CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation


December 01, 2021

News from the Stone Age

Hamburgian Points
Fig.1: Shouldered points of the Late Palaeolithic Hamburg Culture (13,700-12,200 BC) from Poggenwisch in the Ahrensburg Tunnel Valley (Photo: Mara-Julia Weber).

The 4th North German Stone Age Meeting will take place in Kiel on Dec. 3rd and 4th 2021 and members of the CRC 1266 are involved. In this format, current research on the Stone Ages in the northern federal states will be presented in short papers. This provides the opportunity for intensive discussion, planning of future projects and inspiration for one's own research. The meeting will be rounded off by an experimental archaeology event with Harm Paulsen.

This is the fourth time the meeting takes place. This time, members of the CRC 1266 also are involved in the organisation. Last year, the event was held digitally due to the pandemic; this year, the Stone Age Meeting will be able to take place in presence, taking into account local hygiene rules.

In this format, current topics on the Stone Age in northern Germany will be discussed by participants from various research institutes, state heritage offices and museums. They all share their seat or research interest in the northern federal states. The topics are diverse. Current campaigns, research results and rescue excavations with a broad temporal focus will be presented. This includes the oldest artefacts of the Middle Palaeolithic of Schleswig-Holstein (ca. 60,000 BC), Late Glacial and Mesolithic hunter-gatherer societies (14,000-4,000 BC), Neolithic societies (4,000-1,700 BC) (e.g. the excavation of a wooden trackway) and also the Early Bronze Age (1,700-1,100 BC) is addressed in one contribution. This is the perfect opportunity for Berit Eriksen, Mara-Julia Weber, Sonja Grimm and Stine Detjens from subproject B1, Harald Lübke, Markus Wild and Ulrich Schmölcke from subproject B2, Jan Piet Brozio from subproject C1, Ingo Feeser from subproject F2 and Dragana Filipović from subproject F3 to present their research. In addition to the interesting talks, cake and biscuits will also be served to create an inviting setting for the event.

On the second day, an excursion is traditionally held in the area. If the weather permits, Harm Paulsen, a leading expert in the field of experimental archaeology, will take us to Eckernförde Bay. The beach is lined with many stones, including flints. Harm Paulsen will give a live demonstration of how people in the Stone Age made tools from these flints.

Due to the Corona pandemic, access to the conference is only allowed to contributors who comply with the 2G+ rules (vaccinated, recovered and additionally tested). Interested persons can join online via Big Blue Botton (link).

The preliminary schedule.

Experimental Archaeology
Fig.2: Experimental archaeology. The production of a flint sickle of the Late Neolithic (2,250-1,700 BC) type, common in northern Germany and Denmark (Photo: Moiken Hinrichs).

November 29, 2021

Prehistoric exchange as roots of social inequality?

Konferenz Soziale Ungleichheit

On Dec. 2nd–4th the conference "Inequalities in supra-regional Eurasian Exchange Networks" will take place in the Audimax and members of the CRC 1266 participate. It will be organised by Tim Kerig, who is working in the cluster "ROOTS of Inequalities" in addition to his position in the CRC 1266. Various contributions will address exchange networks in Eurasian prehistory. The meeting allows participants, as well as interested people in the audience, to engage in discussions, to network and new receive ideas.

Exchange networks structure and development are essential for explaining social and economic  inequalities. The conference aims to detect those inequalities within the  distribution of sourced raw materials over time and space. It centres on large-scale exchange networks from the Neolithic to the Iron Age.

The conference will bring together researchers from a large array of different expertise, regions and periods. Guiding questions are: How can different networks be defined? How can network data be organized for further analysis? What methodological possibilities arise from  these large-scale observations? Where are new perspectives for social and  economic interpretations of prehistoric  exchange networks?

In addition to Tim Kerig of subproject F6, the speaker of CRC 1266, Johannes Müller, and Steffen Strohm of subproject Z2 will give talks.

The conference takes place in a hybrid format. The Audimax (lecture hall C) is reserved for the contributors. Interested parties can join via ZOOM. To do so, contact Tim Kerig and others (,,

The conference programme

November 26, 2021

Ötzi, Bones and Strawberry DNA – CRC goes Primary School

primary school with researchers and kidsNo shyness: The medieval bones from Lübeck that Ben Krause-Kyora and Katharina Fuchs had in their science luggage arouse great excitement among the pupils of the 3rd and 4th grade at Groß Vollsted primary school. Full concentration also when experimenting with strawberries "Is this slime here DNA?" (Photos: Friederike Flachsbart, teacher of the class; used with kind permission of the parents).

“Have you ever dug up a dinosaur?” 

“Is that a real bone? How old is it?” 

“Who was Ötzi's murderer? And why did he escape into the mountains?” 

“Wow, a mammoth tooth is sooo big... did people really eat mammoth in the past?”

“Is this slime here the DNA?”

The children from the 3rd and 4th grades of Groß Vollstedt primary school were thrilled by the stories that Katharina Fuchs and Ben Krause-Kyora from subproject F4 dug up from the past and from their laboratory cupboards. For five hours, they listened with rapt attention about the decisive turns that human history took during the Stone Age, why the ice mummy Ötzi is so valuable for bioarchaeological research, and what old skeletons can tell us about past life. Without fear of contact, they marveled at how big a mammoth tooth was, how different the lower jaws of men and women looked in the Middle Ages, and how razor-sharp that Stone Age tools were. The children showed great talent in a biological experiment in which they extracted DNA from strawberries with the help of conventional household products such as salt and washing-up liquid. Krause-Kyora and Fuchs were impressed by the children. "With such inquisitiveness, the time flew by! This shows how important these topics are for early knowledge transfer. The children will remember this for a long time – and who knows, maybe we have archaeologists of the next generation in front of us here ..." reflects Krause-Kyora. Fuchs adds, "The children's enthusiasm is overflowing! This school day was a nice change from our scientific ivory tower and showed me how easily bridges can be built to the youngest in our society. Definitely something that should play a bigger role in our scientists’ working routine. We were very delighted that the primary teacher, Friederike Flachsbart, invited us to her class room".

November 22, 2021

Getting out of the lockdown to new intensive cooperative research

Gruppenfoto SFB1266

Online meetings are a good alternative, but nothing compares to meetings in person, as the members of CRC 1266 recently discovered. On Nov. 11th.2021, the Annual General Meeting was the first physical meeting for a long time. It was held in the large lecture hall of the Audimax at CAU Kiel, so that the participants did not come close to filling the room and were able to maintain large distances from each other in a corona-conform way.

The speakers of the CRC, Wiebke Kirleis and Johannes Müller, introduced the meeting by discussing current topics. They presented various current statistics on the members, showed the campaigns and publications of the past year and also introduced the new members. The CRC is now moving from the phase of intensive research in the subprojects to the phase of collaborative research. The coming period lets us expect exciting results!

The Annual General Meeting was concluded with a lecture by Heather Hofmeister (Professor of Sociology with a focus on the sociology of work at the Goethe University Frankfurt). She reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of the COVID-19 pandemic for scientific communication. Her presentation showed that while online formats have their uses and some advantages, face-to-face contact and especially informal connections are essential for building strong team dynamics, fostering creativity as well as successful collaboration.

The meeting was rounded off with a group photo followed by a shared drink. This provided the opportunity to have stimulating discussions on research or just to chat. This confirmed Heather Hofmeister's message.

The face-to-face event has whet the appetite for further meetings in person. Thus, the announcement of the upcoming Christmas party on Dec. 14th 2021 was received with great pleasure.

November 18, 2021

“From ancient grain to crisis management.” Night of the Profs with lecture by Wiebke Kirleis

Illustration Night of the Profs

On Nov. 19th 2021, the Night of the Profs will take place at Kiel University with the participation of the deputy speaker of CRC 1266, Wiebke Kirleis. Once a year, professors from various institutes are called on to give a talk on an overarching theme. This year it is "Crisis - Chances - Change". This motto offers an excellent opportunity to introduce topics of the CRC 1266 and especially of the sub-project F3 to a broader audience.

