CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation


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 need 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. 

December 16, 2019

Speaker of the CRC honoured with Shanghai Archaeology Award 2019

The awardees of the SAF Research Awards 2019

For the fourth time, the Shanghai Archaeology Forum (SAF) awarded prizes to international researchers in various categories for outstanding achievements in archaeology. One of the 10 prizes in the category of “Excellent Research” for the year 2019 was awarded to Johannes Müller, since 2016 speaker of the CRC 1266, for his research on "Boom and bust, hierarchy and balance: From landscape to social meaning – Megaliths and societies in Northern Central Europe“ (Priority Programme DFG-SPP 1400 "Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation").

Müller, J. 2019. Boom and bust, hierarchy and balance: From landscape to social meaning – Megaliths and societies in Northern Central Europe, in: Müller, J., Hinz, M., Wunderlich, M. (eds.). Megaliths – Societies – Landscapes. Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation in Neolithic Europe, Proceedings of the International Conference "Megaliths – Societies – Landscapes". Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation in Neolithic Europe, 16-20 June 2015 Kiel, Vol. 2, Frühe Monumentalität und Soziale Differenzierung 18. Bonn: Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH PDF

You can find a detailed press release here.

You can see the presentation of Johannes Müller at the SAF here.

Photo: The awardees of the SAF Research Awards 2019 (Johannes Müller 2nd from right). (photo: Jing Zhi-Chun, SAF)

October 21, 2019

Workshop “Millet and what else? The wider context of the adoption of millet cultivation in Europe”

Workshop “Millet and what else? The wider context of the adoption of millet cultivation in Europe”

On 27-28 November 2019, at the Science Centre Kiel, an international workshop will take place, organised by CRC 1266 subprojects F3, D1 and G1: “Millet and what else? The wider context of the adoption of millet cultivation in Europe”. The CRC 1266’s ‘Millet Dating Programme’ (2017-2019) demonstrated that cultivation of millet started in Europe in the Middle-Late Bronze Age. Now, over 20 invited workshop participants – archaeobotanists, archaeological scientists, ethnographers – will talk 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 will also present new results of the application of state-of-the-art methods (such as biomolecular analysis) that trace millet consumption and millet meals in archaeological deposits, and will discuss the agronomic and technological aspects of millet cultivation.

Innovations and changes in food production can have important ramifications for economy in general, as well as technological development and social relations. The workshop will emphasize the potentially transformative socio-economic power of broomcorn millet in the past.

Further information here

October 9, 2019

The CRC 1266 at the German Congress for Geography at Kiel

The CRC 1266 at the German Congress for Geography at Kiel

This year's German Congress for Geography (DKG) took place from 25 to 30 September in Kiel. 2000 participants took part in 250 sessions under the general congress motto "Changes and new beginnings – Geography of the future“. Members of the CRC 1266 were also present, for example the project A2 was represented with different focal points.. The main focus was on the possibilities of linking archaeological and geographical concepts and paradigms. The is the prerequisite to integrate archaeological and geographical data and the basis of an interdisciplinary oriented transformation research.
A session entitled "The concept of landscape in geography: from the core of the subject to the elementary object of historically oriented research" was organized by members of subproject A2 in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Schenk of the University of Bonn. In the session, the different approaches and difficulties of the humanities and natural sciences in the analysis of change and the dynamics of landscapes were discussed. Ricarda Braun, research associate in the A2 project, presented various modeling tools developed in the CRC 1266. These can be used to analyse the perception of past societies and their connection to the landscape. Overall, the session was a success, as the necessity of a multi-facetted approach to the subject of landscape was recognized. This forms the basis for transformation research in the context of the longue durée.
Wolfgang Hamer, also from subproject A2, presented a paper on "Spatial and temporal prediction using machine learning methods".
In addition, a poster was presented that critically reflects on the different ways how the dynamics of human-environment relations are investigated. On the basis of the current discourse on the "Anthropocene" it was shown that an integrative and critically-reflected approach to the relationship between humans and nature is necessary in order to take into account the complexity of the object. Interdisciplinary research on transformations is significantly improved if the structural link between humans and nature is taken into account and accordingly stronger included into the research practice.

An information stand also provided information about the research and activities of the CRC 1266. Since this research has broad links with historical, physical and climatic geography in particular, the stand attracted a lot of interest and offered an opportunity for exchange on current research and research questions.

