CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

The CRC 1266 Focus and Cluster concept

Focus and Cluster concept

The CRC takes a comparative perspective, where transformation processes are explored along spatial and temporal scales, as well as the scale of social reach. A fundamental parameter affecting transformation processes is the socio-economic framework within which, and between which, they take shape. The CRC is organised along four main Foci, whose mutual collaboration is crucial for the overall approach:

Focus 1 “Theory and modelling” (Cluster A)
Focus 1 addresses key issues on transformation theories to develop middle range theories with respect to human-environmental interaction, and provides operational models with which to connect these conceptual considerations with the different indicator and proxy data explored in the other foci.

Focus 2 “Transformations of socio-economic formations” (Cluster B-E)
Focus 2 addresses, in different spatial-temporal case studies, the on-going socio-environmental changes of “Complex Foragers”, “Horticulturalists”, “Agriculturalists and First Metallurgists” and of “Pre-state and State Societies”.

Focus 3 “Socio-environmental Components of Change” (Cluster F)
Focus 3 concentrates on specific factors or components of change, be it climate and human adaptation strategies, vegetation change and human impact, the dynamics of soils and erosion processes, demography and diseases, the development of subsistence practices or the social role of technologies and innovations.

Focus 4 “Setting the Frame” (Cluster G)
Focus 4 supports enquiries concerning the temporal resolution and the exploration of temporal patterns, as well as the ability to explore spatial patterns of change through the application of geophysical methods. The broad array of case studies will provide Focus 4 projects with the opportunity for intensive method development within an archaeological framework.


The collaborations and exchanges between the different projects forming this CRC are manifold.

On the project-to-project level, input and feedback will stimulate a vivid exchange among the projects and refine the results. On a level of multiple projects, this exchange forms an inter- and multidisciplinary work environment. The  interlinkage within the CRC will be realised along specific cross-cutting issues, for example “Material Culture Studies”, “Human-environment Interaction”, “Social Organisation and Built Space”, and “Quantification and Comparison”. This environment will encourage comprehensive, holistic answers to our research questions and stimulate the development of new methods and approaches. In order to further strengthen and deepen these dialogues and discourses, bi-weekly meetings, the interlinkage in workgroup meetings and workshops, and bi-annual international conferences are part of the CRC research structure.