ROOTS Participates in the First Archaeological Digital Conference in Germany!


This year’s Deutscher Archäologie-Kongress (DAK) will take place digitally for the first time from 21–24 September 2020. Following the slogan “Horizons”, the Archaeological State Department of Schleswig-Holstein in Schleswig, the Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology of Kiel University, the Archaeology Museum Schloss Gottorf in Schleswig and the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology (ZBSA) invite archaeologists from Germany, Europe and the world to expand and create new perspectives on the past for the future. Attendance is free of charge for all participants.

Kiel is represented at the DAK 2020 by the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS as well as by the CRC 1266. Both present their research projects in a session on Monday, September 21. The lectures of the ROOTS cluster include its wide range of different projects and disciplines and focus on connectivity in prehistoric societies. Among others, they cover topics such as Ethnoarchaeology in Eurasia, perspectives in Archaeoinformatics, and Conflict Studies. On Monday afternoon, researchers of the CRC 1266 “Scales of Transformation” will present no less exciting results and projects.

The keynote lecture will also be held digitally by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Claus von Carnap-Bornheim (Director of the Foundation of the Schleswig-Holstein State Museums Schloss Gottorf) and Prof. Dr. Johannes Müller (Speaker of the Excellence Cluster ROOTS, the CRC 1266 and the Johanna-Mestorf-Academy, Director of the Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University). The title of the lecture is: “World Cultural Heritage and Cluster of Excellence: From Haithabu to Nagaland – New Horizons in Archaeology”. The scheduling of the keynote lecture will be announced later.

To visit the the Congress Homepage click here
Find the Programme here


ROOTS Social Inequalities Forum: Sequence of events

Social Inequalities Forum The ROOTS Social Inequality Forum is 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. In summer 2020 the ROOTS Social Inequality Forum will take place as a series of virtual meetings.

1. Isotopes and Social Inequality in Western Hallstatt: an afternoon conversation
by Dr. Ralph Grossmann/Dr. Nils Müller-Scheessel
Hallstatt tombs are among the most spectacular archaeological finds from Central Europe. Both speakers have been working on social inequality in the early Central European Iron Age using inter alia isotopic evidence. They discuss the opportunities of the methods. The discussion will be chaired by Tim Kerig.

2. Nagaland - An Ethnoarchaeology of Social Inequality
Prof. Johannes Müller/Dr. Maria Wunderlich
Nagaland, India, offers unique ethnoarchaeological insights not only into megalithic building techniques but also into the wider context of the practice. The speakers will present first results of their ongoing work within ROOTS and the CRC1266

3. Social inequality and internal conflict in ancient Mesopotamia - striking examples from the IIIrd millennium
Dr. Tobias Helms (Universität Mainz)
In the IIIrd millennium social inequality reaches new levels in Mesopotamia leading to several forms of violence between and within urban societies. T. Helms will present spectacular unpublished findings from his ongoing habilitation project related to conflict and social inequality.   

Contact: If you would like to participate please contact Tim Kerig
Date: 8 June / 22 June / 6 July 2020, 4.15-5:45 p.m.
Venue: Virtual meetings
Download programme here


Tracing migration effects in Siberia: Ethnoarchaeological research on changing socio-economic strategies of boreal hunter-fisher-herders

Hunter GathererFig. Pokalky, Wesztern Siberia, Taz Selkup summer station. Reindeer assembling around open-air smoke oven (photo: C. Engel, 2017).

New results on ethnoarchaeological research in Siberia have been recently published by Henny Piezonka and her Russian-German team in the scientific journal “Quaternary International”. This publication is associated with the Subcluster Dietary ROOTS.
The article explores the role of migration as a trigger for transformations of life ways, subsistence strategies, material culture and ethnic identity in hunter-fisher-reindeer herder societies. Fieldwork among the Taz Selkup, a mobile hunter-fisher-herder community that migrated into the northern taiga of Western Siberia three centuries ago, provides insights into the consequences of migration to a new environmental zone. Based on a multi-disciplinary approach, Henny Piezonka and her team are able to identify different factors at play in these processes, such as adaption to new ecological conditions, cultural influences from other groups, and mechanisms of cultural resilience. The results reveal a range of economic and related lifeway adaptations, including niche construction strategies related to the uptake of reindeer husbandry, reflected, e.g., by the use of smoke ovens against mosquitoes to bind the reindeer to the human settlements and feeding fish to reindeer in winter.

