The Cluster of Excellence 'ROOTS - Social, Environmental, and Cultural Connectivity in Past Societies' at Kiel University invites applications for

11 PhD positions.

The positions are to be filled at the earliest possible date.

The salary is based on the German public pay scale E 13 TV-L (Tarifvertrag der Länder). The regular weekly working hours are 65% (currently 25.155 hrs.) of those of a full-time employee. The positions will be filled on a fixed-term basis until December 31, 2025.

6 PhD positions.

ROOTS conducts cutting-edge archaeological research on the very roots of social, cultural, and environmental processes that shape human behavior. In particular, we invite PhD pro-posals focusing on the interrelationship between climate, anthropogenic and natural environmental changes, on the role of connectivity between individuals and groups of past societies, or on related themes such as socio-environmental hazards, diet and subsistence, knowledge production, cultivation and domestication, urbanization, social stratification, conflict potentials, or mobility in past societies.

Candidates are requested to submit a dissertation proposal, which deals with at least one of ROOT's central topics outlined in detail on

. A statement on how the proposed research relates to the overarching themes of ROOTS is explicitly requested.

Required qualification: Qualified applicants must have an excellent university degree (MA, MSc or an equivalent degree) in an area relevant to the interdisciplinary topics of ROOTS.

5 specific PhD positions.

02PhD Subcluster ROOTS of Socio-Environmental Hazards - PhD position "Land-use and Soil Degradation as Potential Drivers of the Development of Cultural Landscapes in the Eurasian Steppes"

Profile: Soil Geography, Geomorphology or related disciplines

We are looking for a qualified and motivated candidate with a research interest in the field of soil geography or related disciplines. Willingness to participate in ambitious regional, international and interdisciplinary research projects and fieldwork abroad is expected.

The position is assigned to the Excellence Cluster ROOTS subcluster Socio-Environmental Hazards / Research group Geoarchaeology and Environmental Risks at the Institute for Ecosystem Research at Kiel University. The aim of the PhD project is to investigate the influence of environmental factors, especially soil properties, on the development of prehistoric settlements and their surroundings. The successful candidate will conduct excellent research in order to determine the impact of such factors.

Required Qualification: Preconditions are an outstanding Master's degree in Physical Geography (Geomorphology or Soil Geography) or Soil Science, or in related disciplines in the field of geosciences.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Eileen Eckmeier (, Prof. Dr. Ingmar Unkel (

03PhD Subcluster Knowledge of ROOTS - PhD Position "Routes and Knowledgetransfer in the Southern Caucasus (4th to 1st millennium BC)"

Profile: Prehistoric, Classical or Near Eastern Archaeology

Candidates are requested to submit an excellent dissertation proposal dealing with kurgans, routes of transfer and exchange in the Southern Caucasus. Applications must be submit-ted with an innovative project proposal for the survey of kurgans, network routes and theoretical concepts to record knowledge transfer. Participation in international seminars, workshops and conferences is expected as well as participation in onsite surveys. Integration into the research agenda of the "Knowledge ROOTS" Subcluster is expected as well as cooperation with the other subclusters.

Required qualification: Excellent university degree (MA or MSc) in one of the profil-men-tioned fields. Experience in the use of geographical information systems (GIS). Knowledge of the archaeology of the Caucasus and satellite-based prospection are beneficial.

Contact: Dr. Andrea Ricci ( und Dr. Jutta Kneisel (

04PhD PhD Position "Interfaces of Technology in Early Metal-bearing Societies II"

Profile: Prehistoric Archaeology, Nordic Bronze Age

Within this project, the doctoral candidate will investigate the development of agricultural knowledge systems during the Nordic Bronze Age. Thus, the PhD project focuses on the connection between cultivation practices and harvest equipment at the interface of technologies in early metal-bearing societies in Northern and Central Europe between 2000 and 500 BC. The project should address these issues through a focus on harvesting technologies, e.g. the role of the production and use of lithic versus bronze sickles through chaîne and schéma opératoire studies, as well as the development of the organization of cultivation practices (different crops, cultivation methods, field systems, etc.), and the relation to socio-political and economical structures of the Bronze Age.

