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The University of Southampton
Archaeology Part of Humanities

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award

Published: 5 May 2011

Humanities at the University of Southampton and the British Museum are inviting applications for the Collaborative Doctoral Award 'Polished axes: object biographies and the writing of world prehistories' Application deadline: Friday 27th May 2011

Applications are invited for a fully funded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award between the Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton, and the British Museum. The aim of the PhD is to use the research potential of the large global collection of polished stone axes in the British Museum to expand our understanding of object biographies and geographies of antiquarian and museum collecting. At its heart will be the investigation of networks of artefacts, collectors and ideas. The PhD will use these object biographies to investigate the iconic role these polished axes played, and still play, in writing a world prehistory of social evolution and the transition to food production.

The student will be registered at the University of Southampton and supervised by Professor Clive Gamble in the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins . Dr Ben Roberts will be the British Museum supervisor for a topic that cross-cuts its Departments; principally Prehistory and Europe and Australia, Oceania and the Americas. The student will be a member of the world’s leading museum as well as participating in one of the foremost research intensive universities in the UK. Both partners will provide opportunities for training and career development.

Required: a good 2:1 honours degree and an MA (or equivalent) in either archaeology or related disciplines of anthropology and geography.
Desirable: experience of studying material culture; familiarity with computer databases; reading knowledge of French and Spanish

The studentship is tenable for a maximum of three years, commencing October 2011, at an annual stipend of currently £13,590 and will pay postgraduate tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.

For further details of the project contact

Application for the studentship is by CV; a sample of written work (5,000 words, max); and covering letter, explaining why you feel you are suitable for this research project. Please also arrange for two academic references to be sent independently by the deadline. All material should be sent to

Deadline for applications: Friday 27th May 2011

Interviews will take on Wednesday 22nd June 2011

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