What was inside? Lipid residue analysis on grave gifts manifest the ritual status of cattle in Neolithic societies in Northern Germany.

March 20, 2019

GrabbeigabenIn the 4th millennium BC, domestic animal husbandry became an integral part of the Neolithic economy in the North German lowlands and southern Scandinavia. An increasing importance of domesticated animals as well as a concentration on the husbandry of certain animal species can be observed. At the same time, this phenomenon is linked to changing intensities of land-use strategies, and the increasing importance of domestic animal husbandry is also changing social practices within societies.
Lipid analyses by the CRC 1266 on highly decorated and ornamented ceramic vessels from a passage grave (Wangels LA 69) of the Funnel Beaker societies revealed that these vessels contained predominantly cattle fat and dairy products. Additionally, a fatty acid distribution indicative for Sea Buckthorn oil was found in samples from Globular Amphora, which have served as an exclusive burial gift. Contrary, the pots from the contemporaneous domestic site Oldenburg-Dannau LA 77 contained a mixed composition of plant and milk resources. Thus, the exclusive use of cattle meat in the burial indicate the important role of cattle in the ritual and spiritual sphere of Neolithic societies in northern Germany and Southern Scandinavia.

Weber, J., Brozio, J. P., Mller, J., Schwark, L. 2020. Grave gifts manifest the ritual status of cattle in Neolithic societies of northern Germany. Journal of Archaeological Science 117, 105122.

Kiel University press release


Urban ROOTS: Lecture Series

20 October 2019

Bridging the gap: Urbanity between past and present

Bild Bridging the GapThe 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.
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


The proceedings of the Kiel conference “Megaliths - Societies – Landscapes” has just been published

Megaliths_CoverThe 5th and 4th Millennia BCE saw the emergence of monumental architecture in Neolithic and Chalcolithic contexts throughout different parts of Europe. Current research implements a set of diverse methodologies and produces multilayered interpretations in order to create multi-faceted narratives on this phenomenon.

The international conference “Megaliths – Societies – Landscapes. Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation in Neolithic Europe” brought together researchers working in various regions and contexts, thus providing an up-to-date perspective on prehistoric monumental architecture. In addition, the conference provided an opportunity to present the results of the DFG-Priority Program 1400 “Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation. On the origin and development of Neolithic large-scale buildings and the emergence of early complex societies in Northern Central Europe”, which focused on the appearance of monumentality in the context of Neolithic Funnel Beaker communities. 

The proceedings resulting from this conference cover topics, such as monuments made of stone, wood and earth, as well as interpretative aspects, including the importance of monumentality for landscape construction and the social significance of monumentality. Wide-ranging case studies with a continental scope illustrate the manifold implications and manifestations of monumentality. They also demonstrate the need for holistic approaches and the integration of diverse data sets in order to understand a phenomenon of such complexity. Furthermore, ethno-archaeological studies on megaliths from other continents were also integrated to reach a wider understanding of varying forms of monumentality.

The conference proceedings show that the construction of monuments may have been driven by very different factors and was embedded in diverse contexts of social organisation, thus being a highly variable and transformative phenomenon.

Reference: Müller, J., Hinz, M., Wunderlich, M. (eds.), 2019. Megaliths Societies Landscapes. Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation in Neolithic Europe. Volume 1-3. Proceedings of the international conference »Megaliths – Societies – Landscapes. Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation in Neolithic Europe«, 16th–20th June 2015 in Kiel. Frühe Monumentalität und soziale Differenzierung 18, 1–3. Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn.  ISBN 978-3-7749-4213-4 

Socio-Environmental Dynamics along the Historical Silk Road

March 21, 2019

Cover_SilkThe edited volume ‘Socio-Environmental Dynamics along the Historical Silk Road’ discusses socio-environmental interactions in the middle to late Holocene, covering specific areas along the ancient Silk Road regions. The 22 chapters provide insight into this topic from various disciplinary angles and perspectives, ranging from archaeology, paleoclimatology, antiquity, historical geography, agriculture, carving art and literacy. Versions of most of the chapters were initially prepared for the international workshop entitled “The Rise and Fall: Environmental Factors in the Socio-Cultural Changes of the Ancient Silk Road Area”, which was convened by the Graduate School ‘Human Development in Landscapes’ (GSHDL) at Kiel University during September 27-28, 2017.

