PhD position in Assyriology
1.0 fte (full-time), 4 years
Specialization in Neo-Babylonian
Faculty of Humanities, VU Amsterdam
Vacancy number: 15177
Application deadline: 16 July 2015
The research project “Paying for All the Kings’ Horses and All the King’s Men: A Fiscal History of the Achaemenid Empire”, funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), conducted under the leadership of Kristin Kleber is seeking to fill a PhD position in September 2015. The project aims to investigate taxation and administration in the Achaemenid Empire. Currently one PhD candidate (Mark Tamerus) works on the Elamite texts from Persepolis. The prospective PhD candidate will share the work on Babylonian archives with K. Kleber and an additional post-doctoral scholar who is to join the project from 2016 on for two years (a job advertisement will follow in due time).
The PhD candidate will independently read and analyze published (often only in cuneiform) and unpublished texts from Neo-Babylonian private archives and write a dissertation on taxation (types, basis for taxation), administration and the spending of tax money in Babylonia during the Persian period. He or she will collect all quantitative information but will also work qualitatively by conducting an analysis of the underlying administrative structures. The candidate will get the chance to travel to collections of cuneiform tablets to make collations and possibly transliterations of new texts.
The candidate will furthermore present a work-in-progress paper on a meeting of the Neo-Babylonian Network Initiative and a scientific paper at the project’s international workshop in 2018. The latter will be published in conference proceedings.
According to the new PhD regulations of VU University all PhD candidates are required to take 30 ECTS of education during the four-year position. Some of these study points can be acquired through regular courses in Akkadian, project-meetings, presentations at the Neo-Babylonian Network workshop and a course in reading and copying original cuneiform tablets. The candidate may be asked to teach one course per year during his/her second and third year or to contribute in knowledge transfer to a general public (e.g. by giving a presentation for a wider audience or writing and posting information for a general public on the project’s website which is currently under construction).
The prospective PhD candidate:
• has an MA in Assyriology (or a comparable Ancient Studies degree with a specialization on the Ancient Near East) at hand by 31 August 2015;
• has acquired knowledge on Neo-Babylonian archival studies during his/her previous education;
• is able to place texts and data into their historical context;
• is able to write a dissertation and papers in good scholarly English;
• has evident communicative and organisational skills.
Familiarity with Neo-Babylonian texts is essential for this position. Applicants are requested to mention courses they took or papers they wrote on Neo-Babylonian topics during their BA and MA-education. It will be appreciated if the BA-thesis, a larger term paper or the MA-thesis on a Neo-Babylonian topic is submitted along with the letter of application (max. two pages), a transcript (list of courses and grades), and a CV.
Other relevant details
PhD candidates at Dutch Universities are employees and receive the full benefits that the institution offers its personnel. The initial employment contract will have the duration of one year. After a positive evaluation the contract will be prolonged for three years. The contract will end on 31 August 2019.
The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel in education. It ranges from € 2125 gross per month in the first year up to € 2717 in the fourth (salary scale 85). The project is seeking to fill the vacancy as of 1 September 2015.
Information and application
For additional information you can contact Dr. K. Kleber via e-mail.
Applicants are requested to write a letter in which they describe their abilities and their motivation, accompanied by their curriculum vitae, a transcript (list of courses and grades), and a written sample on a Neo-Babylonian topic. Applications should be sent attached to an e-mail to k.kleber at vu.nl until 16 July 2015. The letter of application can be addressed to:
Dr. K. Kleber
VU University Amsterdam
Faculty of Humanities
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with.