The article is free on ScienceDirect before June 25, 2020.


The Subcluster Urban ROOTS is on track of abandoned cities in the steppe

Abandoned cities in the steppe
Project partner Prof. Martin Oczipka creates a 3D model of the monastery complex Baruun Khüree, Mongolia (photo: Sara Jagiolla / CAU).

The Mongolian-German research project “Abandoned Cities of the Steppe”, which participates in the Urban Roots Subcluster, published a preliminary report on the topic titled: “Urban structures from the period of Manchurian reign and their continued effects in present-day Mongolia”.
Since 2019, archaeological-cultural-anthropological research has been conducted on abandoned sedentary settlements of the Early Modern period, on their position in nomadic society and on their reception and role within the local memory culture. First field research, including the creation of high-resolution 3D surface models, focused on the Baruun Khüree monastery and on so-called pit structures, which are interpreted as possible semi-permanent military stations or encampments.
First results already provide evidence on how the examined sedentary structures are interwoven with events of Mongolian history, how the use and meaning of the sites has changed and how current discourses are developed in relation to these sites. This will help us to comprehend the complex interrelationships between sedentary settlements as socio-economic and political nodes, to interpret the loss of these sites and to grasp current perceptions.

Click here to download the article (in German).

Biweekly Colloquia – Summerterm 2020

Biweekly ColloquiaThe Biweekly will be held as a virtual lecture series in summer semester 2020
Due to the Corona crisis, lectures by external foreign guests in front of an audience are not possible. Therefore, PIs from ROOTS and SFB 1266 will provide a virtual replacement.
The talks by the PIs from different disciplines of ROOTS and SFB 1266 will be presented via live streaming. Afterwards, the audience will be able to discuss with the speakers on the Internet.
The theme of the lecture series focuses on “Connectivity and Transformation in Prehistoric Societies”. The purpose of the lectures is to present the speakers’ current research areas and – in terms of content and methodology – to illustrate their links to the topics of “connectivity” and “transformation”.
Annette Haug from the Institute of Classical Studies / Classical Archaeology will start on May 4.
To the program: Link

ROOTS of Inequalities Forum: Double lecture with discussion

Social Inequalities Forum

1. Elche, Schlitten und rätselhafte Holzkonstruktionen: Zur Archäologie in den Torfmooren des Urals

by:  Sabine Reinhold, Natal’ja M. Chairkina, Karl-Uwe Heußner, Dirk Mariaschk (Berlin and Ekaterinburg)

2. Forts, pots and people: New results on Stone Age hunter-gatherer socio-economic systems in Western Siberia

by:  Ljubov‘ Kosinskaja, Ekaterina Dubovceva, Henny Piezonka (Ekaterinburg and Kiel)

The event is jointly organised by the subclusters ROOTS of Inequalities and Dietary ROOTS, and the Institute for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology.
Everyone who is interested in this topic is warmly welcome to join the forum.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Henny Piezonka
Date: 24 February 2020, 16.00-18.00 hrs.
Venue: Kiel University, Leibnizstraße 3, Room 123, 24118 Kiel



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.


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,, phone +49 (0) 431/880-6182


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

Medical Knowledge

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: 18 -20 November 2021
Venue: The conference will take place as a hybrid meeting in Kiel (venue tba) and on zoom.

Link to event

Georgios Kazantzidis (University of Patras)
Chiara Thumiger (Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, Kiel University)

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

Philosophy of Archaeology: A ROOTS Reflective Turn Forum Workshop

Philosophy and Archaeology

This workshop invites an international and interdisciplinary cast of specialists to Kiel to discuss the role of philosophy and theory in archeology. We work with a broad, inclusive, and interdisciplinary definition of philosophy as the reflective and iterative process of conceptual clarification and paradigm critique. What are the outstanding questions in archaeological theory today? What is the concrete, middle range theoretical import of philosophy to archaeological interpretation of data?

In a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and with a specious time table, the symposium affords the contributors ample time to develop and discuss their thoughts.

This workshop is open to all members of the public and the research cluster ROOTS.

