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Nie wieder Krieg by Kaethe KollwitzPoster »Nie wieder Krieg« by Käthe Kollwitz, 1924 (source: Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln link)

In the Cluster of Excellence ‘ROOTS – Social, Environmental, and Cultural Connectivity in Past Societies’ and the CRC 1266 ‘Scales of Transformations’, we have members and partners in and from Ukraine. Together, we have immensely profited – both scientifically and personally – from our joint work and research on cultural heritage in Ukraine. We see with horror how the areas and institutes, where we have carried out fieldwork and museum analyses with our partners over the last 10 years, are also reeling from the destruction of war. Many of our Ukrainian friends, colleagues and partner institutions are victims of totalitarian politics.

We strongly condemn the aggression of the Russian government and its military forces against Ukraine in violation of international law and humanity and would like to express our solidarity and empathy with our colleagues and all other people in Ukraine, as well as colleagues and people elsewhere, who are affected by the war.

In the interest of all people, we urgently call on the conflict parties to cease the acts of war, to break through the logic of war and to return to negotiations on solutions acceptable for all parties involved in the conflict. As we believe that war is not an acceptable way of resolving conflicts, we appeal to all responsible actors inside and outside Ukraine to work towards a non-military solution to the conflict.

At the same time, we support the Open Letter signed by thousands of Russian scientists and science journalists, among them several of our colleagues and collaboration partners, who courageously stand up against the Russian war in Ukraine and for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state.

Find the English version here.

Find the Russian version here



Cluster of Excellence ROOTS - Social, Environmental, and Cultural Connectivity in Past Societies

The Cluster of Excellence ROOTS explores the roots of social, environmental, and cultural phenomena and processes that substantially marked past human development. In a broad interdisciplinary conceptual framework, archaeological and historical ‘laboratories’ are investigated under the basic assumption that humans and environments have deeply shaped each other, creating socio-environmental connectivities which still persist today. A better understanding of interwoven past socio-environmental dynamics will shed light on the ‘roots’ of current challenges and crises under diverse economic, ecological, and social conditions.

The six subclusters investigate key dimensions of the ‘human condition’ with specific research questions. They also jointly address overreaching themes, such as mobility and migration, resources and economy, and ideology and identity in standing cross-sectional workgroups. The ‘Reflective Turn Forum’ applies a hermeneutic approach enabling ROOTS to embrace the manifold theoretical and practical approaches of the individual research units and therefore to reach an overarching epistemological and interpretative research dialogue. Within the broad interdisciplinary frame of ROOTS, the post-doctoral researchers and the doctoral candidates are hosted by the ROOTS Young Academy, which offers excellent conditions and unique career perspectives from scientific success and personal development. Furthermore, three extended research platforms for infrastructural advances support the integrated ROOTS research on past social environmental and cultural change.



Fieldwork + Activities


Participating Institutions