat depression, and prospection for archaeological sites. In addition, the PDR will undertake detailed field description and sampling of key archaeological and sediment sequences, laboratory bulk sedimentological analyses, sediment thin section production and analysis, palaeoenvironmental analysis, and sediment and rock geochemical characterisation. The PDR will coordinate laboratory analyses. Allied to this work, the PDR will produce reports, publications and disseminate results at conferences and workshops.

The PDR should have a PhD in geology/physical geography/geoarchaeology and who also has a detailed knowledge of Pleistocene geological and geomorphological process and good technical abilities in geological/geomorphological mapping and GIS.

Contact and further details:

Please send applications via PDF, including a cover letter, curriculum vitae, reprints of selected publications, a short statement of research interests, and the names of three evaluators to Heidrun Gräf (graef(at)rgzm.de). For further information please contact Dr.. Ariel Malinsky-Buller (malinsky(at)rgzm.de).

Application deadline is 1th of October, and review of the applications will begin 5 of October 2019.

We promote equal opportunities for women and men as well as the compatibility of family and work.

The Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Leibniz Research Institute for Archaeology expressly encourages applications of equally qualified women and is committed to employing more physically impaired individuals.

About the RGZM

The RGZM is a research institute for Archaeology. It belongs to Research-Museums of the Leibniz Association. Since its inception in 1852, the RGZM dedicates itself to the material legacy of humankind in the Old World, with the goal of understanding human behaviour and the development and transformation of societies. The concentration of archaeological, scientific, restoration and IT expertise allows it to examine human material remains from different perspectives and chronologies. To this end, the RGZM maintains a variety of research infrastructures, including archaeological collections consisting of both originals and detailed copies, scientific reference collections, and an extensive image archive, in addition to laboratories for archaeological science and restoration. This infrastructure supports research, teaching, and knowledge transfer equally at both national and international levels. Research at the RGZM is organized both chronologically by competence areas (e.g., Roman, Early Medieval, etc.) as well as thematically by Research Fields (e.g., “Culture Contact”, “Cultural Practices”, “Becoming Human”, etc.).


The MONREPOS Archaeological Research Centre and Museum is a part of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (RGZM), Leibniz Research Institute for Archaeology. Situated at Monrepos Castle near Neuwied in the Central Rhineland of Germany, the Centre examines the historical processes of the evolution of hominin behaviour through the contextualized and interdisciplinary study of Pleistocene and early Holocene material remains. Department languages are German and English.