Topic ID #23216 - posted 9/17/2012 2:42 AM

Funded Research Opportunity - KRAP 2013 IRES

Jennifer Palmer

Funded Research Opportunity!

International Research Experiences for Students (IRES): Collaboration and
Mentorship between US, Hungarian, and Greek Researchers in Studies of the
Origins and Development of Prehistoric European Villages

Program: International Multidisciplinary Research Project, March 10 - April 5, 2013 in Hungary

Major Field: Anthropological Archaeology

Directors: William A. Parkinson, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
Richard Yerkes, Ohio State University, Columbus
Attila Gyucha, Hungarian National Museum, Budapest

Locations: Field work in Hungary: March10 – April 5, 2013; lab projects in Hungary, Greece, and USA
in summer, 2013. This is part of a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, international research project
between scientists and students at European and American Universities and Museums.

Program Description: Five outstanding undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral
researchers in Anthropological Archaeology - particularly qualified minorities and members of other
underrepresented groups – will join an international, multidisciplinary, research team studying prehistoric
European agricultural villages on the Great Hungarian Plain occupied between 5500 and 4500 BC (cal.).
This research, training, and mentoring program includes field work at Neolithic tells and flat sites, data
collection, laboratory analysis, publication, and dissemination of information to a wide audience. Five
applicants will be selected to 1) join our archaeological field project in eastern Hungary, 2) design an
independent research project, and 3) collect data at the field sites. After the field season, they will 4) work
with scientists and mentors at laboratories in Hungary, Greece, and the USA, 5) analyze and interpret
their data, 6) present their results at international conferences, 7) publish their results in peer-reviewed
journals, and 8) dissementate their findings via webpages and other media.

The independent research projects are: 1) Analysis of anomalies identified during magnetic surveys.
The anomalies have “signatures” associated with certain features. Magnetic survey results can be used to
produce site maps before any excavations are conducted. 2) Distribution patterns of artifacts in controlled
surface collections and excavations. Artifact distribution maps will be used to identify structures,
workshops, and activity areas within sites, and also activities within structures. 3) Bayesian analysis of
radiocarbon dates from tells and flat sites. Radiocarbon dates from charcoal and bone samples from
several sites will be analyzed to refine the chronology of Neolithic settlements. 4) Reconstruction of
paleo-environmental contexts of prehistoric villages with geomorphological data. The configuration of
ancient landforms can be reconstructed from topography, while pollen, microfossils, and macrofossils
found in soil cores can be used as proxies for past environmental conditions. 5) Microstratigraphic
analysis of tell levels. Features, burned layers, and artifact concentrations are major components of tell
levels. Detailed analyses can identify activity areas, obtain samples for dating, reconstruct building
methods, and examine the depositional and weathering processes that occurred when buildings were
dismantled and mounded over. 6) Functional analysis of lithic artifacts. Diagnostic wear traces on edges
of flaked and ground stone tools can be identified and compared to the microwear on replicas to learn
how ancient tools were used. 7) Elemental and petrographic analysis of ceramics. Sources of clays and
temper used to produce pottery can be identified and firing temperatures can be estimated. The results can
be used to study ceramic technology and exchange. 8) Identification and analysis of animal remains.
Domestic and wild species can be identified, species abundance estimated, and butchering and disposal
practices can be documented. 9) Identification of floral materials from flotation samples. Wood samples
and plant remains can be identified and used to reconstruct past diets, seasonality, and land use practices.
10) Stylistic analyses of ceramics. Pottery styles can be identified and used to examine interaction
between kin groups within sites and with other societies on the Great Hungarian Plain and beyond.
These research projects employ state-of-the-art analytical methods and will be carried out in the field
and in archaeological laboratories in Europe and the USA supervised by our staff.

Financial Support: Funds from a National Science Foundation OISE International Research Experiences
for Students (IRES) grant will cover airfares, food, and lodging for participants during fieldwork and
residence at European and American research facilities, and emergency travel insurance (they must
maintain their standard health care coverage). This will ease the financial burden for minorities and other
under-represented groups. Five selected applicants will take on the responsibilities of independent
research, and gain confidence in their abilities to work as full-fledged members of international scientific
teams. This is a physically and mentally demanding program, but it will prepare IRES participants for
productive scientific careers in an increasingly interconnected world. We seek participants who will do
well in a co-educational collaborative group research project, who are enthusiastic about our program, and
are willing to commit to the physical and mental demands of the international research experience.
Eligibility: Federal funding for this project restricts applications to American citizens who are currently
enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited college or university, or hold a
postdoctoral appointment. Applicants with prior archaeological field experience (e.g., field schools or
field training) are preferred. We hope to attract students from diverse backgrounds, from small colleges as
well as large universities, but student applicants should have completed a course in archaeological theory
and methods. Courses in European prehistory are recommended. Each independent research project may
require additional course work. Applicants must be prepared for the rigors of field work and should have
acquired the skills needed to begin their independent analytical research projects overseas or in the USA.
How to apply: Eligible applicants must provide information about: 1) your academic standing; 2) the
upper-level anthropology and archaeology courses you have taken, and 3) your field training. Applicants
will: 4) write a self-evaluation that a) explains how your courses and field work have prepared you for
international, multidisciplinary, collaborative, research, b) outlines your career goals after college and/or
graduate school, and c) tells us why you think that you should be selected for this program. Applicants
will choose one of the 10 independent research projects listed above and write 5) short essays that (a)
explain how you will prepare for your project (How will you become familiar with the literature on the
topic? Do you have any experience with this kind of research? What exactly do you need to do to get
ready for this research project?), and (b) describing what you will learn about ancient human behavior by
completing your project (What is the significance of the research? How will your results help other
scientists who are engaged in similar research?). You will also be asked to submit: 6) a list of grades for
your college and university courses (or a transcript), and 7) two recommendations from persons able to
comment on your academic and personal qualifications for collaborative international research.

To obtain an application form, contact: Prof. Richard W. Yerkes ( The application form can also be found online at

Completed Applications must be received by December 15, 2012

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