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Location: Vésztő, Hungary
Season Dates: June 1, 2014 - June 30, 2014
Application Deadline: April 15, 2014
Affiliation: Field Museum, Chicago, Ohio State University, and the Hungaruian National Museum
Project Director: William A. Parkinson, Richard W. Yerkes, and Attila Gyucha
Program: International Multidisciplinary Research Project, June 1 - 30, 2014 in Hungary
Major Field: Anthropological Archaeology
Locations: Field work in Hungary: June 1 – June 30, 2014; lab projects may be continued in Hungary, Greece, and USA in summer and autumn, 2014. Part of a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, international research project between scientists and students at European and American Universities and Museums.
Program Description: Airfafre, room and board, and research expenses will be provided for five outstanding undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers in Anthropological Archaeology - particularly qualified minorities and members of other underrepresented groups – who 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 investigations at Neolithic tells and flat sites, laboratory analysis, publication, and dissemination of the results to a wide audience. Five applicants will be selected to 1) join our archaeological project in eastern Hungary, 2) design an independent research project, and 3) catalog and analyze data from field sites. After the season in June, they may 4) work with scientists and mentors at laboratories in Hungary, Greece, and the USA, 5) continue to 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. Anomalies have “signatures” associated with certain features. 2) Classifying and documenting artifacts. Artifact will be photographed, measured and classified. Artifact distribution patterns will be used to identify structures and activity areas. 3) Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon dates will be analyzed to refine the chronology of Neolithic settlements. 4) Reconstruction of paleoenvironmental contexts 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 environments. 5) Microstratigraphic analysis of tell levels. Features, burned layers, and artifact concentrations in tell levels will be sampled to obtain materials that will be used for dating, to reconstruct building methods, and examine depositional and weathering processes. 6) Functional analysis of lithic artifacts. Diagnostic wear traces on the edges of flaked and ground stone tools will be identified and compared to the microwear on stone tool replicas to learn how the ancient tools were used. 7) Elemental and petrographic analysis of ceramics. Sources of clay and temper used to produce pottery will be identified and firing temperatures will be estimated. The results will 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 materials from flotation samples. Animal 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 international staff members.
Period(s) of Occupation: Neolithic
Project Size: 1-24 participants
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: entire season
Minimum Age: 20
Experience Required: 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 and lab work and should have acquired some of the skills needed to begin their independent analytical research projects overseas or in the USA.
Room and Board Arrangements
IRES participants will enjoy an international cultural experience as they live and work in the small farm town of Vésztő (population ca. 6,000). Vésztő is located in Békés County in southeastern Hungary, about 25 km from the Romanian border. The prehistoric tell site of Vésztő-Mágor (Hegedűs and Makkay 1987), part of the Hungarian National Park system, is located just outside of the village. Railroads link Vésztő with Budapest (where the international airport is located), and other cities in Hungary. All of the IRES participants must be enrolled in health insurance plans at their home institutions. If this proposal is funded, additional Emergency Evacuation Health Insurance for participants will be arranged through the Ohio State Office of International Affairs. American participants will undergo check-ups and health screenings before departing for Hungary. During field seasons in Hungary our office, laboratory, and lodgings will be in the Vésztő Elementary School or the Musli Panzió hostel. A kitchen, electricity, showers, and sleeping quarters are provided, along with bedding and linens. Marika Csóti, a caterer in Vésztő, will prepare a light breakfast before departure for the field sites each morning, and a wholesome dinner each evening. Lunch will be eaten at the Varietas, a family restaurant in Vésztő. The people of Vésztő are known for their hospitality, and American students will be able to learn about life in Hungary today from the villagers and from the Hungarian participants. Bus and train transportation within Hungary is reliable and inexpensive. While in Hungary, the participants will interact with faculty, staff, and visiting specialists to learn how research is planned and executed in the field and in the lab. They will also make arrangements for travel to facilities in Hungary and Greece to continue their analysis. They will gain valuable hands-on experience in archaeological field methods and analysis. Most importantly, the participants will be given the opportunity to become full-fledged members of the international research team, and provided with the tools necessary to compete as scientists at the global scale.
Cost: Only incidental expenses, airfare and room and board covered
Number of credits offered: can be arranged
Tuition: 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 field and lab work 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
Prof. Richard W. Yerkes
Dept. Anthropology, Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210-1106
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