Special guest in Kiel: Panel discussion with and lecture by David Wengrow

David Wengrow 21
David Wengrow gives a lecture on "Slavery and its rejection among foragers on the Pacific coast of North America" in the Audimax of Kiel University. (photo: Jan Steffen, Cluster ROOTS)

David Wengrow (Professor of Comparative Archaeology Cambridge), currently one of the most asked archaeologists for lectures, was a guest in Kiel on 30 June. He gave a lecture in the extended framework of the Cluster ROOTS/CRC1266 Biweekly Colloquium and together with Kiel researchers, he led a panel discussion. Many researchers and students took the opportunity to listen to this renowned researcher and be part of the discussions.

David Wengrow is one of the current big names in international research on past of mankind. Together with David Graeber, who died unexpectedly aged 59 in 2020, he recently published the book: The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. This book is primarily concerned with critically questioning established views on historical processes.

For the Biweekly Colloquium, which is organised jointly by the Cluster ROOTS and the CRC 1266, renowned researchers are regularly invited to give lectures. The announcement that David Wengrow was coming, had changed the routine. In addition to the lecture, which took place in a large lecture hall in the Audimax of Kiel University, a panel discussion was held in the lecture hall of the Institute for Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology beforehand. Due to the great interest a YouTube and ZOOM live feed were installed. Together with members from the Johanna Mestorf Academy, which ROOTS is part of, David Wengrow discussed various topics that arose from the intersection of the book and their respective research. 

His lecture in the afternoon was well-attended and entitled “Slavery and its rejection among foragers on the Pacific coast of North America”. He dealt with a little-known phenomenon: Non-agrarian societies on the Pacific coast of America had slaves. From a Western perspective, we would not have suspected this. However, slavery among these societies was not, as we might assume, economically motivated. By comparing it to neighbouring non-slaveholding groups, he made it clear that different groups had vastly different moral codes and political systems.

David Wengrow discusses the theses of his book with Kiel researchers in the Johanna Mestorf lecture hall. (photo: Jan Steffen, Cluster ROOTS)

 David Wengrow
Numerous students and researchers are following the panel discussion on site and online. (photo: Jan Steffen, 
Cluster ROOTS)


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