Four new ERC-funded projects

The European Research Council has awarded four of its prestigious highly endowed Consolidator Grants to researchers at LMU.

erc_260_webProposals submitted under the auspices of LMU by Julia Budka, Corrado Cimarelli, Ali Ertürk and Bärbel Stecher won four of the Consolidator Grants awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) in its latest funding round. Julia Budka had previously received one of the coveted Starting Grants funded by the same agency. Consolidator Grants are worth up to 2 million euros over a period of 5 years, and are intended to enable highly talented researchers to further build on their innovative lines of inquiry. All of the ERC’s funding decisions are based solely on the candidate’s research record and the scientific merit of the proposed project.

The four new projects:

budka_200_webArchaeologist Julia Budka, Professor of Egyptian Archaeology and Art History at LMU, studies the effects of intercultural contacts along the course of the Nile Valley in Ancient Egypt and the Sudan. Her particular interest focuses on the processes that shaped flourishing urban centers on the banks of the Middle Nile Valley during the second millennium BC inhabited by both Egyptian immigrants and the local Nubian population. In her ERC project, entitled “DiverseNile (Cultural Diversity in the Middle Nile Valley: Reconstructing Biographies in the Periphery of Urban Centres in Northern Sudan During the Bronze Age)”, she moves beyond the bustling city centres to look at the cultural diversity of this region from a broader perspective. This time the focus lies on the archaeologically neglected peripheries of urban settlements in the Middle Nile Valley. Her approach is largely guided by the hypothesis that cultural diversity should be easier to recognize and analyse in the periphery of statebuilt foundations. More specifically, she hopes to reconstruct the biographies of individuals who lived in a defined contact zone that formed an interface between various different groups in the Middle Bronze Age between 1650 and 1200 BCE. The goal is to question established categorizations, such as ‘Egyptian’ and ‘Nubian’, in order to obtain a more dynamic – and realistic ­– understanding of cultural interactions which better reflects modern views of intercultural relationships as complex cultural entanglements.

Julia Budka studied Egyptology at Vienna University, and obtained her PhD with a thesis on the necropolis of Asasif. She subsequently held positions at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Vienna University and the Austrian Academy of Sciences before taking up her present position at LMU in 2015. In 2012, while she was still in Vienna, she won an ERC Starting Grant for a project entitled “AcrossBorders”, which she continued to work after moving to LMU. That project ended in 2018.

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