Thesis: body piercing and past human migrations
Phd thesis proposal: National museum of natural history, Paris, France
Recommended background: archaeology, or anthropology, or human population
Lab: Eco-Anthropologie Umr 7206, Musée De L’homme, Paris, France
Duration: 3 years (starting fall 2020)
Supervisors: Franz Manni and Evelyne Heyer
Net salary: 1,400 euro
Contact email: email@example.com
How to apply:
Contact us before the 11th of June 2020, sending a short motivation Letter, a cv and a list of available master 2 exams scores. Candidates Will be contacted back. The best candidate will have to prepare some Paperwork by the June, 19, 2020 to be admitted to a formal skype interview Of 20 minutes (10 minutes to illustrate the project and 10 minutes for Questions) to be set 1-3, July, 2020.
This phd project is aimed at investigating the spread of ancestral Body piercing practices in relation to past human migrations. This Is to say that body piercing is here considered as a vertically Transmissible cultural trait, maybe having a limited number of origins in time and space. Like other body modifications (skull deformations, Teeth alterations, scarifications, tattoos, neck elongation, etc.), body Piercing relies on a very specific and quite complex know-how. Although Its symbolism is variable, diachronically and synchronously, the Practice actually relies on the method used to create, heal and enlarge A “tunnel” in the flesh: when the know-how is lost, the practice Becomes hardly possible. This is the research hypothesis of the thesis: The ancestors of the populations who practice(d) body piercing learned How to do it by contact with other populations. The history of body Piercing is likely to mirror past human contacts and migrations. To be Clear: this doctoral project concerns only the study of traditional Body piercing practiced by many peoples in the world, it does not Directly concern “modern” body piercing emerged in California (the “modern primitives”) in the mid-1970s. Nevertheless, this recent Renaissance has shown that several years have been necessary to develop, Ex nihilo, a viable body piercing technique, meaning that it is not easy to reinvent body piercing. This is why ancestral (“traditional”) body Piercing may have persisted only where the know-how related to it has Been transmitted through direct learning, generation after generation. The oldest body piercing ornament is dated 46,000 years ago (langley et Al. 2016). Although other body modifications (ex: tattooing) can be as Old, body piercing leaves more durable evidence: the ornaments. Easily Recognizable by their shape (rounded, cylindrical, conical, or toroidal), Their symmetry, weight and polishing, body piercing ornaments will be the major object of study of the thesis. Contemporary or old, they are Available in many collections (public or private), this is why fieldwork Will not be necessary. The project stems from an exhibition that took place at the Musée De L’homme , Paris, France (march 2019/2020; Curator f. Manni) and related work. The candidate will benefit the Help of the research network at the origin of the exhibition (40 Researchers, 12 countries: archaeologists, ethnologists, anthropologists, Curators). Currently the network is involved in the writing of a manual on body modifications to be published by an international academic Publisher. The outcome of the thesis can be included in it.
See here for more information