The Wall: People and Ecology in Medieval Mongolia and China - Fellowships for Outstanding Doctoral Candidates

January 15, 2021


CfA: Fellowships for Outstanding Doctoral Candidates

The European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant project: The Wall: People and Ecology in Medieval Mongolia and China, is offering Doctoral scholarships beginning in October 2021. The program is located at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is under the direction of Prof. Gideon Shelach-Lavi.

Successful candidates will be part of a unique interdisciplinary team. The project combines

archaeological, historic and paleo-climatic research. It focuses on what is, perhaps, the most enigmatic episode of ‘Great Wall’ construction in China and Mongolia: A wall system located in North China and Mongolia that covers a distance of over 3,500 km. The construction of this complex system, which includes long earthen walls and accompanying ditches, auxiliary structures and roads, is dated roughly to the 10th to 13th centuries CE, but it is unclear who built it, for what purposes and how it functioned. Through the understanding of this monumental wall-system our project aims to understand the context, ambitions and administration of long-wall construction in Chinese and world history. To learn more about The Wall: People and Ecology in Medieval Mongolia and China project, visit our web site:

Scholarships are offered in the three disciplines that make up this project: Archaeology – our team will perform surveys, excavations, artifact analysis, spatial analysis (GIS and drone research), and ecology-based modeling.
History – our team of historical analysis will systematically ‘mine’ the historical records (in Chinese and other languages) for concrete data that are relevant to the understanding of the wall- system, such as frontier diplomacy, defense, taxation and trade policies, and of extreme climatic anomalies and their effects (food shortages and large-scale migrations, etc.). We will map and analyze this data using qualitative and quantitative tools.

Paleo-climate – our team will participate in the archaeological expedition to Mongolia and China and will conduct paleo-limnological, geomorphological and pedological work, including chronology construction, stable isotopes (organic and inorganic) analysis and hydrological and isotopic modeling. This team is headed by Dr. Yonatan Goldsmith from the Institute of Earth Sciences at the Hebrew University.

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Knowledge of relevant languages – Chinese (modern and medieval) and Mongolian – is an advantage and so is the knowledge of relevant methods of data recovery and analysis.

Potential candidates are welcome to contact us in advance of their application with questions and inquiries. Write us to this address:


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