Current ROOTS activities:

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ROOTS and Corona

As you know the situation with Corona virus in Europe is getting unfortunately worse, and policies by official instances are changing daily now. According to latest Kiel University decisions, valid until April 19 at least, employees of Kiel University are allowed to work at home in Kiel, unless important reasons stand against this.
ROOTS members are on home office work now, pending on the general development  (Link Robert Koch Insitute). Travelling abroad or within Germany for fieldwork, conferences and other working reasons is not possible during this period. The ROOTS office, though also partially working at home, is available via our usual e-mail contacts (Link). We wish everybody good health.

 

Marks on the Rocks. Rock and mobile art as an expression of the hunter-gatherers groups Weltanschauung in the Sicilian landscape from Lateglacial to Early Holocene.

Cover

This newly published research investigation by Gianpiero Di Maida (winner of the Johanna Mestorf Award 2019) deals with a complete re-evaluation of the late glacial rock and mobile art record of Sicily. The highlights of this volume include a detailed theoretical overview, up-to-date links to the most recent research investigations of the coeval European record, and a fresh chronological perspective.
For the first time, absolute dates in direct connection with the art record of Sicily and a new framework regarding the first habitation of the island are presented together, thus providing a stimulating starting point for any future research in this field and region.
Finally, alongside the available traditional documentation, a new digital-based documentation of the most relevant specimens in the record is presented to the reader, thus updating the records of Sicilian art of the final Pleistocene/Early Holocene in light of the so-called digital turn that has recently stormed archaeology as a discipline.
This research was completed with the support of the Graduate School Human Development in Landscapes (GSC 208).

Di Maida, G., Marks on the Rocks. Rock and mobile art as an expression of the hunter-gatherers groups Weltanschauung in the Sicilian landscape from Lateglacial to Early Holocene. Universitätsforschung zur prähistorischen Archäologie, Vol. 343. Graduate School Human Development in Landscapes, Vol. 16. Bonn: Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH. ISBN 978-3-7749-4238-7

To the publisher: Link

People in ROOTS: Lisa Shindo

Lisa Shindo

The People in ROOTS series proceeds with an interview of Lisa Shindo, one of the associate researchers of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS.

Lisa, you began your work last December in the framework of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS. Can you tell us something about your planned research here?
Within the subcluster “ROOTS of Socio-Environmental Hazards”, my research aims to identify the nature, intensity and temporal variations of the ancient uses of wood and their impacts on forest resources in the Southern French Alps, as well as to investigate their relationships with climate variation and the restitution of environmental hazards. For this purpose, I use and develop methods of dendrochronology applied to living trees and past timber over the last two millennia. Moreover, at Kiel University I will set up a dendroarchaeological research laboratory and develop research projects in collaboration with the other members of ROOTS. For example, we will cross-reference different supports carrying environmental and climatic information in the long-term in order to identify environmental hazards.

More specifically, what are your main lines of research?
I am a dendrochronologist, specialized in woods used by humans, and I study tree-ring thickness (the concentric circles you see when you cut a tree) in order to date the time point of the death of the trees and to reconstruct the environment in which the trees lived. Dendrochronology is a discipline at the crossroads of human and social sciences (history, archaeology, ethnology), biological and environmental sciences (ecology) and fundamental sciences (mathematics and statistics): it therefore has a multidisciplinary perspective by nature. Thus, an interdisciplinary dialogue is fundamental to describe the history of wood exploitation, reconstruct exchanges between different environments, and identify climatic, ecologic and human hazards within tree-ring series. My research strategy is based on both altitudinal (up to 2100 m above sea level) and climatic gradients (Mediterranean to mountain climate) in order to better understand the evolution of wood use and our heritage in terms of forest landscapes.

Career life before ROOTS: what were the main stations and milestones of your career path so far?
I studied Art history, Archaeology and Archaeometry in France (at universities in Paris, Bordeaux and Dijon) and during my two master’s degrees, I carried out internships in many European dendrochronological laboratories. In 2016, I completed my PhD in archaeology and ecology at Aix-Marseille University with a dissertation on “Timber and forest management in the Southern French Alps: dendrochrono-ecology and archaeology”. After my PhD, during a short stay at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research (University of Arizona), I was interested in wood provenance issues and data conservation (databases). Then, during a contract with the French CNRS, I worked on very old dead trees, whose carbon content was analysed at annual resolution with regard to climatological questions. In parallel, during free-lance activities, I conducted dendrochronological analyses for several archaeological sites and buildings. This allowed me to acquire new data that nourishes my reflections within the framework of various research programs (at CNRS and other university affiliations) with which I am still associated.
In my current ROOTS position, I appreciate the freedom we have been given to build diverse collaborations, and to have the time to analyse, combine and reflect on my data.