The Silk Road is a modern concept for an ancient network of trade routes that for centuries facilitated and intensified processes of cultural interaction and goods exchange between West China, Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Coherent patterns and synchronous events in history suggest possible links between social upheaval, resource utilization and climate or environment forces along the Silk Road and in a broader area.

Studies in the volume indicate both that climate conditions significantly influence human socio-cultural systems and that the socio-culture systems are certainly resilient to climate impacts. The cross-cutting theme has been to reach beyond simple explanations of environmental or human determinism, but social resilience under environmental impacts.

Both the workshop and the volume were jointly sponsored by the Graduate School ‘Human Development in Landscapes’ at the Kiel University (GSC 208/2) and the Past Global Changes project (PAGES).

The publication is freely accessible online via the publishing house Springer, but can also be purchased as printed versions:

Yang, L., Bork, H.-R.,  Fang, X., Mischke, S., 2019. Socio-Environmental Dynamics along the Historical Silk Road. Springer-Nature, Cham, Switzerland. 535 Pages. ISBN 978-3-030-00727-0

Shanghai Archaeological Forum:

14 December 2019

SAF AwardFor the fourth time, the Shanghai Archaeology Forum (SAF) awarded prizes to international researchers in various categories for outstanding achievements in archaeology. One of the 10 prizes in the category of “Excellent Research” for the year 2019 was awarded to Johannes Müller for his research on "Boom and bust, hierarchy and balance: From landscape to social meaning – Megaliths and societies in Northern Central Europe“ (Priority Programme DFG-SPP 1400 "Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation").

Further information:

Kiel University press release (in German)
Shanghai Archaeological Forum

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

January 08, 2018

Examples of settlement plans in Central and Southeast Europe.Based on previous palynological research, the new publication “Towards a refined understanding of the use of coastal zones in the Mesolithic: New investigations on human–environment interactions in Telemark, southeastern Norway” deals with transformations in prehistoric subsistence. In collaboration of Kiel University together with colleagues from Oslo, M. Wieckowska-Lüth, CRC 1266 subproject F3 researcher W. Kirleis, S. Solheim and A. Schülke, both Museum of Cultural History, Oslo University, could identify anthropogenic manipulations in Mesolithic woodlands in the costal hinterland of southeastern Norway. The joint publication tackles the question if early woodland management was an intended or unintended process and in which sense hunter-gatherer strategies of costal hinterland exploitation contributed to forest alteration. Besides evidence for the repeated use of the forested costal hinterland in Mesolithic times, a highlight of their research findings is the consistency of archaeological and palynological data, as both material culture and pollen proxies’ support the fact that the availability of the resource lime (providing timber for dug out canoes and bast for ropes) was one potential trigger for the production and use of Noestvet axes, as the number of sites with these artefacts increases with the onset and peaks in the Tilia pollen curve. Based on this data, as well changes in the woodland composition (occurrance of lime) as transformations in the site pattern (establishment of special workshop activity areas in the coastal hinterland) can be explained.

