CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation


February 05, 2018

Almut Nebel awarded with Dorothea Erxleben Prize for Excellent Research

EAA 2018

CRC 1266 researcher Almut Nebel, Professor at the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology (IKMB), University of Kiel (CAU) was awarded the Dorothea Erxleben Prize donated by the Cluster of Excellence Inflammation at Interfaces.

With this prize the Cluster wants to support and highlight the research of excellent female researchers in the Cluster. This year the entire promotional volume was awarded to Almut Nebel, IKMB (100,000 €), Karin Hartman, Immunodermatology, University of Lübeck (UzL) (50,000 €) and Inke R. König, Medical Biometry and Statistic, UzL (50,000 €). This new prize will be awarded every three years. It is also meant to point out once more the excellent quality of ongoing research in Kiel and Lübeck and support the current applications of the universities within the Excellence Strategy ExStra. In 1754, Dorothea Erxleben was the first woman who gained a doctoral degree in medicine. She stands for strong women in science who fought and still fight to work in science – under the same conditions and with the same rights and opportunities as men.

With the prize money, Almut Nebel and her team will set up a research project to shed more light on the evolutionary biology of chronic inflammatory diseases (CID). Applying techniques of ancient DNA research, the genomes of individuals who lived during the Neolithic Period in central and northern Europe (7000-5000 years ago) will be investigated. Special emphasis will be on the analysis of genes involved in inflammatory diseases. The Neolithic Period marks a major transition in prehistory: Humans adopted agriculture, animal husbandry and a sedentary lifestyle leaving the hunter-gatherer existence behind. One important characteristic of the “new” Neolithic way of life was the consumption of an unbalanced diet. It was rich in cereals as well as animal proteins and fat – our ancestors consumed a pro-inflammatory diet they were genetically not adapted to, after millions of years as hunter-gatherers. Given the sudden and marked nature of this dietary shift, it is conceivable that this maladaptation led to the emergence of CID much earlier than assumed until now: the first cases of CID may well date back to the Neolithic. There is growing anthropological and archaeological evidence to support this hypothesis. The question is whether genetic variation that is known to influence the development of CID in present-day populations also contributed to the diseases back then. Almut Nebel’s project will generate valuable ancient data that can serve as a baseline for modern genetic CID studies and help explain some of the mechanisms involved in disease etiology.

Almut NebelThe award not only emphasizes the significance of research on inflammatory diseases in medical studies but also in the scope of the CRC 1266. In subproject F4 “Tracing Infectious diseases in Prehistoric Populations” Almut Nebel, Prof. Dr. Ben Krause-Kyora and Alexander Immel investigate epidemiological developments that are essential to understanding prehistoric population dynamics and transformation processes. By applying state-of-the-art molecular techniques, the research team screens several hundred well-dated skeletons from different temporal and geographical settings for the presence of known bacteria and pathogens. Hereby, the Cluster of Excellene “Inflammation at Interfaces”, the Johanna-Mestorf-Academy as well as the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” provides an outstanding scientific infrastructure at Kiel University.

Text: A. Nebel/IKMB/K. Fuchs

Pictures: Christina Kloodt/Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces"


Further Press Releases:

Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology

”Inflammation at Interfaces“

Universität zu Lübeck

”Kieler Nachrichten“ online article

January 22, 2018

Call for papers! 13 CRC 1266 sessions at the EAA 2018

EAA 2018

This year’s meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists will take place from 5 to 8 September in Barcelona. Unter the theme “Reflecting Futures” the EAA scientific committee has accepted 275 sessions with different archaeological and interdisciplinary foci. The Call for papers is open until 15 February.

In international collaborations, CRC 1266 researchers are engaged with chairing 13 sessions covering a wide range of CRC relevant topics:

#258 “The archaeology of material culture, bodies and landscapes

#397 "Crisis of ideas in modern archaeology?"