Publication of the poster: 
Knitter, D., Augustin, K., Biniyaz, E., Hamer, W., Kuhwald, M., Schwanebeck, M., Duttmann, R. 2019. Geography and the Anthropocene: Critical approaches needed. Progress in Physical Geography: Earth and Environment 43 (3), 451-461. DOI

Photo: The information stand of the CRC 1266 at the German Congress of Geography. (Photo: W. Dörfler)

October 9, 2019

The CRC 1266 at the Night of Science 2019

The CRC 1266 at the Night of Science 2019

“Archaeology beyond Indiana Jones and Lara Croft” was the headline of the actions in which colleagues from the CRC 1266 (projects D3, F1, F2 and Z1) took part as well in the “Night of Science” 2019 to present the methods and results of the CRC 1266 to a interested public. This year’s event took place in the Kiel region with Preetz as the main place for the archaeological sciences. At two well-attended workshops, visitors were able to make their own pottery of Neolithic ceramic vessels or to practice drawing prehistoric potsherds at the neighbouring table. The interactive offers for pollen analysis, crop plant identification and a 3D ceramic puzzle were also very popular. Talks and a poster exhibition can be combined under the main topic "Formation of the environment - formation of social interaction": The topics ranged from environmental influences and prehistoric gender roles to the history of crop plants in archaeological periods. The positive feedback of the visitors motivates to participate again in the “Night of Science” in 2020.

Photo: At the Night of Science 2019, the offer to carry out a pollen analysis was met with great interest. (Photo: J.K. Koch)

September 19, 2019

The CRC 1266 at this year's EAA in Bern

EAA Bern

The CRC was present again at this year's EAA from 04th to 07th September in Bern. Numerous researchers of the CRC 1266 presented current research results in a total of seventeen sessions.

In particular, different sessions hosted by CRC members led to fundamental discourses on the reconstruction of social units from archaeological features of different periods and their role in transformation processes. In the entrance area of the University of Bern, the joint stand of the CRC 1266 and the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS presented the thematic concepts, publications and public outreach activities of the two closely cooperating, but differing Kiel research alliances. Like last year in Barcelona, it was again a meeting point for many interesting discussions between the participants. The EAA 2021, which will be held in Kiel from 08th to 11th September 2021, was promoted as well.

Photo: The CRC 1266 stand at the EAA in Bern 2019. (Photo: A. Hoffmann)

July 1, 2019

CRC 1266 Archaeobotanists present their exciting results at the 18th international conference of the IWGP 2019 in Lecce

IWGP 2019

From 3rd-8th of June, the 18th Conference of the International Workgroup on Palaeoethnobotany (IWGP) took place in Lecce, Italy. The conference, which takes place every three years, brings together archaeobotanists and specialists from related disciplines to discuss the latest research as well as both fundamental and new issues while strengthening international networks. The CRC 1266 was represented by a strong group of archaeobotanists from the subprojects F3 and D1. Together with PI Wiebke Kirleis, Sofia Filatova and Dragana Filipovic (both F3), and in cooperation with colleagues from Hungary and across Europe, reports on innovations in the crop spectrum of cultivated plants in the Bronze Age were given.  These innovations are related to changing supra-regional networks and can thus be an expression of transformation processes. Marta Dal Corso and Wiebke Kirleis (D1), together with colleagues from Ukraine and Lithuania, were able to present their research on the significance of Ukraine in the history of the spread of millet from China to Central Europe, to an international audience of experts. In addition to the numerous lectures and posters, the participants had the opportunity to intensively examine recent developments in archaeobotanical research in workshops on developing methods, e.g. morphometry and material studies. Wiebke Kirleis (co-speaker CRC 1266/PI F3/F5/D1) organized the workshop "National and International Archaeobotanical Networks" together with Anna Maria Mercuri, Milan, and other colleagues. Here she presented the newly established archaeobotanical literature database ArchbotLit. She was also able to expand synergies with the ERC-funded Plant Cult Project, which addresses the transformation of culinary practices. This is a topic that TP F3 in CRC 1266 would like to further expand on, as nutrition and food preparation have a significant influence not only on plant economics, but also on social change. 

June 25, 2019

2nd Geosophy Workshop at Kiel

Geosophy Workshop 2019

The Geosophy Workshop, organised by the CRC 1266, enters its second round. From June 26 to 27, the Geosophy 2.0 workshop will bring together archaeologists, philosophers, geographers and many more to gain deeper insights into eco-social relationships by gathering ideas on how to reconstruct the geography of past times. The insights gained in this way will provide important information on whether or how such geographies change. Identifying these changes is an important element in understanding and explaining transformations in societies and their relationships to the environment.


