Project leader Provenance Research Archaeological Collections

0.6FTE, 4 years, scale 10

In the early spring of 2023, the Allard Pierson will begin to investigate the provenance of objects in the archaeological collections. To this end, we are looking for a Provenance Archaeological Collections project leader, with knowledge of the (inter)national legal and ethical parameters regarding the acquisition of and trade in archaeological objects, and of conducting and safeguarding provenance research. We are looking for someone with communication and liaison skills who will work in the curatorial team of the archaeological collections, and will assist us in making the research results more accessible and in presenting them to the public.

What will your responsibilities be?

“Our goal as an institution of higher education is to play an active role in the provenance debate and to be transparent about our provenance research to the public.” – Stijn van Rossem, head of Knowledge & Collections

Since 1934, the Allard Pierson (Museum) has collected, researched and presented archaeological objects from Egypt, the Middle East, Greece and Italy. At the present time, these collections comprise circa 19,000 objects, approximately half of which were acquired after 1970. In 2023, the Allard Pierson will begin an ambitious provenance research project on the archaeological collections which aims for full transparency about the provenance of the collection. Provenance research is very labour intensive. Considering the large number of objects requiring investigation, this project calls for a pragmatic approach. The focus will be on two aspects: (1) assembling and clarifying information on provenance from the archives of the museum and collections or from the archives of third parties; (2) digitally securing the research in the collection registration system.

In provenance research, transparency and an independent perspective are essential. The experience of other heritage institutions teaches that provenance research should be conducted as much as possible by external and/or specially recruited project staff, in cooperation with the curators of the collections. As Provenance Research Archaeological Collections project leader, you will be responsible for the design, approach and coordination of the research, which you will carry out in cooperation with the curators of the archaeological collections and the interns. The project leader will coordinate the presentation of the research results in the collection registration system.

In addition, the research will be the starting point for establishing international collaborations with academics, museums and governments. Sound partnerships with the countries of origin regarding this area will also lead to cooperation in other fields. The provenance debate also touches upon ethical and legal parameters within which museums acquire and present archaeological objects. The Allard Pierson aims to continue to discuss and share ideas concerning these aspects of the provenance debate with the academic community and the wider public.

As project leader, you will contribute to the research, fulfil a coordinating role and participate in the (international) debate on this issue with international partners and colleagues in the museum sector.

Should the candidate hold a doctorate and have teaching experience at university level, it might be possible to expand the position to include 0.2FTE teaching responsibilities in the dual master programme in Heritage and Memory Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

What will you bring to the position?

– You are an inspiring project leader with a keen eye for planning and prioritizing;

– You have demonstrable experience working with the material culture of antiquity;

– You are well informed about provenance issues regarding archaeological collections in museums and are aware of developments concerning the provenance debate in the cultural sector;

– You have the intellectual and professional capacity to work to university standards;

– You are a capable of being a diplomatic partner in dialogue with (inter)national partners;

– You have experience conducting archival research, preferably within the parameters of provenance research;

– You are familiar with or interested in working with the Axiell registration system.

Where will you be working?

The Allard Pierson is part of the University of Amsterdam/Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (UvA/HvA) Library. The library is an inspiring and welcoming location for study and research, and a meeting place for researchers, tutors and students at HvA and UvA, offline and online. We collect, preserve, maintain and select information from the global information supply; we provide a platform for students and researchers to share resources from the past and present; and we make these resources available to a wide group of users. We offer our users customized assistance in finding the proper sources from the extensive range of information for use in teaching and research. In this, we make use of our unique combination of libraries and museum.

Our core values (open, professional, progressive) and core competences (customer-oriented, cooperative, learning ability) are the foundation of our services.

What will the position bring you?

We are offering a position for a period of 4 years; 24 hours per week.

Depending on relevant experience at the start of employment, the monthly salary is €2.960 to €4.670 gross, on the basis of a full-time, 38 hour working week. This does not include 8% vacation and 8.3% end-of-year benefits. The Cao Nederlandse Universiteiten (Collective Labour Agreement for Universities in the Netherlands) is applicable.

At the Allard Pierson, you will be working in the Knowledge & Collections team. Your immediate supervisor will be Stijn van Rossem, head of Knowledge & Collections, and you will be working with a committed and close-knit team of curators, conservation and management staff, and archiving and presentation staff, and interns.


Would you like to discuss the details of what might be your future tasks? Please contact Stijn van Rossem, head of Knowledge & Collections, at

How to apply

Do you recognize yourself in the profile? Are you interested in the position? Your application would be very welcome. You can apply by sending us a motivation letter and your CV, via the link below. The closing day for applications is March 3 2023.

The first round of interviews will take place on March 10 2023.

Apply here


The University of Amsterdam, as employer, maintains a policy of equal opportunity. We value diversity and take very seriously our responsibility to provide a workplace where everyone feels at home. We cherish inquisitive minds and perseverance, and we create space for pursuing questions. Our dominant culture is one of curiosity and creativity.

Unsolicited enquiries are not welcome.