CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

CRC 1266: "Scales of Transformation - Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies"

Process of Transformation

The CRC 1266 “Scales of Transformation: Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies” takes a long-term perspective, from 15,000 BCE to 1 BCE, to investigate processes of transformation in a crucial period of human history, from late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers to early state societies.

This allows us to confront transformational processes in a wide array of societal formations and environmental settings. Here, we define transformations primarily as processes leading to a substantial and enduring re-organisation of socio-environmental interaction patterns. Transformations in prehistoric and archaic societies occur on different temporal, spatial and social scales. Thus, past environmental and archaeological archives of high quality will be explored in different landscapes, from the Mediterranean to the Arctic, and in different social constellations, from Aegean polis to Palaeolithic camp sites. To detect the socio-environmental dimension of transformations, we will use a combination of archaeological and palaeo-environmental methods.

The dynamics of transformations will be explored through projects focusing on ecological, economic, and cultural patterns of social reactions within defined spatial and temporal units (the case studies).

 Dialectically, other projects, following specific disciplinary trajectories, concentrate on triggers and components of transformations and their preconditions related to climate, ecology, demography and diseases, economies, technology, and the development of political institutions. The CRC research strategy involves an integration of theoretical and empirical approaches next to quantitative methodologies pertaining to archaeological excavation and fieldwork methods, biomolecular, archaeobotanical and palynological methods, archaeozoological methods and isotope research, sedimentological analyses, studies in material culture, dating methods, and the interpretation of written sources.

Connecting scientific cultures

The CRC sees itself as an organic and interdisciplinary unit, drawing from the experiences of the long-term collaboration of the scientists involved in the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” and the Priority Programme “Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation”. Eight institutions of Kiel University are part of the Collaborative Research Centre (Geography, Geoscience, Classical Archaeology, Ecosystem Research, Informatics, Clinical Molecular Biology, Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Philosophy, Leibniz Laboratory ). This expertise is supplemented by important, non-university institutions such as the Centre of Baltic and Scandinavian Studies (ZBSA). In addition, close contacts have been established with the Excellence Cluster ROOTS. With its central focus on human-environmental interaction, the CRC 1266 is an element of the research focus SECC (Socio-Environmental-Cultural-Change) at Kiel University.


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