Post-doctoral scientist on silver ores and numismatics / Closed application
SILVER is a five-year Advanced ERC project that started in October 2017 at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) of Lyon under the supervision of Francis Albarède. Silver was the primary metal of economic exchange and military finances in ancient Mediterranean and Near-Eastern societies. Silver isotopes will help quantify monetisation of these societies by identifying Ag mineral sources, monetary sinks, and its major transfer routes. High-precision stable Ag isotope analysis initiated in Lyon has shed new light on the provenance of silver coinage. This is because Ag isotopes are distinctive of coinage’s intrinsic value in contrast to traditionally-used Pb and Cu isotopes, which may characterise impurities or additives. The common belief that PbS (galena) ores accounted for most of the silver mined in the antique world will be tested. We will extract Ag from ores around the Mediterranean and with trace elements and Ag, Cu, and Pb isotopes test PbS prevalence over As and Sb sulfosalts and low-temperature ores. Our work will address a number of major outstanding questions: understand the sources of unminted silver as a precursor to coinage; use Ag isotope fingerprinting of the earliest coinages of Athens to identify the contributions of Greek mines to the development of the world’s first democracy; map the Greek and Persian mines which sourced the treasure captured by Alexander the Great, and investigate the spread of its silver; study the causes of the monetary reform of the Roman Republic in 211 BC; and model the silver cycle from mines to coinage and artefacts in its economic context. In the short term this project represents radical scientific innovation, which will pave the way for a global and quantitative understanding of the history of monetary development in the ancient Mediterranean. In the long term, it will contribute to the emergence of a community of analysts, numismatists, and economic historians with shared expertise about the monetisation of ancient societies and their management of precious metal resources.
As part of this project, a post-doc position is offered at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Lyon) to start on 1 September 2018 to undertake the following:
Post-doctoral scientist on Historiography of ancient coin metal analyses / Closed application
Application Deadline: 31/05/2018 18:00 – Europe/Brussels
Where to send your application.