Cluster of Excellence ROOTS

Friendly reminder:
as already announced, the 2021 ROOTS Retreat will take place on
Thursday, 27 May 2021 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and
Friday, 28 May 2021 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The preparation of the retreat is moving full speed ahead. More details and the official invitation will follow within the next couple of days. All ROOTS members are invited to participate.


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