Figure: Summed probability distribution plot of all published 14C-dates (n = 57) from 18 sites containing Nøstvet axes and production waste in southeastern Norway plotted against the percentage curves of Tilia and Betula. The decreases in the Tilia curve represent opening up of the forest canopy and the potential use of the timber and bast of the lime e.g. for dug out canoes, whereas the increases in the Betula curve demonstrate the starts of the woodland regeneration phases with the pioneer species birch. Figure: Steinar Solheim/Carsten Reckweg (Institute for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, University of Kiel). M. Wieckowska-Lüth et al. 2018, p. 848, fig. 10

M. Wieckowska-Lüth, S. Solheim, A. Schülke, W. Kirleis, 2018: Towards a refined understanding of the use of coastal zones in the Mesolithic: New investigations on human–environment interactions in Telemark, southeastern Norway. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 17 (2018) 839-851. DOI:10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.12.045

Nature scientific reports: New study on genetic composition in Cucuteni-Trypillia complex

6 March, 2020

Maidanetske ReconstructionA new study conducted within the CRC 1266 shows that the genetic steppe component arrived in eastern Europe farming communities as early as 3500 BCE. Genome-wide data generated from the skeletal remains of four females excavated from two Cucuteni-Tripyllia sites in Modova are consistent with the hypothesis of ongoing contacts and only gradual admixture between incoming steppe and local western populations. Overall, the different genetic makeup of the CTC individuals indicates a relatively high diversity, which is surprising given that they all dated to the same Late CTC period. The finding suggests population dynamics also within a culture.

Immel, A., Terna, S., Simalcsik, A. et al. Gene-flow from steppe individuals into Cucuteni-Trypillia associated populations indicates long-standing contacts and gradual admixture. Sci Rep 10, 4253 (2020).


Nagaland Workshop

March 12, 2018

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

Nagaland - Building bigThe 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 

Picture: M. Wunderlich

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 –

Grünes Licht für ROOTS!

MoldawienDie Freude bei den Kieler Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern ist riesig. Ihr Antrag hat alle Hürden genommen und wurde am 27. September von der gemeinsamen Kommission zur Förderung eines Exzellenzclusters im Rahmen der sogenannten Exzellenzstrategie des Bundes und der Länder bewilligt. Von 1. Januar an bis (mindestens) Dezember 2025 werden die Wissenschaftler aus 15 CAU Instituten an sechs Fakultäten der Universität Kiel nun unter dem Label „ROOTS“ die „Wurzeln der Konnektivität von Gesellschaft, Umwelt und Kultur in vergangenen Welten“ erforschen.

„Damit etablieren wir in Kiel einen Leuchtturm für die Erforschung prähistorischer, antiker und vormoderner Gesellschaften. Unser Profil breit gefächerter Interdisziplinarität mit starker Ausrichtung an der Schnittstelle von Kultur-zu Natur- und Lebenswissenschaften ist einzigartig und wurde von dem internationalen Expertengremium als zukunftsweisend bewertet“ freut sich Johannes Müller. Den prähistorischen Archäologen und Sprecher des neu bewilligten Clusters hatte die gute Nachricht um 2 Uhr morgens lokaler Zeit in Kyoto ereilt. Wichtiger ROOTS-Partner ist das Deutsche Archäologische Institut (DAI).

Drei Jahre Vorbereitungszeit hat es gekostet, die konzeptionellen Ideen für den Cluster in zahlreichen Diskussions-Runden zu entwickeln, interdisziplinär abzustimmen, auf ihre Machbarkeit zu überprüfen, eine Antragsskizze zu formulieren, und schließlich nach deren positiver Vorbegutachtung vor einem Jahr einen Vollantrag auszuarbeiten, der eine Forschungsagenda für die kommenden sieben Jahre umreißt. Zurückgreifen konnten die Antragsteller dabei auf ihre bisherige Erfahrungen in der Graduiertenschule „Human Development in Landscapes“ (GSHDL), im Rahmen der vorausgehenden Exzellenzinitiative seit 2007 bis Ende diesen Jahres gefördert, und deren schon vorhandene Strukturen. „Die großartige Unterstützung der Universität sowie des Landes schon im Vorfeld haben enorm zu unserem jetzigen Erfolg beigetragen“ sagt Annette Haug, Klassische Archäologin und stellvertretende Sprecherin des Clusters. Auch strukturell ist der Cluster auf die kommenden Herausforderungen gut vorbereitet. „Den Rahmen dafür bietet die Johanna-Mestorf-Akademie, eine gemeinsame Einrichtung der Kieler Uni zur Entwicklung ihres profilbildenden Schwerpunktes „Sozialer, Umwelts- und Kulturwandel“ (SECC)“, äußert sich Lutz Käppel, Gräzist und Sprecher von SECC zuversichtlich.

