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The Department of Physical Geography at Utrecht University (UU) invites applications for a 4-year PhD project on the interface of Neolithic archaeology and buried alluvial landscapes in the Netherlands from the period 6000-4000 BCE. Can earth scientific and geoarchaeological methods demonstrate early agricultural land use (forest clearing, primitive tillage) on former levee surfaces by studying sediments and paleosols around “Swifterbant” cultural sites? The position is one of two in the research project “Finding Suitable Grounds”, ran at University of Groningen (RUG) and Utrecht University, with further consortium partners, and funded by NWO (Netherlands science funding agency). The project brings together experts in palaeogeography, geoarchaeology, archaeobotany and Quaternary geology to study the introduction of crop cultivation in the low-lying areas of the Netherlands. Special focus is on buried and submerged levees of rivers and creeks of the Rhine delta and the central Netherlands lagoon, that are geologically mapped in fair detail and on which an increasing number of Neolithic sites has been discovered in the last years. The archaeological topics are the timing, geography and cultural process of Neolithisation (the transition to agriculture from hunter-gathering subsistence).

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