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Hypotheses of cultural interaction between late Neandertals and early Homo Sapiens in Europe have been raised on the basis of assemblages from a handful of sites, all located in France. The few available lines of evidence suggest both unbalanced, and asymmetrical interactions. Neandertals seem to have benefited from the cultural adaptations of early modern humans but apparently not from their biological make-up. On the other hand, and to the contrary, early modern humans seem to have picked up some gene variants from Neandertals but do not seem to have profited significantly from Neandertal knowledge or skills, with the possible exception of one artefact type (lissoir). Several options can explain this unbalanced and asymmetrical exchange of genes and culture. Given the framework used in our paleolithic archaeology until recently, it is possible that research has been biased toward identifying acculturation of Neandertals, and less of early modern humans. The small amount of evidence for interaction, as well as the unbalanced and asymmetrical character of disputed interactions may simply be a consequence of research history rather than reflecting a prehistoric reality.
The post-doc will concentrate on 1. analysis of lithic artefacts found in layers generally attributed to late Neandertals (Mousterian assemblages) with a special focus on reconstructing the manufacturing procedures and and techniques, and 2. comparison with assemblages attributed to early modern humans (Uluzzian, Protoaurignacian, Early Aurignacian). The comparison will be done in collaboration with Prof. A-M. Ronchitelli from Siena University and her team who are currently conducting hands-on analysis of early Upper Paleolithic sites. The post-doc will write at least two scientific papers, submit them to international peer-reviewed journals and lead the publication process until publication arise. This post-doc position is embedded in the VICI project Neandertal Legacy led by Marie Soressi.
The successful applicant will receive a 3 years’ contract at 0.8 FTE. The salary depending on qualifications and experience, the gross monthly salary is between € 3.123,- and € 4.274,- (scale 10 in accordance with the collective salary agreement of the Association of Dutch Universities) and for a full working week. Leiden University also offers and annual holiday premium of 8% and an end-of-year premium of 8.3%.
Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.
The Faculty of Archaeology is an international faculty in the multidisciplinary world of Archaeology and is home to 500 students. The Faculty is remarkable for its global diversity and the strong connection it fosters between teaching and research. It is here that researchers from all areas of the field work to determine the future of archaeological research: the future of the past begins in Leiden.
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