Die Mühen haben sich gelohnt: Geforscht werden kann nun mit verbesserter personeller und infrastruktureller Ausstattung. Unter anderem sollen mehrere Professuren neu eingerichtet und mit international herausragenden Experten besetzt werden. „Ein Plattformkonzept zur infrastrukturellen Entwicklung sieht z. B. den Erwerb eines speziellen GC-C-IR-Massenspektrometers vor, das die Analyse der Isotopenzusammmensetzung von Aminosäuren ermöglicht und so Aufschluss über die Ernährungsweisen früherer Gesellschaften  geben wird“, erläutert Wolfgang Rabbel, Geophysiker und ebenfalls stellvertretender Sprecher des Clusters.

„Schon jetzt können wir sagen“, so Lutz Kipp, Präsident der Kieler Universität, „dass der ROOTS-Cluster die Attraktivität und internationale Sichtbarkeit der Kieler Uni weiter steigern wird“. Dass vom neuen Cluster „spannende Ergebnisse zu gesellschaftlich hoch relevanten Themen zu erwarten sind, die sich auch hervorragend für den Wissenstransfer an Schüler und an die allgemeine Öffentlichkeit eignen“ ergänzt Ilka Parchmann, Fachdidakterin am IPN und Vizepräsidentin der Kieler Universität mit Ressort „Lehramt, Wissenschaftskommunikation und Weiterbildung“.


01: Seebohrung für Paläoumweltforschung und Rekonstruktion der Mensch-Umwelt-Interaktion, Vouliagmeni, Griechenland (Foto: Ingmar Unkel)


02: Ethnoarchäologische Studien in Sibirien, Russland (Foto: Christoph Engel)

Ausgrabung Vrable

03: Ausgrabungssituation in Vráble, Slowakei (Foto: Martin Furholt)

Excellence Cluster ROOTS Social, Environmental, and Cultural Connectivity approved!

On September 27th 2018, funding decisions have been made in Germany’s Excellence Strategy: The Excellence Commission, consisting of the members of the international Committee of Experts and the research ministers of the federal and state governments, approved 57 Clusters of Excellence to be funded from among the 88 proposed projects. 

Among the successful cluster proposal is ROOTS! This new cluster of excellence will start on January 1st 2019 and until end of 2025 will explore how social, environmental, and cultural processes have substantially shaped past human development. The cluster is composed by an interdisciplinary network of 15 participating institutes and six faculties at Kiel University and external research institutes, including the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology (ZBSA), the State Museum Schleswig-Holstein in Gottorf (ALM), the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön.

More info


01: Excavation in Mang de Bargen, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany (Photo by: Jutta Kneisel)


02: Coring activities for palaeoenvironmental investigation and human-environmental reconstruction, Pellworm, Schleswig-Holstein (Photo by: Ingmar Unkel)

DFG Begutachtung

03: Group photo of ROOTS presenters together with Schleswig-Holstein Minister-President Daniel Günther und Prof. Dr. Friederike Fless (DAI) in Cologne after the DFG appraisal on May 30th 2018


04: ROOTS structure with ROOTS research areas (subclusters), supporting platforms, and involved disciplines


Early seafaring: Sicily later populated as previously thought

Di Maida SicilyIt is a complex archaeological task to prove when and where our ancestors crossed the seas. So far, it has been suggested that people belonging to the Paleolithic culture of the Aurignacian Mountains (ca. 38,000 to 29,000 BC) were the first one who crossed the Strait of Messina between the Italian mainland and Sicily.

