Postdoctoral Researcher in Assyriology

University of Leiden – Faculty of Humanities / Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO)

Project description

We are looking for applications for a one-year postdoctoral fellow to catalogue and describe the Böhl collection of the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO). The collection consists of c. 3,000 objects, mostly cuneiform tablets ranging in date from the Old Akkadian to the Hellenistic period, and covering most genres of cuneiform writing. F.M.Th. de Liagre Böhl collected the objects in the 1920s and 1930s, and NINO acquired them in 1952. This fellowship is part of our larger effort to make the collection more accessible and to improve its conservation. We enjoy the active support of the National Museum of Antiquities (RMO), which will carry out long-overdue restauration of the tablets in the course of 2018. In 2019, the entire collection will be rehoused at the museum, where it will remain accessible for visitors.

Your work will consist of:

  • Develop a digital catalogue of the Böhl collection, including the ca. 150 seals and the ca. 200 non-cuneiform objects;
  • Organize, compile, and digitize (as needed) source documents relating to objects in the collection;
  • Enter compiled data in a collections information management system;
  • Assess the collection’s state of publication and identify future areas of development;
  • Set priorities for digitization;
  • Carry out research on (items in) the collection;
  • Assist in the restauration and relocation of the collection;
  • Disseminate the collection to (non-)academic parties;
  • Handle requests from scholars to study objects from the collection in accordance with existing procedures;
  • Write up a final report, detailing the collection’s state of publication, identifying major areas for development, and suggesting strategies for its future digitization and online publication, to be realized in cooperation with RMO.

Selection Criteria

  • A PhD degree in Assyriology;
  • Excellent knowledge of the cuneiform writing system from different periods and pertaining to different genres;
  • Familiarity with archaeological object care in accordance with museum standards;
  • Experience in processing information from large numbers of cuneiform tablets and other objects;
  • A proven track-record in editing unpublished cuneiform tablets, including of the first millennium BCE;
  • A research and publication record that is commensurate with career stage;
  • Commitment to high-quality research, publication, and dissemination;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team.

Our Faculty/Institute

The Faculty of Humanities is rich in expertise in fields as philosophy, religious studies, history, art history, literature, linguistics, and regional studies covering nearly every region of the world. Our faculty is home to more than 5,400 students and 800 staff members. (For more information, see http://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/humanities.) The Netherlands Institute for the Near East is a research centre located at the Faculty of Humanities. NINO aims to advance knowledge of the history of the ancient Near East (incl. Egypt), its archaeological remains, and its cultural heritage, in the Netherlands and worldwide. Our internationally acclaimed library forms the heart of the local community of scholars and students in our fields. We strive to make our collections increasingly accessible for users locally and globally. (For more information, see www.nino-leiden.nl.)

The postdoctoral researcher will hold a position in the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/humanities/institute-for-area-studies). LIAS is comprised of a School of Asian Studies and a School of Middle-Eastern Studies, with international staff and student populations. The institute is committed to a present-day vision of area studies, integrating disciplinary and regional-historical perspectives on a solid foundation of excellent language skills. Current staff in Assyriology has expertise in Sumerian language and culture, Hittite language and culture, the Akkadian language, and the history of Mesopotamia from the early second to the late first millennium BCE. The local research environment includes the National Museum of Antiquities.

Terms and conditions

We offer a full-time, fixed-term position from May 2018 through April 2019. Salary range, depending on work experience, from €3,475 to €4,757 gross per month based on a full-time position (pay scale 11, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development, and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. (More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.)

Diversity

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Information

Enquiries can be made to Prof. Caroline Waerzeggers (email: c.waerzeggers@hum.leidenuniv.nl).

Applications

To apply for this vacancy, please send no later than 4 March 2018 an email to vacatureslias@hum.leidenuniv.nl. Applications should be in English. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents in this order in a single PDF document named ‘FAMILY NAME – Given name – 18-021’:

  • A CV including education and employment history and publications;
  • A letter of motivation;
  • One sample publication or other piece of written work, including at least one cuneiform text edition;
  • Names, positions, and email addresses of two referees (no reference letters).

The selection procedure will take place in week 10, and selected candidates will be invited for an interview on 12 March 2018. You are kindly requested to be available in this period.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.