The Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires or ANEE ( at the University of Helsinki is a cross-disciplinary research centre that focuses on how changing imperial dynamics impact social group identities and lifeways during the first millennium BCE.

Founded in 1640, the University of Helsinki ( is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It operates on four campuses in Helsinki and at 15 other locations. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities in Europe and ranks among the top 100 international universities in the world. The University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity.

With almost 40 current members, ANEE offers a dynamic and stimulating research community on the Ancient Near East, with specialists in Near Eastern and Classical archaeology, Assyriology, ancient history, archaeological sciences, heritage studies, Biblical studies, museum studies, and language technology. In terms of empires, our researchers cover the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, and Parthian Empires. ANEE engages with methodologically varied yet integrated research on the long-term processes by which social group identities and lifeways were negotiated. Taken together, the innovations of ANEE are the integrated longue durée approach and the methodological innovativeness of each team (both separately and in collaboration).

ANEE invites applications for


To carry out a research project based on primary sources and by using Digital Humanities approaches for a fixed term of 2 years, preferably starting on 1 Oct 2021, with a possibility of up to 12 months extension.

The successful candidate’s research projects will focus on the tasks and goals of ANEE’s Team 1 “Digital Humanities Approaches.” The appointed postdoctoral researcher will have proven expertise in at least one of the areas of interest of ANEE, but as the centre is deeply multidisciplinary, competence in more than one field and/or proof of successful scientific collaboration will be considered an advantage. The appointee will focus on Mesopotamia or Levant during any period between 911 BCE and 100 BCE. The proposed research project of the appointee will develop or utilize Digital Humanities approaches. Their main duties will include full-time research according to their research plan and in collaboration with other ANEE members, presenting their research in international conferences and peer-reviewed journals, and contributing to organizing of ANEE scientific events. Other tasks related to working in a research community, such as teaching or supervising MA or PhD students, are also involved but in a minor role.

Team 1 “Digital Humanities Approaches” develops digital humanities approaches (especially social network analysis and language technology), using these to supplement the more traditional approaches. The team is led by Saana Svärd (saana.svard(at) and the vice-team leader Krister Lindén (Krister.linden(at), and it consists mostly of Assyriologists and computer scientists working in close collaboration. For more information on team 1 and its members please see For more information on the three teams and the work packages, please visit the ANEE website.


We are looking for a researcher with strong expertise in primary sources that shed light on social groups in Mesopotamia or Levant during any period between 911 BCE and 100 BCE. Additionally, the selected person should have knowledge of language technological approaches, social network analysis or other Digital Humanities approaches. Preferably, this expertise should be demonstrated e.g. in the form of peer-reviewed publications or theses but we will consider applications where such an approach is outlined in the research proposal even if the applicant does not yet have publications or theses. It is not necessary to have programming skills or develop completely new approaches. It can also be enough to use the existing Digital Assyriology resources in a way that the proposed project will contribute to the main research question of ANEE: How do changing empires impact social group identities and lifeways?

An appointee to the position of postdoctoral researcher must hold a doctoral degree in a relevant field. The year of graduation and previous postdoctoral experience do not exclude the applicant from consideration. The appointee must have the ability to conduct independent scientific research, and possess the teaching skills required for the position. Teaching or teaching-related tasks will form 5-10 % of the position. The candidate should have a proven capability to publish in scientific journals, have excellent analytical and methodological skills, and be able to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary scientific community. The successful candidates are expected to have excellent skills in written and oral English. Skills in Finnish or Swedish are not required. The candidate is expected to move to Finland for the duration of the post.


We are an equal opportunity employer and offer an attractive and diverse workplace in an inspiring environment with a variety of development opportunities and benefits. ANEE is functioning in the Faculty of Arts (Teams 1 and 3) and in the Faculty of Theology (Team 2), both located in the City Centre Campus in the historic centre of Helsinki.

Finland is a member of the European Union, has high quality free schooling (also in English), generous family benefits and healthcare, and was recently ranked as the best country in the world for expatriate families. Helsinki also constantly ranks among the world’s top ten most livable cities. Finland and the Helsinki region possess top expertise in sciences in terms of a vibrant talent pool, leading research, strong support services and functioning collaboration networks. For more information about working at the University of Helsinki and living in Finland, please see

The starting salary of the postdoctoral researcher will be EUR 3,480–3,660 per month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. Furthermore, the University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. Relocation costs related to moving to Finland can be negotiated, and ANEE will offer help and information for the practicalities, if needed.


Applications should consist of the following English-language documents:

(1) Motivation letter (max. 1 page) highlighting research accomplishments and including contact information for two referees.
(2) Select publications or theses (PDF files, max. 2) demonstrating expertise relevant for the position
(3) CV (max. 4 pages) and a full list of publications.
(4) A research statement (max. 2000 words) consisting of
i) a brief description of previous relevant experience
ii) a proposal for the research project that the applicant wants to conduct in ANEE (including a rough but feasible timetable for it)
iii) a brief description of any plans for scientific cooperation within ANEE, preferably specifying relevant team and work packages (for more information on work packages, please see

Professional references or recommendations should not be included. Applicants who are selected for an interview may be asked to provide professional references.

Further information on the position may be obtained from the team leader Saana Svärd (saana.svard(at) or vice-team leader Krister Lindén (Krister.linden(at)

Please submit your application, together with the required attachments, through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link Apply for job. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to send their application via the SAP HR portal. Deadline for applications is 6th of August, 2021.

If you need assistance with the University’s electronic recruitment system or SAP HR portal, please contact recruitment(at)

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06.08.2021 23:59 EEST