Fellowship success for Institute researchers

7 February 2012

TOPOI Excellence Programme at the Freie Universität, Berlin

Institute researchers (and alumni!) Susanna Harris and Kathryn Piquette have been awarded prestigious postdoctoral research fellowships at the Freie Universität, Berlin.

Susanna Harris and Kathryn Piquette (PhD 2007, MA 2001) have been awarded CoFund Postdoctoral Research Fellowships at the Dahlem Research School, Freie Universität, Berlin and will be based in the University's Excellence Programme 'TOPOI - The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations' for the next 15 months.

The CoFund is a new research fellowship initiative co-funded by the Marie Curie CoFund programme of the European Commission. Its purpose is to reinforce the international dimension of junior researchers by supporting highly-qualified postdocs from abroad.  Such postdoctoral research fellowships have the potential to be developed into longer research projects and congratulations are given to Susanna and Kathryn on their success.

Susanna Harris

The aim of Susanna's research project entitled 'Regional Costume and Identity in the Final Neolithic to Bronze Age; the Statue Menhir Evidence' is to investigate regional costume and identity from the representation of clothing and adornments engraved on statue menhirs of central and northern of Europe dated from the final Neolithic to the early Bronze Age c.3300-2200 BC. Subtle and substantial variations in costumes are well documented as key to forming the visual cues to express information about social identities including gender, age, wealth, ethnicity, political allegiance and other personas.

Statue menhirs (statue stelae)

The project, which will involve the examination of costume motifs on approximately two hundred statue menhirs (also referred as statue stelae) of northern Italy, Switzerland, southern France and Germany, will seek to connect the significant of costume as an alteration of the human body to express social knowledge to the spatially and chronologically defined cultural environment. The results will provide an original and large scale analysis of social identity expressed through costume in the Final Neolithic to Early Bronze Age of central and northern Europe.

Kathryn's research project is entitled 'A Comparative Study of Scribal and Artistic Spaces in Early Egypt and the Ancient Near East: Integrating micro- and macro-scale analyses' and will entail the use of Highlight Reflectance Transformation Imaging (HRTI).

Kathryn, who has lectured at King's College London on 'Reflectance Transformation Imaging - a relatively new method of digital photography with tremendous potential for research involving material object surfaces', is currently undertaking HRTI at the site of Qubbet al Hawa in Aswan as part of the Universidad de Jaén 2012 season directed by Alejandro Jiménez-Serrano (MPhil 2002). Work is focussing on the Middle Kingdom tombs (2055-1650BCE). Further information about this project (in Spanish) is available here»