Confirmed speakers:
Jerimy Cunningham (University of Lethbridge)
Caroline Heitz (University of Bern)
Thomas Meier (Heidelberg University)
Julian Thomas (University of Manchester)
Rachel Crellin (University of Leicester)
Constance von Rüden (RUB Bochum)

and from Kiel University:
Vesa Arponen
Tim Kerig
Konrad Ott
Artur Ribeiro

Date: 20-21 February 2020
Venue: Kiel University, Leibnizstr. 1, room 105a+b

Konrad Ott
VPJ Arponen

Download timetable + abstracts here

2019 ROOTS excavation at Hundisburg-Olbetal, a fortified Bronze Age settlement


As part of the research activities of the ROOTS subcluster “ROOTS of Conflict: Competition and Conciliation”, a small archaeological excavation was conducted at the fortified Bronze Age settlement of Hundisburg-Olbetal (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) in August 2019 under the direction of Maria Wunderlich. The excavation focused on the exploration of different areas and aspects of the site in order to document the state of preservation as well as the nature and dating of the internal settlement area. In fact, while 14C dates and data are already available for the ditch surrounding the settlement area, features of the inner settlement were only briefly documented by excavations in 2010 and 2011, which focused on the Funnel Beaker phases in Hundisburg-Olbetal.

Although the state of preservation of the features is poor due to past deep ploughing activities, our excavation could identify several interesting features, including numerous pit structures. These can be differentiated into big settlement pits, which were probably used for the disposal of waste, and possible extraction pits. The latter are characterized by a straight profile and are untypically narrow and deep. From these, only single finds were documented, while the large settlement pits provided abundant material, including pottery, animal bones and stone tools. In combination with the promising large amount of botanical remains retrieved from these pits, these finds will support a detailed interpretation and reconstruction of the socio-economic character of the site as well as its precise dating. At this stage, a preliminary evaluation of the finds suggests that the inner settlement dates to the Early Bronze Age. If confirmed by the radiocarbon dates, this dating would match the 14C dates retrieved from the ditch.
The analysis of the results of the successful 2019 excavation will therefore enable a better understanding of the Hundisburg-Olbetal settlement within the contexts of potential conflicts, as they are reflected in the fortification of this site.


Investigation of the building history of the Insula del Citarista (I 4), Pompeii


From 21 September to 15 October 2019, a team from the Department of Classical Archaeology, Kiel University, consisting of two students of classical archaeology, Marcel Deckert and Katrin Göttsch, and the building archaeologist, Tobias Busen, undertook a fieldwork campaign in Pompeii, Italy.

As part of the ROOTS subcluster “Urban ROOTS: Urban Agency and Perception”, the aim of this study was to investigate the architectural remains of the insula I 4 (Insula del Citarista), a central block of the ancient city situated at the intersection of two of the main streets (Via Stabiana and Via dell’Abbondanza). The Insula del Citarista is primarily known for its wall paintings and the bronze sculpture of the Apollo Citarista found within the domus during the excavations in 1853.

The main activities of the 2019 building survey focused on the systematic collection of information on building materials, building techniques, mortars and plasters, as well as finding evidence for the succession of the various building measures within the houses and shops of the insula.

ROOTS in Pompeii

Ancient Cities – MOOC “Discovering Greek & Roman Cities”

The world of ancient Greece and Rome was a world of cities. City-states dominated Greece in the first millennium BCE. In the Roman Empire, urban societies thrived from Britain and Spain in the West to Syria and Jordan in the East. Most of the major developments in the political, social, intellectual, and religious history of these periods started in cities. Accordingly, cities are the ideal point of departure for the study of life in antiquity. Furthermore, the legacy of ancient Greek and Roman cities are still keenly felt, in how we physically organize, build and live in our cities today, as well as how we think about and define cities.

The Strategic Partnership “Ancient Cities” is a cooperation of six European universities (i.e. Kiel University, Aarhus University, University of Athens, University of Bergen, University Paris I, Open University of the Netherlands) that brings together specialists from the fields of classical archaeology and e-learning to explore the many facets of Greek and Roman cities. Within ROOTS, this MOOC fits well with the research and approach of the sub-cluster Urban ROOTS: Urban Agency and Perception and the ROOTS Communication Platform.