Change constantly accompanies human societies and their environment, and forms a central research topic in the CRC 1266. The strategies used by past societies of the Neolithic and Bronze Age to avert crisis phenomena affecting subsistence and nutrition can be revealed by archaeological ecofacts. It is the remains of cooking accidents that took place thousands of years ago and old grain from waste pits that provide a material basis for reconstructing reactions to, for example, climate change. Archaeobotanical studies from northern Germany to China show which strategies for dealing with change, or its extreme form crisis, have failed in human history, and which were successful. We learn that diversity is the key!

Every year, the highly-success Night of the Profs format creates a relaxed atmosphere for interaction. The audience, mostly students and staff from Kiel University, can choose their own programme from the lectures, which take place between 6 pm and 12 am. They can listen to the lectures together with fellow students and colleagues, as well as a drink.

To avoid delays in admission, those interested can pick up access ribbons from the Audimax forecourt on Nov. 18thand 19th between 11 am and 6 pm. Prerequisite is proof of 3G pstatus (vaccinated, recovered, tested) and the presentation of a photo ID. The ribbons must be collected in person and put on immediately. Any remaining tickets will be available on the evening of the event. Masks are mandatory in the Audimax building and lecture halls.

The presentation by Wiebke Kirleis is entitled "From ancient grain to crisis management", will take place at 7 p.m. in the Audimax Frederik Paulsen lecture hall and will also be broadcast live in Audimax lecture halls C and D.

November 9, 2021

World Café “Interacting Culture(s)” on 18.11.2021. Take part!

Interacting Cultures

“How does the way we talk about culture(s) influence our understanding of them?”

In the interactive World Café “Interacting Culture(s)”, international researchers discuss the concept of culture and the distortion of the term through our representations across disciplines. Be part of it!

There are countless definitions of culture. The particular zeitgeist and the research discipline itself have an influence, whether intentional or unintentional.  Thus, the term is defined differently in archaeology, philosophy, anthropology or genetics and the dialogue between the disciplines is hampered by these differences.

Yet all disciplines name overlapping characteristics that form the basis for the interdisciplinary approach of the World Café “Interacting Culture(s)”. In particular, how the different definitions affect our understanding of culture will be discussed. The different definitions affect our premises, approaches and interpretations. Biased notions of culture can emerge and be carried forward. The dialogue with other disciplines forms the basis for a critical reflection on how we deal with the concept of culture.

The meeting, organised by Victoria Alliata and Oliver Nakoinz of the sub-project E4, will take place online on November 18th 2021 from 2:30 to 6 pm. It will take place online via the Gathertown platform. If you wish to participate, contact the Office for the access data.

November 5, 2021

An invitation to listen to the “Boas Talks” Colloquium

Graphic Boas Walk

On November 18th–21st 2021 at Kiel University, a scientific colloquium commemorating the 140th anniversary of Franz Boas’ doctorate will take place. Members of the CRC 1266, as well as other interested persons, are highly welcomed to join this event via Zoom.

Franz Boas, the “Father of American Anthropology”, was in many ways well ahead of his time. He worked in many places, but Kiel was the place where he obtained his doctorate. This year, 140 years later, our colleagues from the Cluster ROOTS renew Kiel’s early connection to this outstanding scholar with a scientific colloquium and they invite us to take part.

“Drawing on his later seminal works, we will together discuss developing trends, recent advancements, and enrich points of contact between the archaeological and anthropological frameworks. In keeping with Boas’ advocacy of close collaboration between archaeology, cultural anthropology, and social anthropology, the workshop will bridge viewpoints from fields such as prehistory and early history, historical and contemporary archaeology, ethnography, social and cultural anthropology, and philosophical reflection.”

The participants come from various regions across the world, such as India, Ethiopia, the USA, Canada and different European countries. Also holding tasks are the current JMA Chair Charlotte Brysting Damm, some CRC members (Henny Piezonka (A1) and Maria Wunderlich (A1 and C2)) who are also organisers of the event, and Martin Furholt (C2). Moreover, the organisers plan to relaunch the Ethnographisch-Archaeologische Zeitschrift (EAZ, Journal for Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology) together with the participants.

The event will be held in a hybrid format at Leibnizstraße 1, Kiel University, Germany, with live streaming. You can find out how to join the event and other relevant information here.

November 1, 2021

New impulses for the CRC 1266: Charlotte Brysting Damm and Tim Kohler hold visiting professorships at the Johanna Mestorf Academy this semester

Visiting Professors

This semester (WS 21/22), the ROOTS Johanna-Mestorf-Academy (JMA) Chairs welcome Charlotte Brysting Damm (Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies, and Theology at the Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø) and Tim Kohler (Washington University in Pullman, USA) as visiting professors.

The ROOTS JMA Chairs will be temporarily assigned to various internationally-renowned scholars. In addition to their expertise and innovative research strategies, the JMA Chairs also extend their network to Kiel through their visits, and so the CRC1266 also benefits from their presence. Indeed, the research interests of the JMA Chairs coincide with some of the CRC's subprojects and topics.

In particular, the CRC benefits from the placement of the JMA Chairs in the buildings of the Graduate School at Kiel University. Together with the fact that in-person events (such as the biweekly colloquia or informal gatherings like the planned Christmas party) are possible again, this makes it much easier to engage in conversations and discussions, which is fundamental for gaining new impulses and ideas for one's own research.

The collaboration will be initiated by the two visiting professors with respective introductory talks on November 1st and November 15th 2021 at 4:15 p.m.. Tim Kohler opens the series with the title "Can We Identify Early Warning Signs of Collapse or Transformation in Social Systems? Some Affirmative Evidence from Pueblo Societies". Charlotte Brysting Damm follows with the title "Scales of Interaction. Quantity and Quality of Encounters among Northern Foragers".

An audience is welcome, following the 3G rules. The lectures will take place in the Klaus-Murmann-Hörsaal (Leibnizstr. 1, 24118 Kiel). The CAU press report from 27.10.2021.

October 17, 2021

Podcast on the collapse of Linear Pottery Culture social structures

Jemand steuert eine Drohne über einem Feld

The podcast Foreign Countries regularly interviews researchers on various topics. Last week, a special episode was released in which Nils Müller-Scheeßel uses the first half of the podcast to present some results of the C2 project. He explains general aspects of the Linear Pottery Culture and introduces the history of the research and discoveries from the Vráble site. He then explains the diversification of Late Linear Pottery burial customs in both a factual and exciting way. This diversification precedes the disintegration of Linear Pottery groups. On the one hand, he places Vráble in the context of the general cultural development in Early Neolithic Central Europe. On the other, he presents the special features of the site.

Foreign Countries – Conversations in Archaeology. Episode 5.2 (Nov. 6th) Archaeology of Later Prehistoric Europe: Cultural Transformations in Neolithic Central Europe.

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify or PodBean.

October 13, 2021

CRC 1266 contributes to engaging presentation of recent gender discussions in archaeology

Cover GenderstereotypesCover „Gender stereotypes in archaeology”

We would like to draw your attention to a new publication on the gender debate in archaeology entitled "Gender stereotypes in archaeology". The new publication by Sidestone Press has received co-funding from the CRC 1266 because the CRC supports work that critically engages with gender stereotypes.

“Were men the only hunters and producers of tools, art and innovation in prehistory? Were women the only gatherers, home-bound breeders and caregivers? Are all prehistoric female depictions mother goddesses? And do women and men have equal career chances in archaeology? To put it short, no. However, these are some of the gender stereotypes that we still encounter on a daily basis in archaeology from the way archaeologists interpret the past and present it to the general public to how they practice it as a profession.”

The booklet contains 24 short contributions of fewer than 250 words, each dealing with an explicit stereotype in archaeology. Contributions were made, among others, by Julia Koch, who is one of the CRC 1266 alumni (Z1). Furthermore, Nils Müller-Scheeßel, a former member of subproject C2, also wrote a contribution. The illustrations were created by the Serbian prize-winner Nikola Radosavljević. The three editors Laura Coltofean-Arizancu, Bisserka Gaydarska and Uroš Matić have all rendered outstanding services in the field of gender research. For example, they all are co-chairs of the Archaeology and Gender in Europe (AGE) community of the European Association of Archaeologists and they have all published on gender in archaeology.

This booklet is highly recommended for a quick and informed insight into the recent debate. It can be viewed and downloaded for free at this link.

October 6, 2021

Jan Piet Brozio and other members of the CRC 1266 in an interview on SWR

Archäologische Grabung mit SWR2 LogoDuring the excavations the timbers of the wooden trackway were regularly dampened to decelerate degradation processes due to contact with the air (Jan Piet Brozio).