#485 “Transforming Infrastructures: Socio-environmental Dimensions of Site and Settlement Pattern Changes

#531 "New and interdisciplinary approaches in research into the hunter-fisher-gatherer Stone Age on the eastern shores of the Baltic"

#557 "Geoarchaeology of Bronze age Europe" Cristiano Nicosia. Gianna Ayala

#614 “Environment, Food, Production and Lifestyle in Bronze Age Europe

#627 “Cross the Streams. Multiproxy approaches to demography and population dynamics

#652 "Understanding change during the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic

#665 "Bronze Age Transformation Processes in Europe – Changes and Their Triggers in Archaeological and Ecological Records"

#684 “At the interface: Investigating coupled human and natural systemfrom natural scientific and archaeological perspective. Challenges and opportunities

#713 "The fourth and third century BC -a Pan-European turning point"

#752 "Gender in Movement"

#754 "Integrative approaches to the study of animal husbandry, plant resource management and their impact on the landscape"

Contributions are welcome! –The call for papers is open until 15 February.

Here you find more information about the session topics and call for papers.

Hompage EAA annual meeting 2018 in Barcelona.


January 18, 2018

Subproject F1 PhD candidate at the “4.2 ka BP Event” Workshop in Pisa


From 10th to 12th of January a workshop was held in Pisa (Italy) organized under the network MedCLIVAR (Mediterranean Climate Variability and Predictability). In this network many prominent scientists study past, present and upcoming climate development and phenomena in the Mediterranean. In this respect, a conference will be held this year (18th to 21st of September 2018) in Belgrade (Serbia).

The workshop was primarily about the climatic event with the “4.2 ka BP event” and aimed to find new high-resolution data in order to quantify and date the event more precisely and to additionally bring it into a regional context. Moreover, various possible driving mechanisms of the “4.2 ka BP event” were discussed. In this context Julien Schirrmacher (subproject F1) presented a poster with his recent scientific results. He gained a lot of positive feedback and also acquaintances. Unfortunately, way too fast this instructive and interesting workshop was over.

Pictures and text: J. Schirrmacher 

January 17, 2018

International Workshop: “Detecting and explaining technological innovation in prehistoric Europe”
Experts of technological innovations met in Kiel


The workshop “Detecting and explaining technological innovation in prehistoric Europe” which took place from 23-24 November in Kiel was successful. All invited speakers turned up and presented their latest research on innovation. The wide variety of papers made the discussion vibrant, and technological changes in ceramics, lithics and metals were presented. Shifts to new techniques and products were interpreted as possible reflections of changes in the social, economic and political aspects of the communities. The variety of regional foci, periods, materials and approaches (ethnographic, archaeological, archaeometric and anthropological) provided the workshop with complementary perspectives. The time limit, one and a half day, and the number of presentations made it particularly intense but very enjoyable as the topics discussed were diverse and wide-ranging.

On the first day discussion kept on going through drinks and dinner, and again during coffee breaks and lunch on the second day. New dialogues and narratives started and unexpected similarities in different regions and times were highlighted and helped the discussion. It is impressive how different approaches can help to get a better understanding of your own topic! We all enjoyed it!


December 13, 2017

Workshop „Gender transformations in prehistoric and archaic societies” – registration open    


Women in the house and men in the field - why should such a division of the gender roles remain the same for thousands of years while the social context and the environment change? Particularly in the case of the prominent transformation processes such as sedentism, the introduction of new technologies or urbanization, it can be assumed that gender identities and the distribution of tasks have always been renegotiated in the respective societies. This topic will be discussed with 30 papers in the scope of the CRC 1266 International Workshop taking place 8-10 March 2018 in Kiel. Registration is possible until 10 February 2018.

