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  • Posted: Aug 8, 2022
    Deadline: Aug 26, 2022
  • The Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA) is launching its Digital Heritage Lab: a series of projects aimed at leveraging the power of technology for the study and management of our heritage. Through an exciting array of projects, EMOWAA will deploy cutting edge technology in Nigeria for high-end data gathering, analysis and presentation. The purpose is...
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    Palaeoenvironmental Specialist

    Job Overview:

    The Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA) is an independent non-profit organisation in Nigeria set up to drive research and execute high-value cultural, arts and heritage initiatives in West Africa. Our evolving research partners include major institutions such as the National Commission of Museums and Monuments (NCMM), the British Museum (BM), and the Deutsche Archaeological Institute (DAI).

    EMOWAA’s dynamic research programme will initially focus on the historic core of pre-colonial Benin City, the capital of the Benin Empire and one of the most important archaeological sites in West Africa. Fieldwork began early 2022 with a series of targeted excavations and geospatial mapping of ancient earthwork structures. The next phase of work with the British Museum will begin in October 2022 ahead of the construction of its new heritage research and archive centre – the Pavilion.

    EMOWAA is seeking specialists to join our team of leading researchers in archaeology, environmental science and materials science study. The paleaoenvironmental specialist will manage one of the most important elements of EMOWAA’s archaeological investigations: identifying, recovering and analyzing evidence for the exploitation and impact of the Benin Empire on the surrounding tropical forest environment.

    The ideal candidate will have a proven track record in sampling, analysis and publication of palaeoenvironmental and soils studies in West Africa, Nigeria and preferably Benin (see details below). (S)he will require a high attention to detail, substantial fieldwork experience involving palaeoenvironmental analysis, and the ability to work in a team. This role will involve frequent travel for trainings, presentations and the execution of projects in various parts of Nigeria and abroad.

    Key Responsibilities:

    Developing a Palaeoenvironmental/Soil Research Strategy

    • Work with EMOWAA colleagues and international researchers to plan and develop a strategy for palaeoenvironmental studies of the EMOWAA Pavilion site and elsewhere within the wider Cultural Quarter;
    • Develop an environmental sampling methodology for the excavations, with a structured workflow and defined objectives within set programme;
    • Working with other members of the joint research team, develop a sampling strategy to support a programme of scientific sampling (using radiocarbon dating and any other relevant techniques);
    • In co-ordination with relevant specialists, develop a programme of soil/micromorphology sampling;
    • Develop and manage a team of field archaeologists and other specialists able to implement a programme of sampling and analysis;
    • Ensure that appropriate types and quantities of equipment are available in Benin City at the right time for the implementation of the palaeoenvironmental, dating and soil sampling programme.

    Fieldwork Implementation

    • Set up and manage an efficient sample collection and processing facility on the Pavilion site (including a flotation tank) for the period of the October/November 2022 excavations;
    • Ensure that all members of the EMOWAA excavation team understand the sampling strategy and collection protocols;
    • Be present on site throughout the excavations to ensure that protocols are maintained and implemented throughout the period of the fieldwork;
    • Build a team of assistants to carry out the sampling processing in accordance with the chosen method;
    • Ensure that appropriate facilities are in place on site for the storage of palaeoenvironmental samples.

    Post-Excavation Analysis

    • Ensure that the samples recovered during the excavation are delivered to appropriate specialists;
    • Ensure that all specialists are appropriately briefed setting out the types of analysis required, the research questions that need to be addressed, the structure of reporting required and deadlines by which they should be received;
    • Co-ordinate with lead archaeologists at EMOWAA and our partners to ensure that reporting is delivered in line with the overall analysis and publication programme.


    • Be responsible for the collation and completion of publication text relating to palaeoenvironmental, dating and soils evidence

    Experience & Qualifications:

    • Bachelor’s degree or higher in any related field
    • 3 years’ relevant experience in archaeological fieldwork and/or palaeoenvironmental studies
    • Ability to learn quickly and work independently
    • Collaborative approach and ability to contribute to across different projects effectively
    • Proficiency in MS Suite (required)
    • English fluency (required)

    Career Growth & Development:

    EMOWAA has a strong culture of constant learning and invests in developing people. This post will be supported by global experts and institutions across EMOWAA’s wide network of partners and affiliates.

    By joining EMOWAA team, you’ll have an opportunity to shape a growing organization, work on groundbreaking initiatives and build a rewarding long-term career. It is anticipated that the Palaeoenvironmental Specialist will build on their experience on the 2022 excavations to contribute to the longer term growth and development of the archaeological team at the EMOWAA Pavilion. A successful specialist will be able to represent EMOWAA at conferences and will take place in international training/exchange programmes.

    Terms and Conditions:

    • Reporting Line: Head of Archaeology & Heritage Management
    • Duty Station: Benin, Ibadan or Lagos
    • Compensation & Benefits: Competitive, subject to credentials
    • Start Date: September 2022, subject to 6-month probation period

    Method of Application

    Interested and qualified candidates should forward their CV to: using the position as subject of email.

    Please submit a 1-page cover letter

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