On October 11th, SWR Radio will broadcast a report where the C1 project was significantly involved.

With the title "Early cultures in climate stress and their answers to heat, drought, and cold" Volkart Wildermuth talks about climate change in the Stone and Bronze Ages. When the climate changed, people had to test new ideas and, if necessary, abandon their traditions. In the Arctic, for example, they suddenly built fortresses, or domesticated new plants in Mesopotamia. When the monsoon failed to arrive in central China, the formerly sedentary farmers took to their horses and invented trousers along the way. Those who were innovative were able to defy many climate changes. When entire landscapes sank into the sea, the only option was to move on.

In an interview with Jan Piet Brozio, climate change and the effects on the Neolithic people of northern Central Europe, and thus the results of subproject C1, are highlighted. 

You can hear this contribution on Monday 11.10.2021 at 8:30, on SWR2.

After the broadcast, you can read the manuscript and listen to the recording on the page of SWR2 Wissen

October 7, 2021

A high involvement of members of the CRC 1266 at the EAA 2021

Luftaufnahme von Kiel mit CRC1266 und EAA 2021 LogosThe CRC 1266 on the EAA 2021 (Photo: Press office Kiel University)

This year's annual conference of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) was a great success. More than 2,500 participants from 66 countries met virtually and gave presentations under the theme "Widening Horizons". EAA President Felipe Criado-Boado highly praised Kiel as the conference location, University President Prof. Simone Fulda emphasised the great importance of archaeology for the CAU's internationalisation strategy, and Schleswig-Holstein's Minister of Science, Karin Prien, stressed the significance of archaeology in the state's research priorities.

The conference, which lasted just under a week (06.09-11.09), had to be held virtually again this year. The acceptance of online formats has apparently increased considerably in the second Corona year. There were 2450 participants from 66 countries, while the last EAA in Budapest, the first virtual EAA, had only 1871 participants.

A total of 236 sessions were held. 52 CRC 1266 members presented their research results in 88 of these sessions and were also involved in the organisation of 30 sessions - 13 of them in a leading position.  The CRC 1266 was thus highly involved in this internationally-renowned conference. Eight keynote lectures were held, including one by Prof. Henny Piezonka from subproject A1. Under the title "Untying the bundle: Neolithic cultural traits seen from a global (forager) perspective", she critically examined the established concept of the Neolithic.

As the conference had to take place virtually again this year, virtual excursions were offered in video format. These introduced recent topics in the regional archaeology of northern Germany. In addition to the virtual excursion "Hidden treasures in the Wadden Sea", the excursion "Landmarks of the North: Megalithic tombs and Bronze Age grave mounds", in which Jutta Kneisel presented results from subproject D3 and Jan Piet Brozio presented topics from subproject C1, should be highlighted. Also, the archaeological climate summit was connected to the EAA and a "Kiel EAA Declaration" was released.

Hopefully, the next EAA will no longer be exclusively virtual. Budapest was again chosen as the venue. This is where Prof. Eszter Bánffys' career began. She is the first female Director of the Roman-Germanic Commission as well as the new President of the EAA. She replaces Felipe Criado-Boado after six years in his position and she is the first female president of the EAA.n.

October 6, 2021

The climate summit was a great success

Archäologische Grabung mit SACC LogoFig. 1: Archaeological excavations worldwide like in Sultana, Romania, document the state of societies and the environment over millennia (Photo: J. Müller).

On 6 September, the Summit on Social Archaeology of Climate Change (SACC) took place at Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel (CAU). Here, the worldwide research status on social archaeology and climate change was discussed.

The meeting was organised by Prof. Johannes Müller, the speaker of the CRC, together with Prof. Peter Biehl from the University of Santa Cruz and it was held in conjunction with the annual conference of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA), which this year was organised by the Johanna Mestorf Academy from 6-11 September. It. Forty-five international scientists and representatives of international organisations from the fields of archaeology, heritage conservation, and climate research took part.

Climate events and archaeology are closely connected, as Prof. Johannes Müller explains: "Significant climate events have always existed. And people have always reacted to them. This can be proven by research. Parallels can be drawn to the present day - even in the long-term view over the millennia. Findings of climate change at that time and the consequences of climate change can also be helpful today".

With the interlinking of the numerous international stakeholders, the summit aimed to gain insights from the past that are relevant to current transformation processes. "We want to highlight how archaeology, by studying past adaptive behaviour, can improve the socio-ecological resilience of societies and their ability to adapt to current climate change," says Prof. Peter Biehl.

This goal has been achieved. By reconstructing past ways of dealing with climate change, two important insights could be gained for today. On the one hand, it was recognised that social balance provides the basis for the sustainable use of resources and the development of other forms of sustainable behaviour. Societies with higher social equality are better able to cope with the consequences of climatic stress in the long term than societies where social differences are great.

Another finding is linked to the issue of migration. It is now clear that migrations are an integral part of human history, and changes in climatic conditions have repeatedly led to forced migrations. Various migrations can be traced for the last ten thousand years. These have been crucial in shaping the world we live in today. The message for today is that open borders enable cultural and technological progress. Furthermore, climate pessimism is not appropriate, as climate change always means innovation. Thus, there is hope that we will also learn to deal with the current crisis.

Press article

October 4, 2021

Going East: CRC 1266 research attracts far-reaching international attention!

Plakat mit Chinesischen Schriftzeichen und KeramikFig.: Conference poster “World of Painted Pottery” 

CRC 1266 research on population agglomeration at Tripolye-Cucuteni mega-sites (subproject D1) has attracted further international attention: Wiebke Kirleis was invited to speak at the conference 'World of Painted Pottery: Comparative study of Yangshao and Cucuteni-Tripolye Culture' at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, on September 25th, 2021. The topic of the presentation was “Tripolye Mega-sites and Subsistence Economy”.

For the past hundred years, Chinese scholars have been concerned with the similarity of the painted pottery between Cucuteni-Tripolye and Yangshao archaeological. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of modern Chinese archaeology in 2021 provided a timely opportunity to summarise the recent achievements in Yangshao research. Furthermore, it promoted an exchange of information with international colleagues working on the archaeological context of Cucuteni-Tripolye. The conference attracted lots of attention among senior Chinese archaeologists and has served as a stepping stone for intensified exchange regarding structural comparison and pattern recognition of prehistoric societies undergoing transformations.

September 30, 2021

Professor Dr Lynn E. Fisher recently joined the CRC 1266 as a Mercator fellow invited by subproject F5 (Social Dimensions of Technological Change)

Foto von Lynn FischerFig.: Professor Dr. Lynn E. Fisher

Lynn Fisher obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in the year 2000 based on a dissertation entitled Land Use and Technology from Magdalenian to Early Mesolithic. In 2001 her doctoral thesis won the first ever Tübinger/Romina Prize for Ice Age Research, awarded for dissertation research by the Institute of Prehistory, Early History and Medieval Archaeology, University of Tübingen. Currently, she is Professor in Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Since 2002, she has been conducting extensive fieldwork in Southern Germany related to various aspects of Stone Age land use and settlement in Southern Germany. This research has been graciously funded by, amongst others, the Fulbright Foundation and the National Science Foundation. Her most current research project “Linking Quarry and Settlement in Neolithic Southern Germany” is based on excavations, regional archaeological surveys, analyses of private collections, and dedicated investigations of upland Neolithic settlement, upland-lowland linkages, and stone raw material use and transport in the Upper Danube watershed. It is conducted in close collaboration with Rainer Schreg (University of Bamberg), Corina Knipper (Curt Engelhorn Centre for Archaeometry, Mannheim), and Susan Harris (Santa Barbara, CA).

Lynn Fisher will stay in Kiel for two months this autumn for intensive collaboration with Berit V. Eriksen (PI in B1 and F5). Their current joint research interests centre on “Pattern Recognition pertaining to Chronological and Regional Variation in Quarries and Mines in the Central and North European Neolithic”. This collaboration will form the basis for a joint workshop at the Kiel University in summer 2022 with invitees from across Europe and the US.

September 30, 2021

“How much does a magnetometer actually cost, and what's the scariest thing you've experienced on an excavation?”

