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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

Location: Budapest and Veszto, Hungary; Rethymnon, Crete, Greece; Chicago and Columbus, USA., Hungary

March 10, 2013 to April 5, 2013

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, December 15, 2012

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Flyer: PDF icon krap_2013_ires_announcement_osu.pdf

Program Type

Field school
Staff position

RPA certified



Körös Regional Archaeological Project, Field Museum, Chicago, and Ohio State University

Project Director:

William A. Parkinson, Richard Yerkes, Attila Gyucha

Project 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 Greece, Hungary, 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 areaswithin 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 configurationof ancient landforms can be reconstructed from topography, while pollen, microfossils, and macrofossils found in soil cores can be used asproxies for past environmental conditions. 5) Microstratigraphic analysis of tell levels. Features, burned layers, and artifact concentrations are major components oftell levels. Detailed analyses can identify activity areas, obtain samples for dating, reconstruct building methods,and examine the depositional and weatheringprocesses that occurred when buildings were dismantled and mounded over. 6) Functional analysis of lithic artifacts. Diagnostic wear traces on edges of flaked andground stone tools can be identified and compared to the microwear on replicas tolearn 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 andexchange. 8) Identification and analysis of animal remains. Domestic and wildspecies can be identified, species abundance estimated, and butchering and disposal practicescan 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 employing state-of-the-art analytical methods will be carried out in archaeological laboratories in Europe and the USA supervised by the scientists and mentors of the Körös Regional Archaeological Project.
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 a) explaining 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.

Period(s) of Occupation: Neolithic

Full-funded research opportunity

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Experience required: 
prior survey and excacavation experience recommended

Room and Board Arrangements

Food and lodging will be provided for participants during fieldwork and residence at European and American research facilities.
Volunteers do not need to be enrolled at a college or university to be eligible

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered arranged


Contact Information
Prof. Richard W. Yerkes
Dept. Anthropology, Ohio Stsate Univ., 4034 Smith Lab., 174 W. 18th Ave.
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