Apply: Field Director (MOWAA Archaeology Project) at Edo Museum of West African Arts Limited / Gte

EMOWAA moves beyond the notion of the “museum” as a building and “research” as purely academic knowledge. In its very essence, it will be a living institution relevant and connected to the contemporary. It will expand public space and bridge traditional divides of heritage and living culture, demonstrating a strong continuum between past, present and future.

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We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Field Director (MOWAA Archaeology Project)

Locations: Benin City, Edo and Lagos
Employment Type: Contract
Reporting Line: Director Heritage Management
Duration: 3-year fixed term role with potential for extension
Start Date: September 2023, subject to 6-month probation period

Job Overview

  • The Museum of West African Art (MOWAA) is carrying out pre-construction archaeology and research investigations in the centre of Benin City in the context of the development of its new Creative District. This falls within the historic core of the pre-colonial city, the capital of the Benin Kingdom and one of the most important Heritage sites in West Africa. MOWAA is looking for a Field Director, who will work with colleagues from the National Commission of Museums and Monuments (NCMM), British Museum (BM), Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU) and Wessex Archaeology (WA) to undertake one of the largest programmes of excavation carried out in the region in recent years.
  • We are looking for an experienced field archaeologist to support the second phase of the archaeological programme on the ground in Benin City. The appointee will lead MOWAA’s team of young and dynamic Nigerian archaeologists in carrying out field archaeological investigations in Benin City. They will be present on-site in Benin City throughout the coming field investigations, taking place in late 2023 and 2024. Thereafter the appointee will play a leading role in co-ordinating the analysis, writing up and publication of the results of the excavations to be completed by the end of 2025. They will work closely in particular with the MOWAA Research Lead, NCMM’s Head of Archaeology, the Research co-Lead and Lead Archaeologist from the British Museum, and Cambridge Archaeology Unit’s Lead Archaeologist.
  • This is a leadership role within a growing, pioneer research organization. As such, the Field Director will be expected to contribute to the development of research strategies, team professional development, institutional relationships and publications. They will work to develop these in light of the project, as well as for the longer-term advancement and sustainability of the organization.
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Key Responsibilities

Excavation Methodology & Research:

  • Develop clear and detailed method statements covering logistics, excavation methodology, finds recovery, environmental sampling, post-excavation analysis, reporting and publication;
  • Oversee implementation of the project fieldwork for the MOWAA-British Museum excavations;
  • Develop material and environmental research programmes working with specialists;
  • Support the development of project research goals

Excavation Management:

  • Working in close collaboration with the BM team and NCMM representatives, manage the implementation of method statements;
  • Lead the MOWAA archaeological team, working in close collaboration with BM colleagues and other partners, in ensuring that all members of the team are clear about their roles and objectives over the period of the excavation and on a day-by-day basis;
  • Ensure that finds are collected in line with project standards and processes;
  • Ensure that the project recording methodology is understood by all members of the excavation team and applied consistently;
  • Check the excavation records on a regular basis and ensure that they are complete and digitised at the end of the excavation period and stored in accordance with MOWAA data storage standards.
  • Liaise on-site with the MOWAA construction manager and contractor representatives to ensure that there is mutual understanding of the archaeological programme and operations;
  • Support ensuring the safe management of excavations in deeply stratified urban contexts, ensuring compliance with health and safety and security standards and procedures at all times;

Post-excavation Analysis & Reporting:

  • Ensure that finds and environmental sample processing is carried out in accordance with the method statement and in line with the project programme;
  • Make sure that specialist analyses are undertaken in line with agreed method statements and the project programme;
  • Ensure that there is meaningful and effective engagement with historians, ethnographers, artisans and other knowledgeable members of the Benin community to ensure that interpretations of the archaeology are informed by local knowledge;
  • To ensure that all members of the MOWAA archaeological team are aware of their responsibilities and the deliverables required from them.
  • To ensure that samples for scientific dating are identified as early as possible in the post-excavation process and submitted for processing in a timely manner;
  • Play a key role in the research and write-up of each phase of excavation and the preparation of the final publication in line with agreed method statement and project design;
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Team Management & Training:

  • Lead on the development of a MOWAA archaeological fieldwork manual; • Ensure that the MOWAA archaeological team has the specialist skills necessary to deliver high-quality fieldwork, analysis and reporting;
  • Ensure that there is an effective programme of training and skills to fill any gaps in the skills required by the MOWAA team;
  • Support funding applications, research collaborations and studentships relevant to MOWAA’s objectives;
  • Support the development of MOWAA’s existing archaeological research facilities in Benin City.

Community Engagement and Advocacy:

  • Support MOWAA’s ongoing programme of public engagement;
  • To act as an advocate and a voice for the project within Nigeria and internationally.

Experience & Qualifications

  • Preferably a PhD in Archaeology, although not essential for the right candidate;
  • At least 10 years experience of archaeological fieldwork, including in Nigeria/West Africa;
  • Experience of managing archaeology in the context of development;
  • Proficiency in MS Suite (required)
  • Knowledge of modern geomatics, including the collection and processing of spatial data for use in publication/reporting plans and illustrations
  • English fluency (required).
  • Ability to learn quickly and work independently
  • Collaborative approach and ability to contribute to across different projects effectively

Career Growth & Development:

  • MOWAA has a strong culture of constant learning and invests in developing people. This post will be supported by global experts and institutions across MOWAA’s wide network of partners and affiliates.
  • By joining MOWAA 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 in the longer term the appointee will lead the growth and development of the archaeological team at the MOWAA Pavilion.
  • The successful specialist will be able to represent MOWAA at conferences and will take place in international training/exchange programmes.

Compensation & Benefits

Competitive, subject to credentials.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should forward their CV to: [email protected] and [email protected] using the Job Title as the subject of the email

Application Deadline  17th July, 2023.

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