PHD MEMBERS

As a research school of Archaeology Archon wants to bring together our junior and senior members, but also hope to create a platform for current research in Archaeology. Thus, we feel it is important that PhD researchers in the Netherlands are up-to date with their fellow PhD’s research interests. This webpage provides an overview of all Archon PhD members in alphabetical order and could serve as a basis for finding likeminded researchers to work with in organizing a workshop or for those curious to see if there are any other people working on your subject.

Marjolein Admiraal
University of Groningen
Arctic and Antarctic Studies

PhD title: Prehistoric food technologies, maritime adaptations and climate change in the North Pacific

With a strong interest into the Peopling of the Americas I focused my studies at the University of Groningen on the archaeology of the North American Arctic. During my Research Master I visited Spitsbergen to study the Arctic environment. I interned at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Paleoindian department and visited Alaska for my thesis research that won the GIA best thesis of 2013 award.

For my PhD project I am researching the origins of organic residues on pottery and stone vessels from the Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Island and the Aleutian Islands in SW Alaska, in order to establish vessel function. I am co-supervised by prof. Peter Jordan (University of Groningen) and prof. Oliver Craig (University of York) and work closely together with both universities to analyze and publish my research results.

Sabrina N. Autenrieth.
Leiden University
Pre/Protohistory of NW Europe.

PhD title: Bronze Age depositions in the Rhenish River landscape

The Rhenish river landscape is one of the best known examples of the excessive use of depositional practices of objects in rivers during the Bronze Age. In this region, the opportunity is given, to compare a variety of depositional practices in wet and in dry contexts, including graves, that have so far never been studied together. Using Social Network Analysis, it is to be examined how depositions were structured and to what extent a common ideology of depositional practices has been shared within this region.

This analysis will not only readjust the previous one-sided focus on river finds, but also reveal whether objects deposited in dry areas represent a practice steered by ideas and motivations contrasting to those of river finds. Further it will indicate if depositional as well as ideological boundaries were present during the Bronze Age in the Rhenish River landscape.

Research Interests: Neolithic, Bronze Age, depositions, metalwork, figurines, megaliths, Network Analysis.

Csilla Ariese.
Leiden University
Caribbean and Mesoamerica

PhD title: The Social Museum in the Caribbean: Grassroots heritage initiatives and community engagement.

Interests: “Museums, community engagement, Caribbean museums, interactive displays, maritime archaeology, video games and the past, storytelling, visitor studies”
Inspirations: “I’m inspired by storytellers of all kinds – those who create inspiring museum exhibitions, immersive playful environments, who can bring you into the past or another part of the world”

Yannick Boswinkel
Leiden University
Archaeology of the Mediterranean and the Near East.

PhD title: The architectural energetics of monumental cyclopean architecture in Mycenaean Greece

Since my BA thesis I have been studying architecture from various periods and sites in Greece. In my current PhD research I focus on the Mycenaean era (c.1600-1100BC). The long (provisional) title of this PhD study is ‘The architectural energetics of monumental cyclopean architecture in Mycenaean Greece’. Architectural energetics is a method for calculating how many persons were need for the construction of these buildings. The calculated costs can then be used to investigate the impact of such structures on the community in which they were constructed. This will provide insight into the wealth and power of the ruling class and subsequently the distribution of wealth among the people. The data that will be used for this research comes from fieldwork on various sites where I document structures in 3D using Total Stations and photogrammetry. This study is part of the larger ERC project SETinSTONE.

Anita Casarotto
Leiden University
Archaeology of the Mediterranean and the Near East

PhD title: A GIS-based procedure to investigate regional settlement patterns from legacy survey data.

In this PhD project I develop a GIS-based method to study settlement patterns from field survey data. As a case-study to show how this method works, I comparatively analyze legacy survey data collected in territories of central-southern Italy affected by early Roman colonization (3rd century B.C.). This PhD research is conducted at the Faculty of Archaeology of Leiden University, as part of the overarching LERC research program (Landscapes of Early Roman Colonization, led by Dr. Tesse D. Stek and Dr. Jeremia Pelgrom) funded by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) and supported also by the KNIR (Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome). My expertise lies in the use of GIS and geoarchaeological methods for the analysis of archaeological data. I specialized in computational modeling for settlement pattern analysis and for the assessment of the archaeological potential in a landscape (for problem-oriented scientific research and for cultural resource management related to modern territorial planning actions). Before being hired as a PhD researcher in Leiden, besides the standard archaeological curriculum (bachelor and master degrees in Archaeology, University of Padova) I also attended a two-year Italian Specialization School in Archaeological Heritage (University of Padova), which provides selected graduates with the practical skills required to perform qualified professions in the field of preservation and management of archaeological resources. My research interests include landscape archaeology, digital archaeology, field survey, geomorphology and soil science.