A study conducted by a team of international scientists from various disciplines has re-examined the site and performed radiocarbon dating on plant remains and human teeth. Gianpiero Di Maida of the Graduate School "Human Development in Landscapes" and Professor Ben Krause Kyora of the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Kiel University (Kiel University), refute the previous theory of colonization history in Sicily: The age determined by the dates is between 7960 and 6530 BC, much later than previously assumed, thus assigning the finds to the Holocene. It seems that Fontana Nuova was inhabited not by Paleolithic but by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers.

press release (in German) 

Original publication: Di Maida G., Mannino M.A., Krause-Kyora B., Jensen T.Z.T., Talamo S. (2019) Radiocarbon dating and isotope analysis on the purported Aurignacian skeletal remains from Fontana Nuova (Ragusa, Italy). PLoS ONE 14(3): e0213173.


EAA 21 is coming to Kiel!

26 March 2020

Signing of MOU in PragueGood news: The 27th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) will take place in Kiel from 8-11 September 2021. On 26 March the Memorandum of Understanding between the EAA and the JMA was signed in Prague by Felipe Criado-Boado, president of the EAA,  and Johannes Müller, speaker of the JMA.
European Association of Archaeologists

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

October 23, 2017

Examples of settlement plans in Central and Southeast Europe.

Three new publications of CRC 1266 speaker Johannes Müller concentrate on aspects of developments and forms of population agglomerations connected to the origin of social inequalities and centralized control in prehistoric Europe. The settlements and Chalcolithic mega-sites in Southeast Europe, especially the Balkan and the North Pontic region. Additionally to the scope of the GSHDL “Human Dresearch benefits from long-term project collaborations and excavations of Neolithicevelopment in Landscapes”, the studies are of main interest for questions related to social and economic transformations addressed in the CRC 1266 (e.g. subproject A1D1interlinking groups “Economies: Stability and transformation” and “Social organisation and Built Space”).

In “From the Neolithic to the Iron Age – Demography and Social Agglomeration. The Development of Centralized Control” Müller takes a diachronic look on patterns of economic and social structures present at sites of population agglomerations and concludes the breakdown of these proto-urban structures as a response of vulnerable societies to internal changes of the state system. Not a general population growth but the concentration of people and the magnitude of control exercised within these communities prevented the development of sustainable socio-political systems, which stays in contrast to the Near East. In co-authorship with CRC 1266 and GSHDL colleagues Vesa Arponen, Robert Hofmann and René Ohlrau, the paper “The Appearance of social inequalities: Cases of Neolithic and Chacolithic Societies” presents a new methodological approach how to detect social inequality and forms of social control. The archaeological record of households from Late Neolithic Balkan villages and Chalcolithic North Pontic mega-sites is examined in order to establish proxies addressing these issues, for instance the social meaning of households by comparing architecture and inventories.  “Inheritance, population development and social identities” discusses the role of households and inheritance rules in Southeast Europe from 5200-4300 BCE related to questions concerning changes of political structures within these societies. Along concrete examples, he considers the institutional and regulatory characteristics of these concepts connected to certain archaeological proxies, such as house size, settlement structure, degree of population agglomeration and regional population density.

Müller, J., From the Neolithic to the Iron Age – Demography and Social Agglomeration. The Development of Centralized Control. In: Manuel Fernández-Götz und Dirk Krause (Ed.): Eurasia at the Dawn of History. Urbanization and Social Change. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017, p. 106–124.

Müller, J.; Arponen, V. P.; Hofmann, R.; Ohlrau, R., The Appearance of social inequalities: Cases of Neolithic and Chacolithic Societies. In: Andrea Cardarelli, Alberto Cazalla und Marcella Fangipane (Ed.): Preistoria e protostoria delle civilta antiche. Thematic issue: The Origin of Inequality. [S.l.]: GANGEMI (Origini. Preistoria e protostoria delle civiltà antiche - Prehistory and protohistory of ancient civilizations, XXXVIII, 2015-2), 2017, p. 65–83.