Life beyond ROOTS: what do you like to do beyond your research?
I have enjoyed the opportunity to discover Kiel and its region, its historical buildings and museums, concerts and festivals, as well as to experience boat trips, gastronomic specialties (I particularly liked “bratwurst” during the cold months!) and to go strolling. I am also learning German in order to better understand the new culture. Lastly, I like to meet my friends and family to share my discoveries in Germany with them.
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Lisa Shindo is a research associate in the ROOTS subcluster “ROOTS of Socio-Environmental Hazards” (link).
You can contact her at: lshindo@roots.uni-kiel.de

 

The new ROOTS Social Inequality Forum

Social Inequalities Forum

A new forum for interdisciplinary and inspiring discussion on all aspects of social inequality now complements ROOTS activities. Intended as a loose, but interrelated, sequence of events, the ROOTS Social Inequalities forum will not only bring together guests and members of ROOTS and an interested audience, but it also aims to engage the topics in a more discussion-oriented format. At the kick-off meeting on January 30, Prof. Christian Jeunesse (University of Strasbourg) presented his ethno-archaeological work on settlement structure and burial rites in Sumba, Indonesia. Followed by a lively discussion in a relaxed atmosphere, the new format proved to stimulate scientific dialogue and new insights on past social inequality.

The next ROOTS of Inequalities Forum will take place on Monday February 24 (from 4 to 6pm) with two talks:

  1. Sabine Reinhold, Natal’ja M. Chairkina, Karl-Uwe Heußner, Dirk Mariaschk (Berlin and Ekaterinburg): „Elche, Schlitten und rätselhafte Holzkonstruktionen: Zur Archäologie in den Torfmooren des Urals“
  2. Ljubov‘ Kosinskaja, Ekaterina Dubovceva, Henny Piezonka (Ekaterinburg and Kiel) on “Forts, pots and people: New results on Stone Age hunter-gatherer socio-economic systems in Western Siberia."


Followed by a discussion.

For more information please click here

ROOTS Inequalities Forum

Workshop: MATERIAL ANALYSIS

 

Material Analysis

Archaeological excavations bring to light and document artefacts of various origin. Frequently these artefacts, particularly their microstructure and composition, raise questions of inter- and transdisciplinary relevance, which cannot be answered by conventional routine analyses. This workshop aims at showing how analytical techniques from the material science, e.g. like electron microscopy methods as well as spectroscopic techniques, can help to clarify some of the questions about the origin and use of these findings.

Programme:

Session 1 / 10.00-12.00
Presentations related to the theoretical background of the material analysis equipment, including Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-Ray Diffraction Method (XRD) and Raman Spectroscopy. After the presentations, there will be a question/answer time.
Lunch Break / 12:00-12:45

Session 2 / 12.45-14.15
Visit to all the material analysis facilities and laboratories of the Technical Faculty, including short  practical overview of the measurements.

Following the workshop, a focus group is scheduled to be established on 9th March 2020 from 10:00-12:00. More information about the focus group will be announced in the workshop.

Date: 25 February 2020
Venue: Kiel University / Technical Faculty / Kaiserstraße 2 / Room A-239 / 24143 Kiel
Contact: Khurram Saleem, mks@tf.uni-kiel.de, phone +49 (0) 431/880-6182

 

!!! Conference POSTPONED !! ROOTS International Conference: “Medical Knowledge and its 'Sitz im Leben': Body and Horror in Antiquity”

Medical Knowledge

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Conference postponed due to the further spreading of the Corona-Virus.
We will inform you about the rescheduled date as soon as possible.
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This conference explores ancient and modern concepts of horror with reference to the human body. The aim is to examine how the body processes, affectively as well as cognitively, horrifying experiences and how it can turn itself into a source of horror, e.g. in contexts of sickness and death. While we are firmly aware of the fact that ‘horror’ as a largely post-Romantic concept is not unproblematic when applied to Greek and Latin texts, we will try to show that its classical antecedents and roots must be considered as they might shed light on the ways in which the horrific, as a category that shapes our encounter with various forms of art but also with life itself, is understood today.

Confirmed speakers:
Noel Carroll (Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA)
Giulia Maria Chesi (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany)  
Greg Eghigian (Penn State University)      
Debbie Felton (University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA)             
Maria Gerolemou (University of Exeter, UK)
Lutz Alexander Graumann (University Hospital, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Germany)
Lutz Käppel (Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, Kiel University, Germany)
George Kazantzidis (University of Patras, Greece)
Dunstan Lowe (Kent University, UK)
Nick Lowe (Royal Holloway University of London, UK)  
Glenn Most (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy / Chicago, USA)
Alessandro Schiesaro (University of Manchester, UK)
Rodrigo Sigala (independent, Germany)
Evina Sistakou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
Dimos Spatharas (University of Crete, Greece)
Chiara Thumiger (Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, Kiel University, Germany)

Date: 22-23 May 2020
Venue: IBZ, Kiel University, Kiellinie 5, 24105 Kiel
Please download the abstracts of the talks here
Link to event

Contact:
Georgios Kazantzidis (University of Patras) kazanbile@gmail.com
Chiara Thumiger (Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, Kiel University) c.thumiger@roots.uni-kiel.de

(Photo credit: Saulo Bambi - Sistema Museale dell’Università degli Studi di Firenze)

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