Online MOOC: 
Under the coordination of ROOTS’ co-PI, Prof. Dr. Stefan Feuser (contact/link), this initiative is now launching the trilingual Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Discovering Greek & Roman Cities”. Starting September 12, 2019, this course will provide basic knowledge on ancient cities to a broad audience through videos, texts, quizzes, and various assignments within 8 weeks. The course will explore the connections between ancient cities and their impact on urban life in later periods across the globe.
Apart from a basic interest in archaeology, architecture, history or historical heritage, no specific knowledge is required. Participation in the course is free of charge.
The MOOC is now ready for registration here

Below you find the video teasers for this MOOC course in English and German:

Copyright information:
drawing: Jonathan Westin; design: Florent Alias



Urban ROOTS: Lecture Series

Bridging the gap: Urbanity between past and present

The lecture series brings together both historical and modern perspectives on the roots of contemporary urbanity in past societies. In each session, two talks followed by a panel discussion address and discuss one of the various topics of historical and modern urbanity, as, for example, infrastructural challenges of urban communities, urban lifestyles, urban planning, as well as aspects of migration, housing or religion.

First Lecture: The lecture series opens on 22 October 2019, 6:15 p.m. Event
Location: Kiel University, CAP 2 (Audimax) / Hörsaal A (on 29 October at Hörsaal C!!)

Everyone who is interested in this topic is warmly welcome to join the lecture series.

Please note that the lecture series will be held in German with the exception of the lectures on 12 November 2019, which will be held in English.

Download Progamme here
Download Poster here


Programme overview:

22.10. Eröffnungsvortrag, Pierre Monnet (Frankfurt), Stadtluft macht frei? Überlegungen zu den Leistungen der vormodernen Stadt für die europäische Geschichte

29.10. „Wasser als städtische Herausforderung“ 

  1. Gerhard Fouquet (Kiel), "Sintflut" – Hochwasser in Basel während der Jahre 1529 und 1530

  2. Oliver Wetter (Bern), Die Relevanz von Extremereignissen aus der Vormessperiode für die Risikobeurteilungen sensibler Infrastrukturen

12.11. „Siedlungstextur“

  1. Nicholas Cahill (Madison, USA), Standardized housing and diverse communities: the example of Olynthus in Ancient Greece
  2. Clara Weber (Zürich), A psychological perspective on residential appropriation in standardized housing environments

26.11. „Urbanitas - Verhaltenskonzepte von (städtischen) Eliten“

  1. Jörg Oberste (Regensburg), Reichtum verpflichtet - religiöse und soziale Strategien urbaner Eliten im 12. und 13. Jahrhundert
  2. Heinrich Best (Jena), Die Stadt, die Macht und das Geld – legitime und illegitime Herrschaft in Städten

17.12. „Planned negotiations“

  1. Armand Baeriswyl (Bern), Geplant oder Gewachsen? Mythen und Fakten zur Frage der mittelalterlichen «Gründungsstadt»
  2. Monika Grubbauer (Hamburg), Stadt von unten – aktuelle Ansätze von Beteiligung in Städtebau und Stadtplanung

07.01. „Stadtzentrum. Form, Gestaltung, Funktion“

  1. Gerald Schwedler (Kiel), Prestigeinfrastruktur. Urbane Zentrumsgestaltung im Spätmittelalter
  2. Carsten Benke (Berlin), Moderne Stadtzentren – Wandel von Funktion und Gestaltung im Städtebau seit 1900

21.01. „Flüchtlinge und Migration“

  1. Bent Gebert (Konstanz), Ästhetik der Migration
  2. Daniel Fuhrhop (Oldenburg), Willkommensstadt. Wo Flüchtlinge wohnen und Städte lebendig werden

04.02. „Tempel, Kirchen und Moscheen: Die Implementierung neuer Religionen im urbanen Kontext“

  1. Christiane Zimmermann (Kiel), Die Christianisierung von Korinth vom 1.-6. Jh.
  2. Bärbel Beinhauer-Köhler (Marburg), Die Islamisierung Kairos vom 7.-12. Jh.


Excavations at the fortified Bronze Age settlement Hundisburg-Olbetal

In August 2019, excavations will take place as part of the subcluster “ROOTS of Conflicts: Competition and Conciliation” at the fortified Bronze Age settlement Hundisburg-Olbetal (1500–1200 BCE) in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

In cooperation with the State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt, Dr. Maria Wunderlich (contact/link) will conduct excavations in the inner area of the site. Previous geomagnetical prospection documented that this inner area is surrounded by a complex system of concentric deep ditches and is characterized by the presence of cultural layers and settlement pits that hint to intense settlement activities. The excavations will target these contexts in detail. It is expected that the results of these investigations will provide information to reconstruct the relationship between the enclosure and the inner area. Moreover, these investigations will support the contextualization of Hundisburg-Olbetal at a regional level.