Eldris Con Aguilar
Leiden University
Archaeology of the Caribbean and Mesoamerica

PhD title: Teaching Indigenous History and Heritage in the Caribbean

Eldris Con Aguilar holds a Bachelor degree with Cum Laude Honours in Education (History and Geography) from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, Venezuela (2011) and a Master of Arts degree in Latin American Studies; with a specialization in modern history from Leiden University (2012). Currently, she is a PhD student at Leiden University. Her research is part of the ERC-Synergy NEXUS 1492 project. There she studies teaching practices of indigenous history and heritage from localized examples in Caribbean countries. By focusing on the impacts of the inclusion of heritage values in educational programs. Her research interests are cultural heritage, teacher education, public policies, and the design of educational resources.

Maria Cinquegrana
University of Groningen
Archaeology of the Mediterranean and the Near East

PhD title: Special activity sites along the Etruscan coast between the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age and the emergence of central Italian urbanization.

The research project is focused on the exploitation of marine resources which took place along the Tyrrhenian coast during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (tenth – ninth centuries BC). The study area includes a network of specialized sites located in the territory of Scarlino, on the Gulf of Follonica (Tuscany-Italy). There, a salt extraction has been identified on account of substantial accumulations of potsherds, resulting from the boiling of brine in vessels, as happened in the so-called ateliers de briquetage of Europe. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to this phenomenon, can lead to deeper insight into prehistoric exploitation techniques, chronological and production dynamics. Through the examination of the most recent archaeological data coming from the study area, a broader understanding can be reached regarding the relationship between specialized activity sites and the development of proto-urban centers in the formative stages of Etruscan civilization.

research interests: Mediterranean Protohistory , Bronze Age and Iron age pottery production and use, exploitation and product manufacturing techniques; proto-urban settlements;  exploitation of salt in Europe.

Jamie Dodd
VU University Amsterdam
Pre/protohistory of NW Europe

PhD title: Rural Villa Complexes in the Late Antique West: Archaeological and Historical case studies of Migration, Regionalisation and Transformation

I am a PhD at the VU working on the transformation of the Roman rural economy, specifically the end of the Roman villa in Western Europe. I am looking at various forms of post-villa activity across the Western Empire between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD, comparing Southern France and Catalonia, Northern France, the Low Countries and the Rhineland and Britain. I’m inspired by models of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, and the general lack of study to this period, especially in terms of the villa landscapes. I am interested in the transformation of the Roman world in general, as well as theories and practicalities of site abandonment. As well as this I have an interest in legacy data and the use of development of digitalising archives.

Natalia Donner
Leiden University
Archaeology of the Caribbean and Mesoamerica

PhD title: The Potter’s Perspective. A Technological Approach to the Ceramic Sequence of Aguas Buenas, Chontales, Nicaragua and its hinterland (North-East Lake Cocibolca Basin)

Ceramics are usually the most ubiquitous and resilient type of archaeological find in Lower Central America, which was frequently used by past societies (Skibo, 2008). Therefore, pottery has been valued as a link to the lives of everyday people. However, ceramic sequences often focus on decoration techniques and morphological features, which represent the most mutable aspects of the operational sequence (Roux, 2016) and do not take into account the most popular kind of pots: undecorated cooking vessels (Ramón Joffré, 2013). In contrast, technological approaches to ceramic analysis stress all the different steps of the manufacturing process, specially focusing on clay procurement, paste preparation, fashioning, finishing, surface treatment, and decoration practices. Particularly, the first four stages have proven to reflect the specific production contexts, the social identity of the manufacturers (Roux 2016), apart from their role in networked practices. As a result, my study, which focuses in Central Nicaragua, in the valley of Juigalpa, examines the ceramic manufacturing processes at the Aguas Buenas and 18 other sites located around it; both diachronic and synchronically.

Main research interests: Archaeology of the Americas, in particular Mesoamerica and Lower Central America, ceramics, archaeometry, anthropology of techniques.
Main inspirations: Margaret Mead, Lewis Binford, James Skibo, Valentine Roux, Olivier Gosselain.

Marlieke Ernst
Leiden University
Archaeology of the Caribbean and Mesoamerica

PhD title: Ceramic material transformations

I am Marlieke, a PhD researcher at Leiden University, where I also obtained my Bachelor (2012) and Research Master (2016) degree in archaeology. During my studies I have been interested in early colonial archaeology, ceramic studies, transculturation and intercultural interactions. Within Nexus 1492 I focus on the ceramic material transformations. I will investigate transcultural processes within intercultural communications at early interaction places at Hispaniola and Venezuela. The material reflection of the multicultural societies and the agency of the enslaved and colonized will be studied through the continuities and changes in the manufacture between pre-colonial and colonial,  non-European ceramics present at colonial sites. Both Amerindian (local and non-local), Spanish, and African presence will be studied within the ceramic assemblage. I will conduct technological, morphological, as well as stylistically analysis. The study will assess the extent to which indigenous pottery traditions disappeared and the amount in which new techniques and forms appeared.