Information on programme, venue, fees and the registration here->

December 12, 2017

‘Society – Environment – Transformation‘
Lecture by Hans-Rudolf Bork and Johannes Müller on 13 December    


As part of the lecture series “Reflecting, researching, deciding in the Anthropocene“ the Gustav-Radbruch-Network for Philosophy and environmental ethics invites to attend a lecture by Hans-Rudolf Bork and Johannes Müller, both principle investigators of the CRC 1266. Their lecture  “Society – Environment – Transformation“ illustrates the term ‘Anthropocene‘ from the perspective of environmental archaeology. When does the human impact on the environment  becomes visible? Which strategies did people develop even in prehistoric times in order to cope with environmental change?

The lecture takes place tomorrow, 13 Dec. at at 6 p.m. in the Olshausenstraße 75, lecture hall 1.

Programme lecture series

November 30, 2017

CRC 1266 subproject A2 organises workshop „Geosophy“  on December 7-8


Geosophy...a catchy term for the study of geographical knowledge. We think that the spatial distribution and patterning of material remains contain important information about the way how people thought about their world and how they created their landscape.”

Subproject A2 researchers Daniel Knitter and Wolfgang Hamer invites to discuss matters of geographical knowledge in landscape archaeology. Therefore, they bring together five external specialists from related disciplines and CRC members at the on December 7-8 at Kiel University. The workshop will be a combined talk and open discussion format.

More information ,  Program PDF

If you would like to participate, please write an email to

November 29, 2017

There and back again: D2 PhD candidates visit Hessisches Landesmuseum Kassel in October


Clara Drummer and I, PhD candidates of subproject D2 “Agriculturalist and Early Metallurgists”, spend a week in the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Kassel to document material from a few of our case studies and search for records of other interesting sites that may complement our picture (e.g. Lohra, Kassel-Calden, Altendorf).

One of the main goals was to make an inventory of the material from the singular Wartberg settlement Wittelsberg, that was brought to the museum by the Archäologische Landesamt Marburg. The site was meticulously documented during the excavations of 1988 and 1991 with features interpreted as craft areas (“Grubenhäuser”) and evidence of stone tool production as well as organic remains interesting for carbon dating. As far as the quick overview permitted, the ceramics will prove very interesting to compare to finds made in the gallery graves in the area.

It was also nice to see material from our case studies on display in the museum – would some of the information subproject D2 works on end up in this museum eventually? Some of the metal finds we would like to analyze more precisely for their elemental composition to figure out if they can be linked to other finds in gallery graves, or perhaps even to certain mining areas.

During the week, we also got to know a few young researchers who were preparing an exhibition of the Landgrave Karl’s collection that reflected his interest in art and science (that is due to open in March next year).  There is a similarly humorous play on words in the actual Hessisches Landesmuseum Kassel itself suggesting that the Holocene ‘was finally a little warmer’ going into  ‘a wohlfühlklima’ etcetera.  The museum houses a really interesting and extraordinary collection. Apparently, someone around 3000 BC wanted to have a flower pattern in their house and pressed a thistle at even spaces from each other in the wet clay…

Text and pictures: Marianne Talma 


November 13, 2017

International Workshop: “Detecting and explaining technological innovation in prehistoric Europe” November 23-24 at Kiel University

Detecting and explaining technological innovation in prehistoric EuropeDr. Michela Spataro, scientist at the British Museum and current CRC 1266 Mercator Fellow of subproject F5 “Social Dimensions of Technological Change” invites interested parties to attending an international workshop taking place at Kiel University November 23-24. In the scope of „Detecting and explaining technological innovations in prehistoric Europe“, specialists from different disciplines will talk about social matters of technological transformations from a diachronic perspective. Presenting case studies from across the globe, the contributions will discuss changes in the chaîne opératoire of artefacts: origin, initial appearance, adoption and diffusion.

Poster PDF    Flyer PDF   Program PDF

More information


Dr Michela Spataro
Mercator Fellow
Social Dimension of Technological Change
CRC1266, Kiel University

November 13, 2017

”Steinzeit Live” at the Arche Warder Animal Park

Roasting hazelnutsTogether with colleagues from the Graduate School ‘Human Development in Landscapes’ and the Institut für Ur- und Fruhgeschichte, the F3 project took part in the Steinzeit Live event at the Arche Warder Animal Park on 8 October. The youngest of the visitors had fun using stones to crack hazelnuts that we roasted on the spot, and learning about different plants that we find in archaeobotanical records.