Kindliche Grafik mit eingekreisten TextbausteinenFig.: Drawing of a student on the Bronze Age (photo: Thorben Jess)

Great questions during the archaeologists' school visit! 

Last week, Dr Natalie Pickartz (G2), Dr Jutta Kneisel (D3, F1) and Dr Jan-Piet Brozio (C1) visited schools in the KielRegion as part of the “Rent-a-Scientist” program giving exciting insights into archaeology. The scariest experience does not always have to be skeletal findings. Still, it can also be a night spent in a megalithic tomb that was new to many of the students. They were also curious why the Maidanetske settlements (Ukraine) were burned down and the settlement centre remained empty. The children were also creative, which resulted in great artworks (see picture). 

All in all, it was a great success for the scientists and the students! 

September 29, 2021

MosaicPATTERN Summer School: Applied Point Pattern Analysis in Archaeology

Workshop Teilnehmer auf mehreren BildschirmenFig.: Virtual group picture of the Summer School MosaicPATTERN (photo: Gerrit Günther)

In September, the third part of the MosaicPATTERN Summer School took place under "Applied Point Pattern Analysis in Archaeology".

In June, the Summer School started with a course on reproducibility in research and an introduction to R. The thematic block on the detection and analysis of spatial patterns followed. This is especially helpful for understanding transformation patterns. The event was organised and digitally conducted by Dr Daniel Knitter, Prof Oliver Nakoinz and Gerrit Günther (subprojects A2) and Steffen Strohm (subproject Z2) in cooperation with Dr Franziska Engelbogen (Scientific Coordinator of the CRC 1266). In addition, Michael Kempf (Masaryk University, Brno), an expert in point pattern analysis and possible sources biases in the theory and practice of data analysis, was won as a speaker and co-organiser.

During the Summer School, data on Iron Age sites were used. Various methods for detecting natural influences and socio-economic interactions on the distribution of point patterns were applied to these data as examples. The tools developed will now be compiled into a scientific article together with the international participants.

We would like to thank all participants for a great time with interesting questions, lively discussions and pleasant cooperation!

September 22, 2021

Rent-a-Scientist: Kiel archaeologists are visiting schools

Teaser-Bild Rent a Scientist
Fig. 1: Rent-A-Scientist (graphic: Wissenschafftzukunft Kiel)

This year, the "Rent-a-Scientist" program is part of the Night of Science KielRegion this week from September 20 to 24. Schools can invite a scientist from Kiel's universities to spend a day with them, giving students an exciting insight into the latest research. And, of course, archaeology is not to be missed.

Dr Jutta Kneisel (subproject D3) brings new findings and questions about the Bronze Age into schools several days. Here, the students learn everything about a Bronze Age burial mound in Bornhöved and life in general around 3,500 years ago. There is the possibility to see and touch authentic ceramics and great opportunities to slip into the role of an archaeologist yourself. 

Also, Dr Jan Piet Brozio (subproject C1) explains to the children what the 5,000-year-old stone graves in Schleswig-Holstein are all about. Who built these monuments, and what life was like in the Nordic Stone Age?

Dr Natalie Pickartz (subproject G2) explains what the magnetic field reveals about past settlements. With this method, traces of houses, villages and even building types can be identified without excavation. Geophysicists and archaeologists interpret the magnetic fields together, which also allows them to gain knowledge about the social structure of a settlement.

The students experience archaeology up close, personal and can ask the two experts their questions directly. And indeed, some of them will want to uncover the secrets of archaeology themselves - it's at least more exciting than doing homework... 

August 30, 2021

Past, Present, Future:

Archaeological Climate Summit in Kiel


In order to discuss the global state of research on social archaeology and climate change, the Summit on Social Archaeology of Climate Change (SACC) will take place at Kiel University in Germany on 6 September 2021. The meeting is linked to the Kiel Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA), which will be organized this year from 6–11 September by the Johanna Mestorf Academy in a virtual format.

“The global consequences of climate change are omnipresent and have long since ceased to be a problem of the distant future” Kiel archaeologist Johannes Mueller and initiator of the summit explains. “However, the current discussion about the socio-ecological consequences of climate change often lacks a consideration of (pre)historical climate events and how the population of the time dealt with them. Yet, with the help of archaeological research, important lessons from these (pre)historical events can be used to better understand current transformation processes and build societal resilience” he adds.

The aim of the summit is to bring together international scientists and representatives of important international organisations in the fields of archaeology and heritage management to discuss and evaluate the contribution of archaeological research to understand the link between social, cultural, ecological and climatic change. The meeting will take place in the context of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and subsequent national and international strategies and initiatives.

Peter Biehl from the University of California, Santa Cruz, who has launched the initiative together with Johannes Mueller points out “The aim is to highlight how archaeology, through the study of past adaptive behaviour, is able to enhance socio-ecological resilience of societies as well as their adaptive capacity to current climate change.” Furthermore, contributing to the understanding of the impact of climate change on archaeological and heritage sites as well as on cultural landscapes, museums, collections, and archives is also an important aspect of the meeting. The results of the summit will subsequently be summarised and published in the form of a declaration on the state of archaeological heritage and research effected by climate change.

Original press release

Ausgrabung mit Archäologen
Fig. 1: Archaeological excavations worldwide like in Sultana, Romania, document the state of societies and the environment over millennia (Photo: J. Müller).

Archäologische Bohrung auf einem See
Fig. 2: Drilling lake sediments as part of an excavation opens up archives of environmental history (Sultana, Romania, Photo: J. Müller).

Mehrere Bohrkerne nebeneinanderFig. 3: The condition of sediments informs about environmental developments and human influences (Photo: W. Dörfler).

Luftaufnahme Wattenmeer mit archäologischer UntersuchungFig. 4: The Wadden Sea like many of the world's landscapes, including their archaeological heritage, are extremely vulnerable to climate change (Photo: T. Willershäuser, JGU Mainz)

July 09, 2021

Educational film Black Gold

Bucket flotation for archaebotanical investigations of archaeological dry soil sites

Film Black Diamonds
Fig.: Filmtitelpicture: Black Diamonds

A German-English educational film documenting archaeobotanical sample preparation on excavation was produced within the CRC1266 as a by-product of research into social and agricultural transformations in the Late Bronze Age in cooperation with the Cluster of Excellence EXC 2150 ROOTS. The professional film shoot was realised by Roman Adler from Kiel. The short film introduces archaeobotanical sample preparation, gives helpful and practical advice on safely handling archaeobotanical material.

The film accompanies the sample extraction on the CRC1266 excavation in Dobbin (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) under the direction of Dr Jutta Kneisel (D3). It explains the importance of archaeobotanical investigations for archaeological research. 

The search for old plant remains, i.e. archaeobotanical analyses, allows us to decipher the diet of the time and make statements about agriculture. In this case, the cooperation between archaeologists and archaeobotanists through the subprojects D3 and F3 of the CRC1266 expands the knowledge about an archaeological site and the living conditions and makes it possible to understand how everyday life was organised at that time.

The 11-minute short film shows the individual steps that each archaeobotanical sample has to go through - step by step and excellently explained, understandable for professionals and laymen. The advantage of bucket flotation, which is presented here by Prof. Dr. Kirleis and her team, is that the samples can be mudded near the excavation site - even in waters with extremely low water levels. Another advantage: instead of a 10-litre bucket full of sediment, only a sample bag with a sip of water needs to be brought to the laboratory! At the Institute for Prehistory and Early History, samples are washed and dried in the laboratory and then sorted and determined at the binocular - a microscope. 

With this educational film, a digital format is now available that can be used to prepare practical archaeobotanical exercises and archaeological excavations at universities, and can also be used for museum education and in the Kiel research workshop for pupils and teachers in the archaeo:lab.

You can watch the video via the Kiel University You Tube channel or download it here (soon).

June 24, 2021

Professorship for Quantitative Archaeology at Kiel University

Appointment strengthens research area at the Kiel Institute for Prehistory and Early History

Oliver Nakoinz
Fig.: The Kiel archaeologist, Oliver Nakoinz, has been appointed to a professorship of quantitative archaeology at Kiel University (CAU) (Photo: Oliver Nakoinz) 

The Kiel archaeologist, Dr. Oliver Nakoinz, has been appointed to an "außerplanmäßige" professorship for quantitative archaeology at Kiel University (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel). In addition to his merits in archaeological research and teaching, his international reputation in the field of spatial-statistical archaeology was particularly decisive for the appointment.