Hundisburg-Olbetal. Map of the results of the geomagnetic investigations. The system of concentric ditches is clearly visible.


Call for Papers - Conference "Mentale Konzepte der Stadt in Bild- und Textmedien der Vormoderne"

Call for Papers:

"Mentale Konzepte der Stadt in Bild- und Textmedien der Vormoderne" Conference
Interdisciplinary Conference of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS (Subcluster Urban ROOTS)
11.-13.06.2020 CAU Kiel

Deadline for paper submission: October 15, 2019
More information (in German) here / hier
Contact: Dr. Margit Dahm-Kruse and Prof. Dr. Timo Felber
Link to Event here

ArchbotLit – The New Search Engine for Literature on Archaeological Remains of Cultivated Plants (June 24, 2019)

In the area of Environmental Archaeology/Archaeobotany at the Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology of Kiel University, an important tool has recently been established: with the literature database ArchbotLit on the wiki portal of Kiel University, a tool is now provided for specialists, students and interested members of the public in order to inform them about the history of cultivated plants. The database makes archaeobotanical literature on ancient crops accessible, which is otherwise scattered over a large number of international journals and excavation reports, but also in grey literature. The new wiki platform ArchbotLit is a sustainable continuation of the literature-based online database on archaeological remains of cultivated plants, which was developed by Helmut Kroll, Rainer Pasternak (both from Kiel) and Aleksandar Medović (Novi Sad), and includes literature from the years 1981-2004. ArchbotLit enables access to previous entries via online access at Kiel University and is currently successively expanded with new entries from international experts, including members of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS and of the CRC 1266. This makes the ArchbotLit an important hub in which archaeobotanical literature from the worldwide community is bundled and kept up to date. The database makes it possible, for example, to find the earliest records of spelt for the transition from the Late Neolithic to the Bronze Age.

ArchbotLit – LINK:


ROOTS Reflective Turn “Inequality” Workshop

Modern market economies are characterized by substantial wealth inequality. This is subject to contemporary concerns: the exploitation of work forces, violent conflicts, and mass migration, to provide a few examples. Studying past forms and dynamics of inequality enhances our understanding of present social inequality and its consequences.
Inequality is a firm topic in contemporary research agendas. On the one hand, with the increase of globalization and political populism, more attention has been drawn to the analysis of inequality by economic sciences. On the other hand, discussion has been raised concerning established concepts and methods in the study of inequality. Deep philosophical questions are associated with a perceptive understanding and analysis of inequality.
Where does archaeology and, more broadly, anthropological social theory stand with regard to the concept of inequality? In archaeology, we find both established theories and approaches as well as attempts to rethink inequality and its conceptual neighborhood. In the study of past societies, inequality is intimately linked to concepts of social complexity, power, competition and co-operation, and is consequently subject to broader questions of archaeological interpretation.
This workshop invites an interdisciplinary cast of specialists to Kiel to discuss the topic of inequality. In a productive environment, this event offers contributors ample opportunity to present and discuss their thoughts.

The workshop is for the entire team of ROOTS and is organized by Konrad Ott (contact/link), philosopher and principal investigator of ROOTS, and Vesa Arponen (contact/link), Gido Lukas (contact/link), and René Ohlrau (contact/link) from the ROOTS Reflective Turn Forum.

Confirmed speakers are:
Bill Angelbeck (Douglas College, Canada)
Vesa Arponen (Kiel University, Germany)
Reinhard Bernbeck (FU Berlin, Germany)
T. L. Thurston (University at Buffalo, USA)
Elizabeth DeMarrais (University of Cambridge, UK)
Martin Furholt (University of Oslo, Norway)
John Robb (University of Cambridge, UK)
Bernd Simon (Kiel University, Germany)
Orri Vésteinsson (University of Iceland)

Date: 18-19 October 2019
Place: Kiel University, room: LS1 - R. 209a und 209b

The workshop starts on 18 October at 9:00 a.m.


Abstracts and timetable


ROOTS Workshop on "Quantifying Social Inequalities"

ROOTS Workshop

Quantifying Social Inequalities –
New Proxies, New Methods? Possibilities and Limitations to Determine Social Inequalities in Archaeological Contexts

Social inequality is a subject of contemporary concern. Studying past forms and dynamics of inequality enhances our understanding of present social inequality and its consequences. The integration of empirical data from past archives is an enduring challenge in determining social inequality. Methods derived from economics and paleoanthropology, for example, are increasingly used to quantify social inequality in archaeological contexts.

