Geoarchaeology of Hydraulic Collapse (Sri Lanka) Research Scholarship

Supervisors: Dr Keir Strickland (La Trobe University, Australia), Prof Ian Simpson (University of Stirling, UK)

Project: This PhD scholarship is part of the Australian Research Council (ARC) funded project 'An archaeological investigation into the collapse of Polonnaruva, Sri Lanka' (DP190100485).

The successful candidate will work as part of a larger team to investigate the development and failure of the low-density urban state of Polonnaruva (Sri Lanka). The medieval "collapse" of Polonnaruva marked the end of the lowland kingdoms in Sri Lanka's arid north, and the end of a distinctive and successful form of hydraulic low-density urban settlement. Recent research at Anuradhapura suggests the very economic system that enabled these kingdoms to flourish within a marginal environment, may have facilitated their collapse.

The PhD student will undertake inter-disciplinary investigations to produce a chronological narrative for the development, management, and abandonment of the Polonnaruva urban hinterland and its hydraulic infrastructure. These investigations require integration of archaeological field survey and GIS based mapping of sites and hydraulic features (canals, sluices, reservoirs) with geoarchaeological analyses of associated soil and sedimentary stratigraphies through application of Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL), radiocarbon and thin section micromorpohology.

Benefits of the scholarship include:

  • a La Trobe Research Scholarship for three and a half years, with a value of $28,092.00 per annum, to support your living costs (2019 rate)
  • a fee-relief scholarship for up to four years to undertake a PhD at La Trobe University
  • opportunities to work with La Trobe's outstanding researchers, and have access to our suite of professional development programs.

Are you eligible to apply?

To be eligible to apply for this scholarship applicants should have either a strong Honours or Masters degree in a relevant subject.

How to apply

If you wish to apply for this scholarship, follow these steps:

  1. review details on how to apply for candidature
  2. contact the project supervisor, Dr Keir Strickland, with any enquiries or to express an interest in the project
  3. when you have received in-principle agreement for supervision, complete and submit your application by 30 September 2020 (for international applicants) OR 31 October 2020 (for Aus/NZ applicants)
  4. complete and submit your application for admission into La Trobe's PhD program, indicating you wish to be considered for this scholarship on the application.

Who to contact for further information

Dr Keir Strickland,

published: 07 August 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.