As a scientist in the Johanna Mestorf Academy of the Kiel Institute for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Nakoinz is responsible for numerous projects. Among other things, his ground-breaking studies on spatial communication patterns in Celtic Southern Germany, which deal with the formation and networking of fortified Iron Age settlements, are to be highlighted. In addition, he heads the Integrated Research Training Group (IRTG) as well as a modelling project in the Kiel Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1266 and, together with the University of Cambridge, the CRC project E4 on the interaction between Northern Italy, Southern Germany and Northern Germany in the 1st millennium BCE. The renowned book series “Quantitative Archaeology and Archaeological Modelling”, published by Springer, was developed by Nakoinz.

“The appointment as a professor of quantitative archaeology strengthens the development of this research area”, remarks Nakoinz happily. Quantitative archaeology addresses the structures, which are more or less concealed in archaeological data. These structures are made visible with mathematical and statistical concepts and, together with archaeological theories, generate new knowledge about the past.

One area of quantitative archaeology is pathway research. In this context, terrain data is used to calculate how a route between two locations should be theoretically conceived. “If you compare these theoretical paths with empirical evidence, such as burial mounds that can indicate paths, you can validate how well different models are adapted to reality. From this, one can infer which aspects were considered in prehistory when selecting a route,” explains Nakoinz. The models can convey the meaning of the empirical results. “This enables us to more easily understand why people in prehistory acted in a certain way,” explains the archaeologist.

For decades, quantitative archaeology has been implemented at Kiel University and, in the meantime, Kiel has developed into a leading location in this field, which is reflected, among other things, in the Initiative for Statistical Analysis in Archaeology Kiel (ISAAK) and in the newly founded Center for Interdisciplinary Data Science (CIDS). The participation of quantitative archaeology was also decisive for the approval of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS and the SFB 1266, two scientific collaborative research projects funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Original press release

June 7, 2021

On course to the pioneers of the North: PhD student Stine Detjens on board the RV Maria S. Merian 

Frau mit Maske und Helm auf einem Schiff
Stine Hildebrandt on board under pandemic conditions.

In January/ February 2021, Stine Detjens, PhD student from subproject B1 Pioneers of the North, participated in the research cruise MSM98/2 HELGLA+TAMPEN on board the research vessel Maria S. Merian. On the cruise, led by Dr Jens Schneider von Deimling, two independent topics were investigated: The determination of the spatial extent and age of the Tampen landslide and the detailed mapping of a glaciotectonic complex north of Helgoland.

At this point, the reader will surely ask: What does this have to do with archaeology?

At the end of the last ice age, however, the area between the European mainland and the British Isles had dried up and offered the pioneers of the north an attractive settlement area. The sea area around Helgoland is particularly interesting in this respect, as finds of stone tools from the famous red Heligoland flint prove the presence of humans in this area.

In the context of her PhD project, Stine Detjens is working on the reconstruction of palaeolandscapes of northern Germany and the German North Sea sector in the Late Glacial. In agreement with the AG Marine Geophysics & Hydroacoustics of the CAU, she is allowed to use the hydroacoustic data recorded during the expedition for her research in the future.

Logo mit Schiff und Karte im HintergrundLogo of the expedition

May 20, 2021

Over 160 applications for CRC 1266 research campaigns!

Our call for participants in CRC 1266 research excavations met with lively interest both nationally and internationally, from the Black Sea to the North Cape, from the Andes to the Baltic Coast.

Map of Europe and South America with coloured marked countries and pinsFig.: Over 166 applications from different countries for the CRC 1266 excavations (Graphic: C. Reckweg).

Thank you very much for your applications, the interested feedback and for distributing the call in your distribution lists. The projects take place under strict hygiene concepts. Of course, the health and safety of all participants are always our first priority. We will inform candidates soon about the status of their application. 

May 5, 2021

Swedish-German Science Cooperation – Award for CRC Archaeologist

Johannes Müller

Johannes Müller from the Institute for Prehistory and Early History at Kiel University, Germany. Prof. Müller is speaker of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS and the Collaborative Research Center "Scales of Transformation". (Photo: Sara Jagiolla UFG Kiel)

The Swedish Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) has awarded Johannes Müller, Speaker of the CRC 1266, the 30th Humboldt Fellowship for outstanding German researchers. The award is granted annually on the recommendation of Swedish universities to researchers who have fostered the research cooperation between Scandinavia and Central Europe and presented excellent scientific results on Swedish and German research topics. The RJ is an independent Swedish foundation to promote the humanities and the social sciences.

Müller was nominated for the award by the University of Gothenburg, with whose Institute of Historical Sciences the Kiel researcher maintains scientific contacts on the archaeology of the Scandinavian and European region. Archaeological research in Gothenburg is characterized by projects on past societies that use novel methods to investigate the human-environment interaction of past societies. It thus has a similar focus to the successful Kiel archaeological collaborative projects.

"Archaeology in its holistic and long-term historical perspective, especially as humanities and natural science, offers the opportunity to better understanding the challenges of the modern world," Müller explains the scientific context. "Especially in collaboration with Gothenburg, we have shown that modern historical and archaeological research must answer questions about the sustainability of societies, conflict resolution and social inequality in an interdisciplinary way. We know that awareness of the past always has a political dimension. Instead of focussing on foreignness, violence, and disintegration, it is precisely the new results of archaeological research that make us aware that diversity, integration, and the desire for peace have always been crucial to human beings and human societies."

Since the beginning of April, Johannes Müller has now been at Gothenburg University to intensify the joint research work within the framework of the existing Swedish-German cooperation and to participate in several working groups. The research fellowship covers all costs of his six-month stay.

Original press release

May 3, 2021

A lecture series by Ben Krause-Kyora 

Die Ringvorlesung von Ben Krause-Kyora

A CRC 1266 contribution to the Kiel University lecture series “The Coronavirus pandemic and its consequences” by Ben Krause-Kyora (F4) on the topic "Epidemics as a motor of evolution since the Stone Age"  is now available on the Kiel University YouTube Channel

This exciting lecture explains the interaction in the genomic evolution of pathogens and humanity, but also the history of some pathogens. 

You can find more exciting lectures from this series here

April 7, 2021

Join us on our fieldwork in 2021!

Free Places on fieldworks of CRC1266 2021

This year the CRC 1266 is opening up access to spaces on our exciting fieldwork campaigns taking place across the world to external participants. In addition to involving students from our global partner institutions more directly in our active research, we also hope to contribute to the academic landscape by helping to provide further excavation or survey experience to students who may not have many options at their own institutions.

If you are interesting in joining us, please see the flyer for more details!

March 30, 2021

Think big! First digital retreat of the CRC 1266

Screenshot SFB 1266 Retreat

The first digital retreat of the CRC 1266 in 2021 took place on March 8th and 9th with about 70 participants. Under the retreat's guiding principle "Transformations as a basic element of human history: contributions by the CRC 1266," interdisciplinary and cross-subproject working groups were formed on diverse publication topics.

With the assignment to "Think big!", participants formulated a variety of excellent and inspiring publication ideas that illuminate the broad relevance of CRC 1266 research: From population dynamics to environmental and climate impacts to societal decisions.

The creative hustle and bustle was enabled by the conference venue hosted by Gather.Town, which allowed us all to feel like we were together in the same place. With individually-designed avatars, participants were able to explore the various spaces - from the lecture hall and group rooms to the forum and virtual lounge. During the breaks, participants could relax and have fun with a round of yoga or Tetris, and in the evening they were invited to the digital bar in the virtual lounge to finish off the day together.

The retreat thus forms the foundation for a CRC 1266 publication in which the question "How did people of the past experience and (not?) cope with the events and processes that changed the social and natural world around them?" will be examined from all sides of interdisciplinary CRC 1266 research.

February 09, 2021

First CRC 1266 PhD workshop was a great success

Screenshot SFB 1266 PhD-Workshop

The first digital PhD introductory workshop on February 03, 2021 was a great success! The focus of the meeting was to give the new PhD students the opportunity to present their PhD projects and to exchange intensively with the SFB 1266 members for the first time. Here, a wide range of exciting and central topics of the Collaborative Research Center were addressed by the PhD students: from questions on urbanity and dietary change, pathogens and their effects on bones, to Euclid's optics. We would like to thank all participants for this great workshop, the interested questions, lively discussions and the perseverance during this long day!

