Lithic technology specifically related to the Middle Stone Age (MSA) in southern Africa


PhD position

The Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE), funded by the Centre of Excellence Schemes (CoE), and based at the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion (AHKR), University of Bergen (UiB), invite applications for a position as a PhD research fellow in lithic technology specifically related to the Middle Stone Age (MSA) in southern Africa.

About CoE schemes and SapienCE

The SFF programme, funded by the Research Council of Norway, gives Norway’s best scientists the opportunity to establish research centres to reach ambitious scientific goals within a defined period. The emphasis of these centres is on excellence and long-term research goals that meet the highest international criteria.

The SapienCE Centre of Excellence (CoE) focuses on the behavioural origins of Homo sapiens in southern Africa between 120,000-50,000 years ago. The core research within the CoE is led by the Leader Group comprising five Principal Investigators and the Director. Our interdisciplinary team of scientists at UiB and the facilities of our national and international partners integrate accurate records of early human cultural, social, technological and subsistence behaviours with innovative geoarchaeological, climate and cognitive data and models. This holistic approach provides ground-breaking insight into the diverse aspects of what it means to be human.

About the position: 

The main purpose of the PhD position is to complete a doctoral thesis, which qualifies for independent research and other forms of employment that demand specific competency. The position is for a period of three (3) years.

The applicant is expected to write a PhD dissertation related to the multidisciplinary perspective on lithics technology from layers dated to between ca. 77 000 and 90 000 years ago recovered from SapienCE MSA sites in South Africa. This period immediately predates the Still Bay technocomplex and is insufficiently understood, especially in terms of the transition from the preceding MSA II/Mossel Bay to the Still Bay technocomplex.

The proposed project should develop innovative methods of laboratory analysis of the lithic material in association with our Principal Investigators (Professor Sarah Wurz, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and Professor Christopher Henshilwood, University of Bergen, Norway).

The PhD project should include a detailed lithic technological study (e.g. including the analysis of the chaîne opératoire and refitting) and microscopic examination of selected material as well as correlation with particular weaponry systems and their use, as observable from morphology, edge damage, and macrofractures of the lithics.

The applicant is expected to participate in archaeological fieldwork and laboratory analyses in South Africa when pertinent to the proposed PhD project. The lithic assemblages in question are physically located in South Africa.

The applicant will actively participate in the SapienCE research group that is based at The Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion in Bergen.

The duration of the PhD is 3 years. The employment period may be reduced for candidates who have previously been employed in a recruitment position at other institutions. Applicants who have already held a PhD position at the University of Bergen are not eligible for employment.

The PhD position demands that the applicant has his or her regular workplace at the University of Bergen, SapienCE offices, and complies with the guidelines that apply to the position. The primary research will be done at the SapienCE offices located at the University of Bergen, Norway under the supervision of our Principal Investigators.

Additional PhD-related research and training will be conducted in South Africa. SapienCE also offers excellent facilities for advanced analysis of archaeological materials in Bergen, Cape Town, and at our international partner institutions.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • The scope of the applicant’s master’s thesis must be a minimum of 30 credits (ECTS).
  • As a general rule, the applicant must have a grade of B or better on the master’s thesis.
  • The applicants must hold a 5-year Norwegian master’s degree or an equivalent foreign degree within the field of Archaeology or cognate discipline.
  • Applicants who do not have a Norwegian master’s degree will be evaluated according to the regulations of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). It is a condition of employment that the master’s degree has been awarded at the time of application.
  • Laboratory and fieldwork experience relating to southern African Middle Stone Age archaeological sites is an advantage.
  • Previous training and experience in archaeological lithic analysis is an advantage.
  • Excellent communication skills and fluency in both written and spoken English is required.
  • The candidate must demonstrate a strong commitment to scientific research, be able to work both independently, in a structured manner, and interactively in a team setting, be responsible and have a high working capacity.

Applicants will be evaluated according to admission requirements in The Faculty of Humanities’ PhD Program pt. 2.1.

In cases where ranked applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the centre’s strategic considerations, motivation, and the applicant’s personal eligibility will be considered.

About the research training

The successful candidate will be required to participate in the Faculty of Humanities´ PhD-program. This entails completing a training component of 30 ECTS, providing annual progress reports and to pass a midway evaluation. Please click here for additional details on the content and requirements of the PhD program at the Faculty of Humanities.

We can offer:

  • A good and professionally challenging working environment. 
  • Salary at pay grade 54 (code 1017) in the state salary scale, currently NOK 500 800 gross p.a. following ordinary meriting regulations. 
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. 
  • An position in an inclusive workplace (IA enterprise). 
  • Good welfare benefits.

How to apply for the job:

Apply electronically via the link “APPLY FOR THIS JOB”. Applicants are required to use the electronic CV form.
The following information must be enclosed and uploaded:

  • A project proposal of up to 5 pages, not counting the bibliography. The project proposal should include:
    • A short abstract summarizing the project.
    • Research context. How does the project fit into the research context, and how will it contribute new insights?
    • Main objectives/research questions and, if applicable, hypotheses.
    • Theoretical approach, empirical material, and methodology.
    • A well-thought-out progress plan for the project.
    • Bibliography.
  • The applicant´s CV.
  • The names and contact information of two references. One of these must be the applicant´s main advisor for the master’s or equivalent thesis.
  • A short summary of the master’s or equivalent thesis (no more than 3 pages). If your master’s degree is not from a Norwegian university, you may be asked to submit the complete master’s thesis.
  • Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of relevant bachelor’s and master’s degrees. If the master’s degree transcript or diploma does not contain information about the scope of the master’s degree (i.e. number of credit units), the applicant must attach an official and personalized confirmation issued by the awarding institution, stating how many credit units the thesis is worth.
  • List of any academic publications (publication list).

Translations of diplomas and any academic publications submitted must be received by the department within the application deadline. Attachments can be either in Word or PDF format. If the applicant’s original higher education certificates, transcripts and diplomas are not issued in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish, certified translations to either of the languages mentioned above must be included.

General information:

Further information about this PhD fellowships can be obtained from the Administrative Manager of SapienCE, Zarko Tankosic (Zarko.Tankosic@uib.no, +47 55 58 31 77)

The public sector workforce shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions. Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

The best qualified applicants will be invited to an interview.

Any queries or problems concerning the electronical application procedure should be directed to The Faculty of Humanities by email: fakadm@hf.uib.no.

For further information about the recruitment process, click here.


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截止日期 2022-08-28




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