Müller, J., Inheritance, population development and social identities. Southeast Europe 5200-4300 BCE. In: Maja Gori und Maria Ivanova (Hg.): Balkan Dialogues. Negotiating Identity between Prehistory and the Present. Florence: Taylor and Francis (Routledge Studies in Archaeology) 2017, p. 156–168.

Figure: Müller, Examples of settlement plans in Central and Southeast Europe. The principles of the spatial distribution of houses, the size of houses and continuities and discontinuities might be interpreted as the reflection of different inheritance rules in the archaeological record: Primogeniture contra partible inheritance (J. Müller, Inheritance, population development and social identities, p. 162).

DAI Travel Grant for GSHDL Alumna Veronika Egetenmeyr

Veronika EgetenmeyrGraduate School alumna Veronika Egetenmeyr has been awarded a travel grant (Reisestipendium) by the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). Since 1859, the DAI travel grant is awarded to young researchers with an exceptional PhD thesis. Veronika Egetenmeyr successfully defended her doctoral research on “Die Konstruktion der ,Anderen‘: Barbarenbilder in den Briefen des Sidonius Apollinaris” in Kiel in November 2018 and has now received this prestigious fellowship for her work.

The DAI travel grant aims to promote young scholars in archaeology and related disciplines. It funds extended stay abroad, enabling grant holders to acquire in-depth knowledge of the countries they visit and their archaeological sites, monuments, and museum collections. The DAI Reisestipendium will offer Veronika Egetenmeyr the opportunity to visit regions of the “classical” Mediterranean World. “I am very excited about the news!” she states, “Thanks to this travel grant I will be able to study the antique remains and visit sites and monuments from different periods in Greece, the Balkans, Italy, France, Spain and Tunisia. Due to my new research focus on Roman Africa, Tunisia is of special interest and it will be where my journey will begin.” This travel grant will enable Veronika to shape innovative directions of her future research projects.

Among the previous holders of the DAI travel grant are GSHDL members Johannes Müller (1991), Annette Haug (2004), Martin Tombrägel (2005), Martin Furholt (2007), Stefan Feuser (2009), Philipp Kobusch (2011), and Julia Menne (2017). The privately funded Wülfing fellowship has recently been awarded by the DAI to GSHDL alumni Torben Keßler (2014) and Natalia Toma-Kansteiner (2016).


Veronika Egetenmeyer short vita: Veronika Egentenmeyr studied Ancient History, Pre-and Protohistoric Archaeology and Medieval and Modern History at Heidelberg University, where she completed her MA studies in 2014, after a stay abroad at the Università degli Studi di Firenze. She moved to Kiel for her PhD research, which she completed in November 2018. Thanks to a DAAD-fellowship and the support of the GSHDL she also spent a research period at the Universitè Bordeaux Montaigne III. She currently holds a research assistant position at the Historical Institute of the University of Greifswald.

2018 JMA Plenary Meeting and first ROOTS PIs Meeting

On October 22nd, the 2018 Johanna-Mestorf-Academy Plenary Meeting took place with many members in attendance.

The meeting included updates from the speakers and the representatives on the numerous projects and initiatives that took place over the past year in the frame of the JMA. New members also introduced themselves and their research. Above all, this meeting was an opportunity to celebrate the success of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS!

Following the JMA Plenary Meeting, the first ROOTS PIs Meeting kicked-off seven years of interdisciplinary advanced research on how social, environmental, and cultural processes have substantially shaped past human development: the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS is now starting its activities!

JMA Members Group

01: Group Photo of the JMA Members (Photo: JMA ׀ Carsten Reckweg)


02: Group photo of the ROOTS PIs (Photo: JMA ׀ Carsten Reckweg)