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Dear Sir and Madam, good morning,

First of all, thank you very much for inviting me.


I am very excited to be here for this interview at Durham. It’s a great honour to have the possibility as Postdoctoral
Research Associate in Archaeology to work for this project (A multi-isotope base map for Jordan: a tool for re-
examining movement and community in the past).
Having been here as a Postdoctoral Research fellow and the Department of Archaeology feels like home and
therefore I’m very happy to have the opportunity to continue to stay here in Durham and to work in this exciting
environment as well as to collaborate with excellent academics and the best facilities.

Well, I am a physical anthropologist and I’m currently conducting my post-doctoral research here in Durham to
reconstruct the human behaviour, mobility trend and subsistence strategies in metal ages, which corresponds to
the period included between 3300 BC to 400 BC, in Western Italy.
My main research interests focus on the reconstruction of way of life, human behaviour and activities of past
societies in the Mediterranean and trans-alpine area through an anthropological and biochemical point of view.
I have been recently involved in a project on Bronze age Kuwait that aims to reconstruct dietary patterns and
mobility trends and that’s why I have applied to this position, because I’m spreading my research interests in the
middle east as well as to address issues related to movement and identity within past communities. The Jordanian
communities involved in the proposed project are coevals with the societies I am currently investigating, this
evidence paves the basis for new potential synergies to be used for interesting comparisons.

Following my master, I have developed a great deal of experience and I have worked with passion in
anthropology and stable isotope analyses. As a result, I have always looked for pursuing my interests integrating
heterogeneous data and applying new cutting-edge methodologies to my research, as also requested for this
position.

Talking about a Work strategy I would follow for this project I have thought to divide the project in 5
steps:1st step: June/July 2019 (3 weeks):

1) preparation of the first mission:


- get the authorizations for the sampling and the transportation of the samples to England;
- manage the practical and logistical arrangements;
- define the areas of the sample collection (for example identifying the transect across Jordan following
the different geological units)
2) 1st fieldwork in Jordan (fieldwork) – animal, plants, groundwater sampling

2nd step: September-October 2019

1) isotopic analysis in Durham (sample preparation procedures in the Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry and
Arthur Holmes Trace Element and Isotope Laboratories at Durham University)
2) analysis and interpretation of the first results (in collaboration with all team members)

3rd step: November-December 2019

1) preparation of the second mission:


- get the authorizations for the sampling and the transportation of the samples in England;
- manage the practical and logistical arrangements;
- define the left areas of the sample collection following to the first mission achievements
2) fieldwork in Jordan (museum and fieldwork) – human, animal, plants, water sampling

4th step: January-March 2020


3) isotopic analysis in Durham (sample preparation procedures in the Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry and
Arthur Holmes Trace Element and Isotope Laboratories at Durham University)
4) analysis and interpretation of the total results (in collaboration with all team members)

5th step: April-October 2020

dissemination of the results (conferences, workshops, preparation of peer-review papers)

why 5 steps? why these months? Why this strategy?


What about if something goes wrong in one of this step? Time?

DIET & MOBILITY STUDY


HUMANS:

A. Sample strategy (museums):


If - Single burials: 1) selection of a bone fragment and a tooth -M1, for each individual
If - Collective burials: 1) MNI
2) selection of a bone fragment and a tooth -M1, (or two teeth, M1 and M3 to detect
mobility in an individual life) for each individual

B. Isotopic analysis and purposes (Durham isotope and trace element labs):

Objective Material element


Humans 1) Diet (adult life) Bone (collagen) δ34S, δ13C, δ15N
2) Diet (infancy) Tooth (collagen) δ34S, δ13C, δ15N
Breastfeeding/weaning (eventually incremental dentin if the
dentin is well preserved)
87
3) Mobility (intra-group, inter-group) Tooth, M1 (enamel, bioapatite) Sr/86Sr, δ18O
Mobility (intra-individual: to study mobility Teeth, M1 and M3 (enamel, bioapatite) 87Sr/86Sr, δ18O
along an individual life)

ANIMALS:

A. Sample strategy
- museum sample collections (if animals are found in the sites/necropolis associated to humans):
1) Mammals (e.g. sheep/goats)
2) Small mammals
3) Terrestrial snails

- fieldwork in Jordan (along a defined transect in each geological unit):


1) Small mammals
2) Terrestrial snails

B. Isotopic analysis and purposes (Durham isotope and trace element labs):

Objective Material element


Mammals Diet (local baseline) Bone (collagen) δ34S, δ13C, δ15N
87
Mobility (local baseline) Tooth (enamel, bioapatite) Sr/86Sr, δ18O
87
Small mammals Mobility (local baseline) Tooth (enamel, bioapatite) Sr/86Sr, δ18O
87
Terrestrial snail Mobility (local baseline) Tooth (enamel, bioapatite) Sr/86Sr, δ18O
PLANTS & GROUNDWATER:

A. Sample strategy
- museum sample collections (if archaeobotanical remains were found in the sites/necropolis):
1) Archaeological grains

- fieldwork in Jordan (modern plants to sample along a defined transect and water where it is accessible):
1) Plants (leaves from herbaceous plants)
2) Groundwater

B. Isotopic analysis and purposes (Durham isotope and trace element labs):

Objective Material element


Archaeological plants 1) Diet (local baseline) Grains (cereals, legumes) δ34S, δ13C, δ15N
2) Manuring practices
3) Paleoenvironment/paleoclimate
(e.g. water stress)
Modern plants 1) Mobility (local baseline) Leaves of herbaceous plants 87Sr/86Sr, δ18O
Water 1) Mobility (local baseline) water δ18O

1) why did you apply for this job when you are actually involved in another project?

- Link between the 2 projects

- working in Jordan will enrich me as a scientist bla bla why Jordan is a good place --- link with Kuwait

Why the research

Overall Ambition working in Jordan : what will be my contribution to Jordan research?

Why Jordan is a good place to work at this time?

2) You have another project…how you gonna work on both? How will you be able to run successfully the 2
projects?