February 04, 2021

12th International Meeting for Phytolith Research (IMPR) at the EAA

12. International Meeting for Phytolith Research (IMPR) auf der EAA

The 12th International Meeting for Phytolith Research (IMPR) of the International Phytolith Society, integrated into the 27th annual meeting of the European Association for Archaeologists (EAA), will take place in Kiel from 8-12 September 2021.  
The CRC 1266 members Marta Dal Corso (D1), Wiebke Kirleis (D1, F2F3F5) and Stefan Dreibrodt (F2, D1) are responsible for the local organisation. Within the framework of the IMPR, seven sessions will be held with a focus on phytolith-analysis:

Session #246 - IMPR – Phytoliths in integrated archaeobotanical and ethnoarchaeological studies

Session #251 - IMPR – Phytolith identification, classification and morphometry

Session #256 - IMPR – Phytoliths biogeochemistry - From phytoliths formation and role in modern plants to new proxies for archaeology and palaeoecology

Session #319 - IMPR – Phytoliths in geoarchaeology and micromorphology

Session #340 - IMPR - Phytoliths as a Proxy for Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction

Session #342 - IMPR - Microscopy Session: Phytoliths in Soil Thin Sections

Session #326 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Phytoliths (But Were Afraid...): Their Contribution to the Modeling of Past Human Behavior

Phytoliths are microscopic silica structures that occur in different plant tissues and remain even after the organic material has decayed. This makes them particularly interesting for archaeological and palaeoenvironmental research all over the world and serves to answer environmental archaeological questions. As a discipline that overarches the border between the natural sciences and the humanities, phytolith-analysis connects international scientists and a wide range of fields of research. The IMPR will bring together experts in archaeobotany, ethnobotany, geoarchaeology, biogeochemistry, biology, ecology and palaeoontology to discuss methodological advances and applications in the phytolith research.

Abstracts must be submitted by 11 February via the EAA website. Updates on the IMPR can be found here.

Contact: Dr. Marta Dal Corso

January 28, 2021

EAA 2021 - 27th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists Widening Horizons, Kiel

Logo EAA 2021, Kiel

Sessions with CRC 1266 involvement:

Francesca Mazzilli, Tomáš Glomb, Francesca Fulminante, Franziska Engelbogen (Z1)

Jutta Kneisel (D3), Charlotte Damm, Berit Valentin Eriksen (B1)

Tim Kerig (F6), Jutta Lechterbeck, Fynn Wilkes

Ana Catarina Basílio, Paula Becerra Fuello, Jan-Eric Schlicht (A1)

Marta Dal Corso (D1), Welmoed Out

Stefan Dreibrodt (D1, F2)Marta Dal Corso (D1), Alexandre Chevalier

Sébastien Plutniak, Oliver Nakoinz (E4), Tim Kerig (F6), Aleksandr Diachenko

Philippe De Smedt, Erica Corradini (G2), Petra Schneidhofer, Jeroen Verhegge

Anna Loy, Victoria Alliata (E4), Paweł Cembrzyński, Camilla Zeviani

Ingo Feeser (F2), Stefan Dreibrodt (D1, F2), Jakub Niebieszczański, Vincent Robin, Julian Wiethold

Ákos Peto, Wiebke Kirleis (D1, F2, F3, F5)

Lucy Kubiak-Martens, Wiebke Kirleis (D1, F2, F3, F5)

Helene Agerskov Rose (G1), Lisbeth Christensen, Niels Møller, Guy De Mulder, Arjan Louwen

Martin Hinz, Jan Kolář, Caroline Heitz, Julian Laabs (F6)

Katharina Fuchs (F4), Nils Müller-Scheessel, Christoph Rinne (D2), Isabelle Séguy

Stefanie Schaefer-Di Maida (D3), Hendrik Raese, Dragana Filipovic (F3), Anne Lene Melheim

Gianpiero Di Maida, Christian Horn, Stefanie Schaefer-Di Maida (D3)

Session #479 From Climate Change to Activism: How Can European Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology Contribute towards Broader Contemporary Debates? [PaM]
Benjamin Elliott, Astrid Nyland, Graeme Warren, Henny Piezonka (A1)

Session #486 Hunter-Fisher Social Ecology in Forested Environments: Approaching Boreal Naturecultures
Tanja Schreiber, Henny Piezonka (A1), Kerkko Nordqvist, Natalya Chairkina, Barry Taylor

John Meadows (G1)Helene Agerskov Rose (G1), Rowan McLaughlin

Jan Piet Brozio (C1), Niels Johannsen

Laura Burkhardt, Mirco Brunner, Julian Laabs (F6), Ken Massy

Felipe Criado-Boado, Johannes Müller (C1, D1, F5, F6)

Sonja Grimm (B1), Shumon Hussain

Janusz Czebreszuk, Johannes Müller (C1, D1, F5, F6), Marzena Szmyt

Jan 28, 2021

“Who knows that?” or better “Who invented it?!”
Lothar Matthäus bei „Wer weiß denn sowas?“

This is what Lothar Matthäus failed at, and we invented it!

In episode 626 of the well-known ARD quiz show "Wer weiß denn sowas?", broadcast on January 6 2021, the former world football player Lothar Matthäus, together with his quiz partner Bernhard Hoëcker and despite the support of the telephone joker Dominik Hoffmann, failed on the following question:

Due to the brain's tendency, known in psychology, to direct its own attention to the left rather than to the right, ...?

A - the first violins have been sitting to the left of the conductor since the 19th century.

B - in the Stone Age, new settlements were built slightly rotated to the left.

C - the right side of paintings was darker in the Romantic period.

The three agreed on A as the right answer. But the correct answer is, of course, B!       
The question picks up recently published results of CRC 1266-subproject C2 . It was shown, that newly built houses in Neolithic settlements of the Linearbandkeramik are slightly rotated to the left in the longitudinal direction compared to the previous house generation. We relate this to the effect known as pseudoneglect, which favours the left visual field over the right. We are excited about how quickly our scientific results have been transferred into everyday knowledge in this case.

By the way, Lothar Matthäus and his teammates could have justifiably objected. While the resolution shown in the video correctly reflects the explanation, the question is not precisely posed: It is not the settlements that are built slightly rotated, it is the houses. Furthermore, the question should have referenced the "Neolithic" instead of only "Stone Age". However, the team, perplexed by the answer, obviously did not notice this.

The whole sequence of questions can be found here (unfortunately without the explanatory video).

Original publication:    
Müller-Scheeßel, N., Müller, J., Cheben, I., Mainusch, W., Rassmann, K., Rabbel, W., Corradini, E. and Furholt, M. (2020). A new approach to the temporal significance of house orientations in European Early Neolithic settlements. PLOS ONE 15: e0226082. · 

The publication is available online for free

Jan 25.01.2021

CRC 1266 PhDs get started…

PhDs getting started

First Introductory Workshop for CRC 1266 PhD candidates

On February 3rd 2021 the first digital CRC PhD workshop will take place. We look forward to learning more about the doctoral projects of the 18 PhD students from short presentations and hope for a lively exchange and fruitful discussions. 