Required qualification: Excellent university degree (MA or MSc) in prehistoric archaeology or an equivalent field of study

Contact: Prof. Dr. Berit Eriksen (

05PhD Subcluster Urban ROOTS - PhD Position "Urban Agency and Perception"

Profile: (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox) Theology (New Testament; early Church History), Classical Archaeology, Late Antique Archaeology, Medieval History, Medieval German Stud-ies or Medieval and Renaissance Romance Literature, Prehistory

Candidates should submit an excellent dissertation proposal, which deals with urban agency and perception, preferably in religious contexts, culminating in a monograph. She/He should develop innovative theoretical and methodological concepts. Moreover, the holder of the position should organize and participate in international seminars, workshops and conferences. Integration into the research agenda of 'Urban ROOTS' is expected as well as cooperation with the other subclusters.

Required qualification: Excellent university degree (MA, MSc, Theological Examination or an equivalent degree) in one of the above mentioned fields

Contact: Prof. Dr. Annette Haug ( und Prof. Dr. Ulrich Mïller (

06PhD Subcluster ROOTS of Conflict - PhD Position "From Conflict to Cooperation in Pre- and Protohistoric Societies"

Profile: Pre-and Early History of Central, Northern or Eastern Europe

The candidate is expected to complete an excellent dissertation dealing with rituals, communication and diplomacy. Diplomacy is understood as a specific form of communication that is highly connected with rituals and rules. The dissertation topic has many possible facets; examples include the evaluation of political and commercial interactions for conflict resolution, of language and language knowledge in intercultural communication, or of objects as "ambassadors" or bearers of real or invented memories in crosscultural contexts. The application must be submitted with a project proposal that includes empirical work based on archaeologi-cal findings as well as an examination of theories of communication. Integration into the inter-disciplinary research agenda of the ROOTS of Conflict subcluster with its pillars of archaeology, historical linguistics and material sciences as well as cooperation with the other subclusters is expected.

Required qualification: Excellent university degree. Skills in interdisciplinary work. Knowledge of theoretical archaeology and expertise in European Pre- and Early History.

Contact: Dr. Jens Schneeweiß (

Kiel University considers itself as a modern and cosmopolitan employer. We welcome your application regardless of your age, gender, cultural and social background, religion, worldview, disability or sexual identity. We promote gender equality.

Women with equivalent qualifications, competency, and professional performance are given preferential consideration in the selection process.

We expressly welcome applicants with a migration background. Kiel University is committed to the employment of people with disabilities: Applications from severely disabled persons and those of equal status will be given preferential consideration if they are suitably qualified.

Please submit the following documents as a single PDF file:

  • Cover letter;
  • CV (including a list of publications);
  • Outline of the proposed dissertation project (not longer than 1500 words), including a short summary, a description of the current state of knowledge, a detailed project description and a work schedule;
  • Statement on how the proposed research relates to the overarching themes of ROOTS;
  • Names of two references with contact information;
  • PDF of your Master's thesis or proof of equivalent qualification;
  • Evidence of the degrees that you have acquired (German or English).

All documents must be submitted in English, with the exception of the Master's thesis (Please add a summary of your Master's thesis if it is written in a language other than German or English).

We expressly waive the submission of photographs/application photos and therefore ask you to refrain from including them.

The application deadline for all positions is April 17, 2022. Please include the code of the job you are applying for at the beginning of your cover letter!

Before submitting an application, applicants are advised to contact ROOTS in order to find out whether the proposed project fits into the research focus. Please send your application to:

Search Committee
Speaker Prof. Dr. Johannes Müller
Cluster of Excellence ROOTS
Kiel University
Leibnizstraße 3, 24118 Kiel
via e-mail (
For further information, please contact:
PD Dr. Mara Weinelt,, +49 431

Application materials received by mail will not be returned, but will be disposed of at the end of the application process.

posted: 28 February 2022     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.