University of Glasgow Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith PhD Scholarship Competition 2015/16:
Consuming Identities in the ‘Cradle of Civilisations’ – Food Consumption and the Emergence of Social Complexity in Greater Mesopotamia
Supervisors: Dr Claudia Glatz (Archaeology/School of Humanities) and Dr. Jaime Toney (School of Geographical and Earth Sciences)
This project will shed new light onto practices of food consumption and identity in the proverbial ‘Cradle of Civilizations’ by investigating the role of specific organic substances in the (re-)production and negotiation of social status and cultural identities at a time when the world’s first urban societies developed in greater Mesopotamia. Drawing on recent anthropological and archaeological theories of emergent social complexity and the role of food consumption in these processes, the proposed project will examine questions of diet and food habits using a tightly integrated framework of historical, iconographic and archaeological contextual analysis in conjunction with methods derived from organic geochemistry to isolate and identify the residues of perishable substances on pottery and lithic tools. Of particular interest will be substances generally associated with socially significant consumption events such as wine and beer, whose preference may indicate social and cultural differences in consumption practices in the study region. Secondary products of livestock-rearing such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, will be investigated to provide insights into the relationships of settled farmers and more mobile pastoral groups and their connections with the highland regions of the Zagros. The question of the local production or importation of such substances will also be addressed. The focus region of the project comprises the south Mesopotamian plains and the Zagros piedmonts of modern-day Iraq from the fifth to the second millennium BC.
Candidates interested in being considered for funded PhD study on this project are encouraged to make informal contact with the Lead Supervisor ([email protected]) in the first instance. Further information, including details of how to apply, can be found on the Postgraduate Research web pages:
The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 23 January 2015. Applications should be emailed to Adeline Callander ([email protected]).