March 12, 2018

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

Nagaland WorkshopThe Department of History and Archaeology,  Nagaland University, invites junior and senior scientist to discuss matters of monumentality from different viewpoints: The international PhD Seminar “Building Big? Global Scales of Monumentality – an ethnoarchaeological perspective” and following workshop “Hierarchy and Balance: the role of monumentality in European and North-East Indian Landscapes” taking place at the Kohima Campus (Meriema) in Nagaland from 12-24 March. It is jointly organised by the Nordic School of Archaeology “Dialogues with the Past” (Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo, Norway) as well as the CRC 1266 and the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” (GS HDL) at Kiel University.
Central issue of the events is monumentality as being an exceptionally diverse and broad phenomenon in archaeological research across the world that occurs in different social settings within history and prehistory.  By presenting and discussing papers on different topics, the 5-days PhD seminar concentrates on the significance, meaning and interpretations of monumentality as research objectives:

  • 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) provide comparative perspectives on different forms and aspects of monumentality. In the context of surrounding monumental architecture of the Nagaland region and expertise of participating specialists from Northeast India, both events draw special attention to the “Naga Megaliths” as one connecting facet of the daily experience – to be explored vividly in the following excursions.
As one main organisers and supporters of the events, PhD candidate Maria Wunderlich and CRC 1266 and GSHDL speaker Johannes Müller bring in long-term experience in research on prehistoric monumentality in Europe gained during the DFG Priority Programme 1400 “Early monumentality and Social Differentiation”, from which the collaboration with the Nordic School of Archaeology and the Indian scholars grew.
Müller looks forward to his stay in India: “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, the workshop is an important occasion to get ethnoarchaeological insights in rituals and practices of monumental stone architecture, which makes an important contribution to her PhD thesis “Theories on Neolithic Monumentality” in the scope of CRC subproject A1 “Theories of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies”. Liudmila Shatilo is allocated in subproject D1 “Population agglomerations at Tripolye-Cucuteni mega-sites”, in which monumentality is addressed in respect to mega-structures. Our guest PhD Mariana Vasilache-Curoșu is also joining in on this theme.

Programme and more information

Text: K. Fuchs/J. Schüle


ICE 4 - Johanna Mestorf

The Deutsche Bahn AG Chooses the First German Female Professor of Archaeology as a Name Giver for a New ICE-4 Train.

     Photo of Johanna MestorfICE 4

The Deutsche Bahn AG intends to name an ICE of the newest generation after the notable archaeologist Johanna Mestorf (1828–1909). At Kiel University in 1899, Mestorf was appointed as the first female honorary professor of Prussia.

Within the scope of a nationwide search for the names of 100 new ICE-4 trains, the Deutsche Bahn AG received more than 2500 suggestions, from which a jury selected 100 historic personalities. The Deutsche Bahn is planning to put the 100 new ICE-4 trains into service by 2023. After a review of the name rights, it will christen the new trains with the selected names. On the initiative of Dr. Julia Katharina Koch (CAU Kiel), a number of persons from the university, among them Prof. Claus von Carnap-Bornheim (Schleswig) and Prof. Johannes Müller (Kiel), as well as persons from public life, including the Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel Günther, campaigned for Mestorf, who was born more than 110 years ago in Bramstedt.

Still largely unknown to the public, Johanna Mestorf was one of the first female directors of a museum in Preußen at that time. She influenced archaeological research in Germany and Scandinavia through numerous excavations and publications. Johanna Mestorf is the name giver of the Johanna Mestorf Academy (JMA), which supports the Cluster proposal “ROOTS – Social, Environmental, and Cultural Connectivity in Past Societies” under the direction of Prof. Johannes Müller within the framework of the Excellence Initiative of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Deutsche Bahn –



  • January 08, 2018

    New Publications

    Examples of settlement plans in Central and Southeast Europe.

    Recent palynological research on subsistence transformations in the costal zones of Mesolithic Norway

    October 23, 2017

    New PublicationsMüller_2017_Bild    Developments of Population Agglomerations, Social inequality and Centralized Control in Neolithic to Iron Age times