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New Humboldt Research Fellow at LMU

Munich, 03/01/2010

Once again, a Humboldt research fellow has chosen to conduct her research at LMU Munich. As holder of a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Dr. Agnès Vokaer shall be researching for one year at the Institute of Prehistoric and Early Medieval Archaeology and Archaeology of the Roman Provinces of LMU Munich. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation allows highly qualified, young postdoctoral academics from abroad to carry out a research project of their choice in Germany, and to choose their own host. Accordingly, the number of Humboldt fellows is an important indicator of international contacts and reputation.

The Belgian visiting researcher Dr. Agnès Vokaer studied oriental languages and archaeology at the Université libre de Bruxelles. She completed her Master of Letters (MLitt) in 2001 at Oxford University. In 2005, she earned her PhD in Archaeology and History of Art at the Université libre de Bruxelles, under Professor G. Raepsaet, with her thesis titled “Brittle Ware in Syria: study of production from the Roman to the Umayyad Period”. Since 2005, she has been Field Director of the Belgian Archaeological Mission at Apamea/Syria. As archaeologist, she is specialized in Roman, Late Antique and Early Islamic (Umayyad) ceramics in the ancient Near East. At LMU, Agnès Vokaer is working at Provincial Roman Archaeology on her research project “Production and exchanges in Late Antique Syria (5th - mid 8th c. A.D.)”.

In her project, Agnès Vokaer is investigating the production and trade of ceramics in Northern Syria from the late Roman to the Umayyad period. She is following two main lines of research. Firstly, she is analyzing the late antique urban economy, which has been less well researched so far than rural production in Syria. Secondly, she intends to analyze the trade contacts and exchange of goods – and ceramics in particular – between city centers and rural areas. Her studies focus on both regional and trans-regional trade connections. To do this, she intends to compare the distribution of local and imported ceramics and sketch out the various trade connections. Fine ceramics from North Africa are of equal interest to her research as locally/regionally produced fine and utilitarian ceramics, as well as amphorae imported from the eastern Mediterranean region, which served as shipping containers primarily for oil and wine. 

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