 Jan 04, 2021

Obituary – Stanislav Ţerna ( 29.12.2020)

Stanislav Terna

We mourn the death of our friend and archaeologist Stanislav Ţerna, who died on 29.12.2020 as a result of a tragic traffic accident. We lose a colleague, friend and scientist who had only lived in Kiel for a short time. He was employed here as a scientist in the Collaborative Research Centre 1266 at the Institute for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, conducting research on aspects of the Southeastern and Eastern European Neolithic and Chalcolithic, in particular the Tripolye site of Stolniceni in Moldova. We had known Stanislav Ţerna since the Maidanetske excavation campaign in Ukraine in 2014, and since then we repeatedly worked with him on various archaeological surveys and excavations. We came to know and appreciate him as a warm-hearted, cheerful and polyglot person and a passionate and imaginative scientist.
Stanislav Ţerna began his academic career at the High Anthropological School University in Chişinău, where he graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Anthropology in 2007 and defended his thesis on anthropomorphic representations of the Cucuteni Tripolye culture, supervised by Prof. Igor Manzura. In 2008, he obtained a Master's degree in Anthropology at the same university, specialising in the history and culture of European civilisations. His thesis dealt with anthropomorphic sculptures from the Romanian settlements of Hăbăşeşti and Trusheşti. As his numerous articles and several book publications show, the subject of anthropomorphic representations of the Cucuteni-Tripolye complex was one of Stanislav Ţerna’s main fields of research.
Stanislav Ţerna was born in Moldova and carried the warmth and cheerfulness of this region. Everyone who met him was fascinated by his liveliness, energy, sociability, knowledge and enthusiasm for archaeology. His origins and his communicative and linguistic talent made him a border crosser and mediator between Eastern and Western scientific worlds. This international cross-border orientation is reflected, among other things, in internships and research fellowships at the Eurasia Department of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin, the Brandenburg State Office for the Preservation of Monuments, the Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern in Switzerland and the Graduate School "Human Development in Landscapes" at Kiel University. Moreover, he was also editor and co-editor of important scientific journals such as “Revista Arheologică” and “Stratum Plus”. 
Stanislav Ţerna has made important contributions to the study of the Neolithic and the Cucuteni-Tripolye complex of the Carpathian-Dnepr region: In cooperation with partners of the Romano-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeological Institute, the University of Regensburg and Kiel University, he organised diverse field research and thereby contributed to the clarification of Linear Pottery and Cucuteni-Tripolye settlement patterns, among other things. The focus of his research in recent years has been the large Tripolye settlement of Stolniceni in Moldova, where extensive and modern prospections and excavations have been carried out under his direction. It is decisively due to his archaeological skills and positive character that this research was not only very successful but that he was also able to win the hearts and the high regard of his colleagues and the local workers.
Unfortunately, beside his immense record Stanislav Ţerna was not able to complete so many important projects he had started. We mourn his early death and would like to express our condolences to his wife Andrea, his family and his friends. We miss you, Stas!
For the Kiel colleagues
Johannes Müller, Wiebke Kirleis, Robert Hofmann, Mila Shatilo, Marta Dal Corso

Dec 09, 2020

CRC 1266 member as expert on Planet Wissen (WDR, SWR, ARD-alpha)

Planet Wissen Gespräch

The Bronze Age in Central Europe (about 2200 - 800 B.C.) is the main topic of the episode “Bronzezeit – Die vergessene Epoche” of the scientific television show Planet Wissen. It demonstrates that the Bronze Age should not be forgotten under any circumstances and that the 1400 year period between the Stone Age and the Iron Age brought forth exciting technical innovations and social structures. Dr. Jutta Kneisel, researcher in  the CRC 1266 (D3) was invited to the studio as an expert. Together with Prof. Dr. Philipp W. Stockhammer (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich), she informs the audience, for instance, about people's everyday life, the way they dealt with conflicts, and the special role of women in the Bronze Age.

Available online in the ARD-Mediathek, the BR-Mediathek and via the Planet Wissen Homepage.

Nov 30, 2020

CRC 1266 archaeobotanist at the digital 8th McDonnell Academy International Symposium


On Saturday, 7th November 2020, the 8th McDonnell Academy International Symposium of Washington University in St. Louis took place, with the title "The Origin of Eurasian Foodways and Cuisines: Environmental challenges and culinary solutions to good globalization in prehistory". 

The digital workshop brought together international scientists to discuss the spread of different crops between 5,000 and 1,500 BC and its impact on prehistoric societies and the environment. The outcome of the workshop will help improve understanding of the prehistoric roots of Eurasian foodways and cuisines, and may also contribute to a deeper awareness of current and future challenges to food security. The CRC 1266 was also represented at the workshop by Dragana Filipovic (F3). Based on various examples, she considered the influence of the spread of millet (Panicum miliaceum) in Europe from the mid-2ndmillennium BC. This spread had effects that are reflected in the palaeoecological and archaeological record in different regions of Europe.

Nov 20, 2020

3rd North German Stone Age Round Table... virtual

Studying lithic artefacts together

On November 27th from 10am-3pm, the 3rd North German Stone Age Round Table organised by members of Knowledge ROOTS and the B1 and C1 projects of the CRC 1266 will take place in a BBB room hosted by Kiel University. 

The North German Stone Age Round Table brings together about 20-30 experts every year on the Friday before the 1st Advent. Young and experienced scholars from higher education, research, museum, and government departments who are interested in Stone Age topics or work on current research projects, theories, museum projects, and theses related to the Stone Age of Northern Germany (Lower Saxony, Bremen, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Berlin) meet here. In particular, this informal meeting is intended to provide an opportunity for discussion, exchange, and networking, which is why the lectures are explicitly kept short in order to provide sufficient time for questions and thoughts.

After Rostock (2018) and Wilhelmshaven (2019), the Stone Age Round Table was supposed to take place at Kiel University in 2020. However, due to the current provisions for containing the pandemic, the meeting had to be converted to an online format. At present, 10 lectures (see programme) covering topics from the Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age and 22 participants from seven institutions are registered. Interested colleagues are welcome to attend and may contact Sonja B. Grimm ( or Moiken Hinrichs ( for further details.

Oct 29, 2020

Welcome to the CRC 1266! First General Assembly of Phase 2

Mitgliederversammlung des SFB1266 in LS1

On Friday 23rd October the CRC 1266 gathered together both in person and online for the 2020 General Assembly. This hybrid event was a chance for new members to learn more about the CRC 1266 and their future research perspectives, as well as to be introduced to everyone else for the first time. We were also pleased to welcome the new president of Kiel University, Prof. Dr. med. Simone Fulda, as a special guest.

CAU-Präsidentin Simone Fulda

In addition, past successes were highlighted and the way forward for phase 2 was outlined.

After the meeting those present in person also enjoyed a socially-distanced and masked open-air reception to celebrate the continuation of the CRC 1266 and the start of phase 2.

Open-air reception

For more pictures, please click here.

Oct 09, 2020

Rent-a-(CRC 1266)Scientist, Night of Science, 27.11.2020

Rent-a-ScientistWe are pleased to announce that the CRC 1266 will be represented at the event “Rent a Scientist: Wissenschaft macht Schule” as part of the Night of Science (in German, 27.11.2020, held by KielRegion and Kiel Sailing City). Schools can book scientists for a class until 23.10.2020.

The CRC 1266 will be represented by:

We wish all participants an enjoyable Night of Science.

Aug 21, 2020

CRC 1266 at the 26th EAA Virtual Annual Meeting, 24-30 August 2020

Europäischer Archäologie-Kongress 2020

Under the motto #Networking, the first virtual EAA Annual Meeting will take place next week, from 24-30 August. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, archaeologists from Europe and all over the world will meet in virtual space in order not to let the scientific exchange and their networks come to a stop in difficult times.

Despite a reduced scientific program due to the cancellation of some sessions, CRC 1266 will be represented by a large number of its members at the 26th EAA, who will present their research and research results made within CRC 1266. For those who do not yet know which lectures or sessions they would like to attend during this year's EAA, the “CRC 1266 at the EAA 2020 schedule” provides information on when and where lectures by CRC 1266 members and sessions co-organised by CRC 1266 members will take place. 

We are especially pleased about the keynote lecture by Maria Wunderlich, PI of the subprojects A1 and C2, on Sunday, August 30, 2020, entitled "An orchestra of meanings - Is it possible to understand the multilayered character of past human social organization?".

We wish all speakers, participants and organisers a successful EAA 2020! 

For further information on the conference or to register to participate in the EAA 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting, please visit the event website.

July 28, 2020

German Archaeology Congress (DAK) 21.-24.09.2020 goes digital!

Deutscher Digitaler Archäologie-Kongress 2020

As the first digital archaeology congress in Germany, this year's  German Archaeology Congress (DAK) will take place from 21.-24.09.2020. Under the motto "Horizons", the Archaeological State Office of Schleswig-Holstein in Schleswig, the Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University, the Museum of Archaeology Gottorf Castle in Schleswig and the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology invite archaeologists from Germany, Europe and all around the world to expand and create new horizons.

Within the framework of the DAK2020, the session »Der SFB 1266 TransformationsDimensionen: Mensch-Umwelt-Wechselwirkungen in prähistorischen und archaischen Gesellschaften« will take place Monday, 21stSeptember, where members of the CRC 1266 will present their research. The session is open to all interested and offers an insight into the activities and research results of the CRC 1266.