Catarina Guzzo Falci
Leiden University
Archaeology of the Caribbean and Mesoamerica

PhD title: Indigenous adornment in a pan-Caribbean perspective: the production, use and exchange of bodily accoutrements through the lenses of the microscope

Catarina studies the biographies of beads, pendants and earplugs in the Caribbean region. By using microwear analysis, she investigates production technologies, patterns of use, and exchange of ornaments throughout the Ceramic Age period (400 BC – AD 1492). The comparison between multiple case-studies will allow a critical assessment of previous ideas regarding large-scale interactions within and between the islands and surrounding mainlands. As a complementary project, she is studying ethnographic necklaces collected from indigenous communities in lowland South America during the 19th and 20th centuries. Catarina’s main interests include the body and its ornamentation, pre-Colonial archaeology of the Caribbean and South America, anthropological and archaeological approaches to technology and skill, microwear analysis, and ethnology.

Marcel IJsselstijn
Leiden University
Historical Archaeology

Marcel IJsselstijn studied Human Geography (BSc) at the University of Utrecht and Heritage Studies (MA) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (cum laude). Inspired by the stratification of historic town centres, he developed a strong interest in the long-term spatial development of towns in the Netherlands and abroad. After graduating, he pursued his interests as an independent researcher. He was one of the authors of the Atlas of the Dutch Urban Landscape, the first overview on urbanisation in the Netherlands written from a long-term, spatial perspective. In his current PhD-research, entitled Markets and ports in perspective. A comparative study on the spatial origin and development of towns in the northern Netherlands, 700-1400, he explores the spatial implications of the emphasis on markets and ports as crucial functions in the remarkable urbanisation of the Low Countries. His research interests include comparative and interdisciplinary approaches into the history of landscapes and towns, GIS-analysis and map-making.

Margje de Jong
University of Groningen
Arctic and Antarctic Studies

PhD title: From historical data to a prediction of the future for geese on Arctic tundra

My project investigates a barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis) population in Kongsfjorden, Spitsbergen, using historical data and field experiments. Barnacle geese that breed on Spitsbergen overwinter in Scotland. The entire Spitsbergen barnacle goose population was threatened to become extinct in the 1940s. After conservation measures the population has increased dramatically. This means that as a whole, the Spitsbergen barnacle goose population is very successful. Nevertheless, on a smaller scale, the majority of individual geese attempt but fail to reproduce successfully during their life. This project therefore focusses on several factors that may influence the geese on an individual level:Why do many of the individual geese fail to successfully reproduce?

Effects of historical pollution by coal mining?
Effects of nest parasites?
Effects of changes in goose behaviour characteristics (personality)?
Effects of changes in predation pressure on juveniles and adults?

Vana Kalenderian
University of Groningen
Archaeology of the Mediterranean and the Near East
Bio-Archaeology

PhD title: Resurrecting’ Berytus: Osteoarchaeological Analysis and an Evaluation of Mortuary Practices and Cultural Exchange (1st c. BC – 4th c. AD)

I am a fourth year PhD student at the Groningen Institute of Archaeology and my research focuses on the assessment of Roman period burials from the ancient city of Berytus (modern day Beirut, Lebanon). By analyzing the mortuary practices and examining the human skeletal remains, I aim to better understand the consequences of Roman colonization on the social and cultural characteristics of the city and its inhabitants.

My research interests center on mortuary contexts and how they can be resorted to to better understand past societies and individual life histories. I am particularly interested in the integrated analysis of ancient graves through the incorporation of scientific methods and theoretical approaches. I aspire to continue looking into questions associated with colonization, migration and mobility, and cultural exchange and identity through the implementation of osteological and isotopic analyses within a broader framework of archaeological evidence and anthropological theory.

Elizabeth Lawton-Matthews
University of Groningen
Arctic and Antarctic Studies

PhD title: Hunter-gatherers in transition – exploring hunter-gatherer burial practices, diversity and trade networks during the transition to agriculture in Japan

My project focuses on the burial traditions of hunter-gatherers in Hokkaido, North Japan, during the transition to agriculture and metal (c. 2500-2200 BP). Through the burial material I explore regional diversity, as well as how funerary traditions developed during this period of change. Using exotic goods with specific sources (such as jasper and amber), I also assess the changing nature of trade with neighbouring groups during this period.
My research interests include hunter-gatherers (the world over; prehistoric, historic and modern), funerary archaeology, cultural diversity, hunter-gatherer/farmer interactions, archaeology of women, archaeology of children.