November 3, 2017

Public Lecture: Subproject C1 Excavations in Brodersby-Schönhagen 

Under the leadership of Dr. Jan Piet Brozio, subproject C1 excavated a Neolithic settlement site in Brodersby-Schönhagen in September 2017. Due to its dating to the Middle and Late Neolithic transitional phase, the site is of special interest in terms of socio-economic transformations in this spatial and temporal setting. In his lecture, Brozio will present first results. It takes place at 5 p.m. at the „Tourist-Information Schönhagen“. Interested parties are welome to attend! 

November 2, 2017

CRC 1266-Equality agent at AGE-workshop ”Gender and chance in Archaeology” in Lisbon 

Gender Workshop LisbonOn Invitation of Portuguese female archaeologists a workshop of the working group “Archaeology and gender in Europe” (EAGE) of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) took place at Lisboa University on 19th and 20th October 2017 to boost gender studies in Portugese Archaeology. More than 30 participants from eight European countries discussed critically where the relationships between gender and change can be considered both in contemporary archaeology and in the past. Main question was if and how gender archaeology has changed archaeology in the last 25 years.
Julia K. Koch, equality agent of the CRC 1266, presented the status quo of Gender Archaeology in third party funded research clusters in Germany. She showed how measures of research policy can chance and influence the frames and working conditions in projects and research institutions. 

October 27, 2017

ICE Johanna Mestorf: The Deutsche Bahn AG Chooses the First German Female Professor of Archaeology as a Name Giver for a New Train 

ICE   Johanna Mestorf

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). 

“This is a unique project of the German Bahn. Thus, we have the opportunity to transport the name of Johanna Mestorf beyond Kiel and Schleswig-Holstein. Posthumously, she will become an ambassador of science and equal rights for women in society”, stated Prof. von Carnap-Bornheim and Prof. Müller enthusiastically. 

The Kiel-Schleswig Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1266 “Scales of Transformation” investigates human-environmental interactions in prehistoric and archaic societies and is part of the JMA, which is a central institution of Kiel University for the promotion of interdisciplinary research and teaching in the fields of social and environmental change. At the CRC 1266, Dr. Julia Katharina Koch is involved with equality issues.

Download the press release

DB-Photo (Copyright Deutsche Bahn AG / SIEMENS)
Photo JM (Photo: Archäologisches Landesmuseum)    

October 23, 2017

Archäologische Kolloquium - Tijana Stanković-Pešterac, Novi Sad: „Implementation of geoelectrical research in archaeology: the site of Bordoš as the case study”

On Monday, October 23, Tijana Stanković-Pešterac from the Serbian National Museum of Vojvdina gives a lecture at the Archaeological Colloquium. In her talk she will focus on multidisciplinary investigations of the Neolithic settlement site Bordš, Serbia. She will present results gained from the application of new geoelectric methods. The lecture will be held in English.

For more information see PDF

October 23, 2017

„Auf den Spuren bronzezeitlicher Gemeinschaften in Nord- und Mitteleuropa“ – Lecture by Jutta Kneisel at the AGSH

The „Archäologische Gesellschaft Schleswig-Holstein e.V.“ (AGSH) invites to their lecture series taking place at the Archäologisches Landesamt Schlewsig-Holstein in Schleswig and at the Institute for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology at Kiel University. On Wednesday, October 25, CRC 1266 researcher Jutta Kneisel discusses Bronze Age phenomenon in the socio-cultural context of Northern Europe. In her talk, she will present results from different archaeological sites in Schleswig-Holstein and Poland.

Wednesday, October 25, 7:30 p.m., Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Johanna-Mestorf-Str. 4 , Johanna-Mestorf-Hörsaal

Here you find more information