Registation is possible here.

July 22, 2020

New positions for the 2nd phase of the CRC 1266

job vacancies

For the second CRC phase a number of positions are available. Within the CRC 1266 the following positions are to be filled at the earliest possible date: 19 research positions (m/f/d) with the opportunity to prepare a PhD; 4 Postdoc (research associate) positions (m/f/d); 4 technical-administrative service positions (m/f/d) (scientific coordination, project management, IT systems technology); 1 press and public outreach position (m/f/d).

June 05, 2020

The CRC 1266 is prolonged for the 2nd Phase

Logo CRC1266

On May, 29th 2020 the German Research Foundation (DFG) announced the prolongation of the CRC 1266 "Scales of Transformation - Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies" for another four years, running from 2020-2024. 

The funding of the 2nd CRC 1266 phase is a great acknowledgement of the joint efforts of all CRC 1266 members, the cooperative spirit that carried us all the way through, and the sound scientific results gained so far. In the last four years, it was in particular the intensive cooperation with our national and foreign cooperation partners that gave the CRC wings. This can now be continued!

In particular our PhDs and Postdocs, who are one of the backbones of the CRC 1266, deserve utmost thanks for their enormous engagement. A combination of learning and research was important for them: In the end of the day they made their way in an interdisciplinary scientific environment, which at the beginning of their jobs was quite new for a majority of them. The mutual learning of the Principal Investigators from each other and with each other was also a key to success: In contrast to the atomisation that can sometimes be observed even in the scientific field, it was and is teamwork that led us to success.

We are very much looking forward to continuing our cooperation, are confident to consolidate our 1st phase results, and burn for reaching out to new scientific horizons. The 2nd phase of the CRC 1266 will focus on pattern recognition of prehistoric and archaic transformations and possible results are increasingly important with regard to the current global crisis.

April 09, 2020

CRC 1266 goes digital: Biweekly Colloquia and Lunchtime Seminars in virtual space

CRC1266 digital

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic many formats of the university and our daily life are moving towards the virtual space and same is the CRC 1266 doing.

The CRS 1266’s (co-)organized biweekly lecture series Lunchtime Seminars and the Biweekly Colloquia are now offered as a web conference format in Zoom open for all interested people.

For more information on the Biweekly Colloquia see here.
For more information on the Lunchtime Seminars see here.

April 09, 2020

German Congress of Archaeology 21-25.09.2020 in Kiel

DAK2020 in Kiel

This year's German Archaeology Congress (DAK) will take place from 21-25.09.2020 at the University of Kiel. Under the motto "Horizons", the Archaeological State Office of Schleswig-Holstein in Schleswig, the Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology of the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, the Museum of Archaeology Gottorf Castle in Schleswig and the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology invite archaeologists from Germany, Europe and all around the world to expand and create new horizonts.

Within the framework of the DAK2020, the session "SFB TransformationsDimensions in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies" will take place in the afternoon of Tuesday, September 22nd, where members of the SFB 1266 will present their research. The session is open to all who are interested and offers an insight into the activities and research results of the SFB 1266.

Registation is possible here.

Information about the DAK2020 - due to the unclear situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic - can be found on the DAK2020 website.

April 09, 2020

EAA 2021 is coming to Kiel!

Kiel from above

The 27th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) will take place in Kiel from 8-11 September 2021. On 26 March 2020 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 Johanna Mestorf Academy (JMA) and CRC 1266.

March 08, 2020


International Workshop "Upheaval before the upheaval?" / "Umbruch vor dem Umbruch?"

International Workshop

In archaeology, upheavals represent phases of profound transformation that have preoccupied researchers for over a century in almost all (pre-)historical periods.

The CRC 1266 participates in the international workshop "Upheaval before the upheaval?" / "Umbruch vor dem Umbruch?" together with the Universities of Basel, Erlangen, Cologne and Bergen, as well as with the State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments in the Regional Council of Stuttgart.  The aim of the workshop is to investigate transformations in the late 4th and early 3rd millennium BCE within local groups and their global networks in the regions between the North Sea and the Alpine Space.

The workshop will take place at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg. The more than 15 contributions will present new research results from different regions during chronological phases which are preceding the transition to the so-called Beaker phenomenon. A (preliminary) program in German is available here.

On the part of the CRC 1266, the subprojects C1 and D2 are chronologically and geographically connected to the topic of the workshop.

Due to the situation of the COVID-19 Pandemic the workshop needed to be postponed to a now unkown date!

Organization: Clara Drummer, Philipp Gleich, Renate Ebersbach, Daniela Hofmann, Doris Mischka, Silviane Scharl


February 24, 2020

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship for CRC 1266 researcher

Sampling at the excavation site

Jos Kleijne, who conducted his PhD research in Kiel as part of the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” (GSHDL) and additionally worked as a postdoc for the subproject C1 of the CRC 1266 on Neolithic transformations during the later 3rd millennium BC over the past year-and-a-half just received the wonderful news that his application for the Marie Skłodkowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (MSCA-IF) was granted!

He will be working for two years at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands with Hans Huisman and Daan Raemaekers on his project “MicroTRASH: Microscopic transformations in arable land and shell midden habitation in coastal northern Europe during the later 4th and 3rd millennium BC.” Within this project he will study the microscopic and chemical traces of past subsistence activities within a period characterised by large cultural and socio-economic transformations. His project will run for two years, probably from January 2021 onwards. We are sad to see him leave our institute but we are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration in the future.

Photo: Sampling at the excavation site "Riņņukalns" in Latvia. The excavation was organisd by the University of Riga and the ZBSA in Schleswig. (Copyright Liga Palma, 2018)

February 24, 2020

CRC 1266 member at ARTE and Terra X

Dr. Julia Katharina Koch on the show

In March 2020, the programme of the French-German television channel ARTE will focus on women. This includes the search for the female part in human history between neolithisation and urbanisation. This is explored in the documentary film „Geschlechterkonflikt – Frauenbilder der Geschichte“ (Gender Conflict - Images of Women in History), produced by Gebrüder Beetz Filmproduktion GmbH & Co. KG on behalf of ZDF/ARTE, first broadcast on 7 March 2020. For the main interview on the current state of Gender Archaeology, our senior researcher Julia K. Koch was asked to conduct the interview in spring 2019; the interview took place in July at the Archaeological Museum Hamburg.

Broadcast dates:

Geschlechterkonflikt – Frauenbilder der Geschichte
52 min. TV documentary on ARTE
07 March 2020 at 21:05

TERRA X: Mächtige Männer – Ohnmächtige Frauen? Neue Fakten aus der Vergangenheit
43 min. TV documentary on ZDF
21 June 2020 at 19:30

January 6, 2020

Workshop "Millet - and what else?" in Kiel

Millet Workshop

The international workshop “Millet and what else? The wider context of the adoption of millet cultivation in Europe” took place in Kiel from the 27-28th November. The workshop marked the closing of the ‘Millet Dating Programme’ and celebrated the large collaborative work of the European archaeobotanical community, while also providing a roadmap for future research and collaborations. Over 20 invited workshop participants – archaeobotanists, archaeological scientists, zooarchaeologists, ethnographers – talked about the dietary, economic and cultural context of the period in which the new crop, broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), was introduced in Europe from regions to the east. They presented new results of the application of the state-of-the-art methods (such as stable isotope and biomolecular analysis) that trace millet consumption and millet meals in archaeological deposits, and discussed the agronomic and technological aspects of millet cultivation.

Photo: Session during the workshop. (Photo: D. Filipovic)

January 6, 2020

Discourses on narratives and hard data: CRC 1266-Retreat

Retreat Rendsburg

A two-day retreat of the CRC 1266 in Rendsburg on 28-29 October 2019 took place in a productive atmosphere. The CRC 1266 community came together to summarize the results of the past months and to intensively discuss cross-connections between the subprojects in terms of content. The focus was on setting up new cross-sectional groups, discussing the new contexts and formulating scientific narratives. In the overall summaries, more concrete questions arose regarding the decisions of the transformation anatomy: new studies on settlement behaviour, new aspects of resilience to climatic and social changes and detailed studies on the aspect of "integrative architecture" were elaborated.


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