The Analysis of finds

aDNA Laboratory

A high priority of the Technical Platform is represented by the aDNA laboratory, where ancient DNA can be used to address pertinent questions with respect to demographic development and migration patterns, development of diseases and kinship issues. To this end, the ancient DNA (aDNA) lab, established in strong cooperation with the DNA lab of the Institute of Legal Medicine, was improved and upgraded. To guarantee the reliability and reproducibility of aDNA work in the ROOTS Cluster, several projects on quality management and method validation are being carried out.

aDNA Laboratory
aDNA laboratory at CAU, Kiel (photos: R. Renneberg).


Prof. Dr. Almut Nebel

Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology
+49 431 500 - 15155

Prof. Dr. Ben Krause-Kyora

Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology (IKMB)
+49 (0) 431 / 500 - 15 142



Dating techniques, isotope, trace element, and archaeological analysis
This sub-platform will provide facilities for radiometric dating, including 14C, 137Cs, 210Pb, and 234U/230Th, stable isotope mass spectrometry (e.g. 18O, 15N, 13C), and trace element analysis; X-ray-fluorescence, energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis, and reference collections of pollen, archaeobotanical specimens, and bones for the identification of finds, as well as expertise for the interpretation of the measurement results and use of the collections.

Above: Kiel carbonate device. Below: Separator-recombinator unit of the HVE AMS System (photos: Leibniz Laboratory).

The Leibniz-Laboratory is a leading 14C dating and stable isotope research facility equipped with a 3MV 14C AMS system and stable isotope ratio mass spectrometers (13C, 18O, & 2H). It measures ca. 2800 14C samples per year to the best precision attainable (± 20 years for modern samples), needing milligram size samples, and 15.000 stable isotope samples.
The Tracer Analysis Centre (TAC) is a virtual institution which provides the structural frame of the isotope and tracer analysis sub platform together with the Leibniz-Laboratory. The TAC can supply analyses of nearly any kind of isotope and tracer required in modern environmental research. The quality of the data created is internationally recognised and new developments generated by the participating laboratories have contributed to positioning Kiel at the forefront of environmental research.


Scientific Director
Prof. Dr. Ralph Schneider

Leibniz Laboratory / Institute of Geology
+49 431 880.3894

Dr. Christian Hamann

Leibniz Laboratory
+49 431 880-3895

Stable Isotope
Dr. Nils Andersen

Leibniz Laboratory
+49 431 880-7402


Laboratory GC-C-IRMS

Decoupling human dietary change related to shifts in the trophic level from environmental inputs requires high-resolution analyses that are not supported by conventional δ13C and δ15N analyses of bulk collagen. Accordingly, the Dietary Crossroads subcluster has recourse to GC-C-IRMS instrumentation for compound-specific stable isotope analysis of 15N in amino acids. This will complement the machine currently housed in the Leibniz Laboratory which is keyed for carbon and deuterium isotopes.


Prof. Dr. Cheryl Makarewicz

Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology
+49 431 880-3376

Dr. Christine Winter-Schuh

Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology
+49 431 880-4379


Botanical Platform

The Botanical Platform serves the needs of multiple projects tackling dietary roots, urban environments, the utilisation of plant resources by humans and societies, and the usage of botanical proxies for joint paleo-climatological research as well as landscape development and vegetation dynamics in general. A variety of different paleo- and archaeobotanical approaches are applied, such as microfossil analysis, carpological analysis, wood and charcoal analysis, dendro-ecological analysis, and the investigation of modern analogues, for an improved scenario building on past landscapes.

Botanical Platform

Left: Archaeobotanical training. Middle and right: Subfossil flax seed and a charred crab apple remain (photos: W. Kirleis).

The aim of the Botanical Platform is (1) to offer facilities and support for students’ own research activities concerning botanical matters, (2) to offer teaching of palaeo- and archaeobotanical approaches to students, and (3) to perform research in the ROOTS framework. The platform bundles existing and new resources as well as expertise hosted at the Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology and at the Ecology Centre, thus covering a wide range of botanical expertise in an archaeological and in an ecological/biological research and teaching context, and bridging different disciplines, institutes and faculties at CAU via research and teaching activities.



Prof. Dr. Wiebke Kirleis

Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology
+49 431 880.3173

Dr. Walter Dörfler

Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology
+49 431 880.4059

Coordination and technical assistance
Dipl.-Biol. Yasmin Dannath

Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology / Ecology Centre
+49 431.880 7407
+49 431.880 5016


Fieldwork + Activities


Participating Institutions