Rubicon (NWO) awarded to Dr. Quentin Bourgeois

A Rubicon Grant is awarded to dr Quentin Bourgeois for his reserach project "Walking along Ancestral Lines. Prehistoric barrow alignments from the 3rd Millennium BC in North-Western and Central Europe". For his research Quentin will be part of the research group of of Prof. Dr. Helle Vandkilde and Mads Holst at the University of Aarhus in Denmark for one year, starting in the summer of 2013.

Abstract of the research project

Barrow alignments occur frequently throughout North-Western and Central Europe. The earliest appear towards the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd Millennium BC. These barrow lines extend beyond several kilometres, and because of that, it is often impossible to overview the entire alignment. You have to walk along it to become aware of its extent. At the same time, earlier research has hinted at a visual hierarchy between specific burial monuments on these lines, where some barrows are more visible than others, perhaps taking up a different role within the (social) landscape. Both these observations reveal that the alignments shaped and guided how people moved through the landscape, walking along the burial monuments. The movement along the alignments and how people sequentially approached the barrows on them suggests these lines were procession routes.
This research sets out to study two things. Firstly, it will attempt to understand when and where alignments occur. This will be achieved through a thorough literature survey of excavation reports throughout North-Western Europe. Secondly, this research aims to understand the purpose and the dynamic behind these barrow lines with the aid of GIS and computer models, incorporating both aspects of movement and visibility.  


The Rubicon Grant (NWO) of the makes it possible for recently graduated scientists to carry out research at a foreign top institute.
Research experience abroad is usually a vital aspect of building a scientific career. The Rubicon programme allows recently graduated, talented scientists to gain experience at a foreign top institute for a period of 1-2 years. This increases the chance that they can continue working in academia. For specific Dutch topics, the research can be done at a Dutch institute.
Rubicon bridges the phase between obtaining a PhD and being eligible for funding from the Talent Scheme.

Last Modified: 09-04-2013