The JMA Working Groups

In the JMA Working Groups scientists of all levels from different disciplines together with students join to focus on topics of their interest.

Ceramic and Society

The working group focusses on ceramics as a prominent part of material culture. Its unique position in the archaeological record provides a variety of insights into past human societies, their cultural expressions, as well as establishing and studying specific networks. Without devoting itself to particular time periods or regions, the aim is to study ceramics as a cultural phenomenon.

The “Ceramic and society” working group started in 2014 in order to create a common ground for students and academics to exchange knowledge and experience of working with ceramics. Always open for new members doing research within differing contexts, it provides an environment for discussing ceramics, not necessarily concentrating exclusively on pottery.

From typology to archaeometrics and from Anatolia to Jutland the group constantly aims at developing a broader understanding of ceramics and their place in past human societies.

Mihaela Savu Send Mail
Robert Staniuk Send Mail


Social Inequality

The working group Social Inequality is a medium for meeting to discuss the questions of identification and interpretation of inequality in prehistory. We are interested in the various theories of inequality developed in archaeology and elsewhere in the human sciences, as well as in their implementation in archaeological studies. The aims of the working group are to study and discuss the multidimensional phenomenon of social inequality and promote its study among students, colleagues and beyond. We work actively to publish the results of our findings in peer reviewed publications (see Literature below).

Dr. Vesa Arponen Send Mail


Arponen, V.P.J., Müller, Johannes, Hofmann, Robert, Furholt, Martin, Ribeiro, Artur, Horn, Christian, & Hinz, Martin. 2015. Using the Capability Approach to Conceptualise Inequality in Archaeology: the Case of the Late Neolithic Bosnian Site Okoliste c. 5200-4600 BCE. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. In press. (View online:

Arponen, V.P.J., Müller, Johannes, Ohlrau, René. 2016. Artefacts, Houses and Inequality. In: Arm und Reich: Zur Ressourcenverteilung in prähistorischen Gesellschaften. Tagungen des Landesmuseums für Vorgeschichte, Halle. Editor: Harald Meller et al. In press.



Urban Culture

The Working Group Urban Culture is interested in a very prominent aspect of socio-environmental research: the urban as a perceived, conceived and lived space (H. Lefebvre, La production de l’espace [1974]). In the perspective of very different disciplines (Prehistory, Classical Archaeology, Classical Philology, Medieval and Early Modern Archaeology, Medieval and Early Modern History, European Ethnology), the urban is not defined by fixed parameters (e. g. population size) but it is considered as a cultural variable. “Urban” contexts are characterized as dense settlement foci which distinguish from their less densely settled surroundings. Thus, the working group is interested in several crucial issues which all can be considered in respect to their perceived, conceived or lived qualities:

  • Urban Space: Questions of intraurban organization as well as the question of urban networks / cities and their hinterland.
  • Urban Lifestyle/Action: Questions of specific forms of urban action and interaction, e.g. forms of urban communication, movement in urban contexts, urban behaviour, social practice, urban economies.
  • Urban Transformation: Urbanscapes are conceived to be in constant transition. The processual character can take various forms ranging from resilient spaces to transferred, transformed, transmuted or even decayed spaces.

Activities: Collquium “Urbanscapes in Transition” / 20-22 October 2016

Contact: Prof. Dr. Annette Haug   Send Mail


Theory Discussion

Spatial Analysis

Space is one basic dimension and essential as a concept for many fields of research. As well as time space serves both as a general reference system between objects and as a trait in itself, that has to be investigated.

Due to the omnipresence of spatial information, many different approaches of spatial analysis are applied in various disciplines. The JMA group ‘Spatial Analysis’ attempts to share and exchange spatial analysis competence across disciplines and fields of research. We aim to enhance our knowledge of certain concepts, theories and applications by using different analytic approaches, to work collaboratively on certain topics and to transfer knowledge from one discipline or field of research to another.
The topics include spatial statistics, space syntax, point pattern analysis, spatial modeling and simulation, GIS, perceiving space and analysing transportation, networks and interdependent spatial relationships.

By organizing events such as workshops, lectures and Summer Schools as well as a round table, we aim for an exchange between scientists from different disciplines and fields. Irregular meetings are used to show progress as well as raise discussions on topics and to go about issues, the members might have. We support other initiatives with competence on spatial analysis.

PD Dr. Oliver Nakoinz   Send Mail
Nicole Grunert   Send Mail



The group looks at archaeological material from a life science perspective including research on fauna and flora, diets, animal domestication, and diseases.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Ben Krause-Kyora   Send Mail


Quantification of Socio-Environmental Development

This only recently initiated group deals with resource flows and the interaction of economy and ecology.

Contact: Dr. Walter Dörfler   Send Mail




  • January 9, 2019


    A recent study shows numbers for the population development in Europe and the Near East from 6000 to 1000 B.C.

    January 7, 2019


    "Past Landscapes": New edited volume by the Graduate School "Human Development in Landscapes"

    November 23, 2018

    Mesolithic_The Holocene

    New Publication New SFB 1266 - B2 publication in The Holocene: Early Mesolithic activities at ancient Lake Duvensee

    November 15, 2018


    New Publication Archaeobotanical results from the Middle Bronze Age Carpathian Basin: Plant Economy in Kakucs-Turján

    November 15, 2018

    Step by step isotopes

    New Publication Step by step - The Neolithisation of Northern Central Europe in the light of the stable isotope analyses

    November 2, 2018


    New Publication CRC1266 announces "Millet Dating Programme" in Antiquity Project Gallery

    May 14, 2018

    Stone Age Hepatitis

    New Publication Current CRC 1266 aDNA research: Stone Age hepatitis B virus decoded

    March 26, 2018

    Taylor et al 2018 - Nature Scientific Report
    New Publication Hermes T.R., Frachetti M.D., Bullion E.A., Maksudov F., Mustafokulov S., Makarewicz C.A., 2018: Urban and nomadic isotopic niches reveal dietary connectivities along Central Asia’s Silk Roads, Nature Scientific Reports, Article number: 22995. doi: 10.1038/srep 54888.

    March 21, 2018

    Groß D., Zander A., Boethius A., Dreibrodt S., Grøn O., Hansson A., Jessen C., Koivisto S., Larsson L., Lübke H., Nilsson B., 2018: People, lakes and seashores: Studies from the Baltic Sea basin and adjacent areas in the early and Mid-Holocene, Quaternary Science Reviews 185, 27-40. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.01.021.

    January 08, 2018
    New Publication
    Examples of settlement plans in Central and Southeast Europe.
    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

    October 23, 2017

    New PublicationsMüller_2017_Bild
    Müller J., 2017: From the Neolithic to the Iron Age – Demography and Social Agglomeration. The Development of Centralized Control, in Fernández-Götz M. and Krause D. (eds.), Eurasia at the Dawn of History. Urbanization and Social Change, New York, Cambridge University Press, 106–124.