Organised by Dr. Ralph Grossmann (contact/link) in the framework of the activities conducted by the subcluster ROOTS of Inequalities, this workshop will address the current state of research and will gain new insights on the study of past social inequality. Young researchers from different disciplines will gather in Kiel in order to discuss the diverse socio-cultural processes involved in the creation of social inequality as well as multiple methods in quantifying social inequality in past societies. Furthermore, it is expected that the workshop will reflect on the relationship between gained data and models of social inequalities.

Confirmed speakers are: Timothy J. Dennehy and Adrian Chase, Arizona University; Marta Cintas Peña, Seville University; Penny Bickle, University of York; Julian Laabs, Bern University; Arne Windler, Deutschen Bergbau-Museum Bochum, Vesa P. J. Arponen and Nils Müller-Scheeßel, Kiel University.

Date: 7–8 October 2019 (Start: Monday, 7 October 2019, 02:00 p.m.)
Place: Kiel University, Leibnizstraße 1, R. 105





PhD International Seminar and Workshop 12-24 March 2018 in Kohima in Nagaland, India

The Department of History and Archaeology,  Nagaland University, invited junior and senior scientists to discuss matters of monumentality from different viewpoints: the international PhD Seminar “Building Big? Global Scales of Monumentality – an ethnoarchaeological perspective” and the subsequent workshop “Hierarchy and Balance: the role of monumentality in European and North-East Indian Landscapes” took place at the Kohima Campus (Meriema) in Nagaland from 12-24 March 2018. The events were jointly organised by the Nordic School of Archaeology “Dialogues with the Past” (Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo, Norway), the CRC 1266 and the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” (GS HDL) at Kiel University.
Central issue of the events was monumentality as an exceptionally diverse and broad phenomenon in archaeological research across the world that occurs in different prehistorical and historical settings. By presenting and discussing papers on different topics, the 5-day PhD seminar concentrates on the significance, meaning and interpretations of monumentality. Major research objectives addressed during the meeting were:

  • What does monumentality mean in different societies? How could a comparative approach be useful to answer archaeological questions on reconstructing social behaviour?
  • Is it possible to connect the very different theoretical approaches on monumentality? How much are especially theories focussing on the organisation of labour and cooperation influenced by western-capitalist views on economy and labour organisation?
  • How can a comparative approach that includes ethno archaeology be useful for studies on monumentality? Where can similarities and dissimilarities be found in broad studies on this topic?

In the following days, the workshop lectures given by Christian Jeunesse (University of Strasbourg), Tilok Thakuria (North-Eastern Hill University, Tura campus, Meghalaya), Luc Laporte (University of Rennes), Marco Mitri (UCC, Shillong), Colin Richards (Orkney College. University of Highlands & Islands) and Johannes Mueller (University of Kiel) provided comparative perspectives on different forms and aspects of monumentality. In the context of the surrounding monumental architecture of the Nagaland Region and with the expertise of participating specialists from Northeast India, these events draw special attention to the “Naga Megaliths”, a connecting facet of the daily experience.
As one main organisers and supporters of the events, the PhD candidate Maria Wunderlich and CRC 1266 and GSHDL speaker Johannes Müller contributed with their long-term experience in research on prehistoric monumentality in Europe achieved during the DFG Priority Programme 1400 “Early monumentality and Social Differentiation”.
Johannes Müller described his staying in India as following: “It’s a new practice to bringing together European and Indian student tandems for presentations on one topic and also to organise the workshop along structural comparisons of Northeast-Indian and European transformations. As a whole, this is a forward-looking format for international academic communication and graduate education on equal terms”.
For Johanna Brinkmann (contact), the workshop offered important ethnoarchaeological insights into rituals and practices of monumental stone architecture that will help her to complete her PhD research on “Theories on Neolithic Monumentality”, that she is conducting in the frame of the CRC 1266 subproject A1 “Theories of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies”. Liudmila Shatilo (contact), PhD candidate for the CRC 1266 subproject D1 “Population agglomerations at Tripolye-Cucuteni mega-sites”, also addresses questions related to monumentality in respect to mega-structures. Mariana Vasilache-Curoșu, PhD candidate and guest of the CRC 1266, also joined the events.


Fieldwork + Activities


Participating Institutions