June 24, 2019

ArchbotLit – The New Search Engine for Literature on Archaeological Remains of Cultivated Plants


Accompanying the activities of the SFB 1266 subproject F3 on plant economics, an important tool has recently been established at the Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology of Kiel University: With the literature database ArchbotLiton the wiki portal of CAU Kiel, a tool is now provided for specialists, students and interested members of the public in order to inform them about the history of cultivated plants. The database makes archaeobotanical literature on ancient crops accessible, which is otherwise scattered over a large number of international journals and excavation reports, but also in grey literature. The new wiki platform ArchbotLitis a sustainable continuation of the literature-based online database on archaeological remains of cultivated plants by Helmut Koll, Rainer Pasternak (both from Kiel) and Aleksandar Medović (Novi Sad), which includes literature from the years 1981-2004. ArchbotLitenables access to previous entries via online access at Kiel University and is currently successively expanded with new entries from international experts. This makes it an important hub in which archaeobotanical literature from the worldwide community is bundled and kept up to date. The database makes it possible, for example, to find the earliest records of spelt for the transition from the Late Neolithic to the Bronze Age.

Link ArchbotLit

May 16, 2019

Lost and found in transformations – Retreat of the CRC 1266

Retreat 2019

On May 10 and 11, the PIs and PostDocs of the CRC 1266 withdrew to the Altes Stahlwerk in Neumünster for the first retreat of this year. At the beginning of the transformation talks, the research progress on transformation processes achieved by the individual subprojects was presented. Following this, the projects in areas A, B-E, F as well as G and Z withdrew into working groups and discussed their excellent progress and perspectives for future work. In addition, they developed further concepts for comparative analyses of the different transformation processes. At the end of the first intensive day, the discussions were continued in the evening in a relaxed atmosphere and individual aspects were further deepened.

On the second day, the presentation of the results from the working groups served as a superordinate comparative analysis of the locally, regionally and globally identified transformation processes. Another result of the lively exchange was the presentation of the further developed narratives of all subprojects. From the Palaeolithic to classical Greek periods, from environmental changes to infectious diseases, all subprojects addressed the respective transformation processes in a vivid way. On the basis of these initial results, it is indicated, for example, that climate change appears to play a much smaller role in social change than expected. These interpretative representations of the transformations of prehistoric and archaic societies were particularly valuable in developing further perspectives that were sharpened together. Based on these results, spatial and temporal interdependencies of the subprojects were discussed and concretised.

Photo: The PIs and PostDocs of the CRC 1266 during the plenary talks.

May 15, 2019

Workshop “Stone Age border experiences”


From May 20 to 22, a workshop on "Stone Age Border Experiences - Neolithic and Mesolithic parallel societies in the Northern European Lowlands" will take place at the State Museum "Das WeltenMuseum" in Hanover. Starting from new research on the well-known site "Hüde I" at the lake Dümmer, the dynamics of the neolithization of the North European Plain are discussed, which took place under the coexistence of early arable farmers and "old-established" hunters and gatherers. Among the lecturers are also some members of the CRC 1266 whose research makes essential contributions to a better understanding of this substantial transformation process and who exchange ideas with their national and international colleagues.

In addition, on May 21 at 6.30 p.m. the speaker of the CRC 1266, Johannes Müller, will give a public evening lecture on the topic "Neolithization of Northern Central Europe".

There is no fee for the participation in the congress. However, please register.

Further information can be found on the homepage of the State Museum “Das WeltenMuseum” Hanover under the category “News”.

Photo: Landesmuseum Hannover

March 29, 2019

The Scientific Advisory Board visits the CRC 1266

Advisory Board

During the Open International Workshop "Socio-Environmental Dynamics over the Last 15,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes VI" the members of the scientific advisory board were guests at the CRC 1266 "Scales of Transformation". The committee, composed of high-ranking international and interdisciplinary scientists, supports the CRC 1266 in its internal, scientific quality control by contributing an external perspective. The members of the advisory board got a detailed overview of the status of the work in the CRC 1266 and gained deep insights into its activities. They were impressed by the scientific progress of the CRC 1266 and proposed adjustments in a consultative meeting. These indications from an external perspective are of great value for the CRC 1266.

Photo: The members of the scientific advisory board with the members of the executive board of the CRC 1266 after the consultative meeting.

March 28, 2019

Activities of the CRC 1266 at the International Open Workshop “Socio-Environmental Dynamics Over the Last 15,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes VI”

SFB1266 Session 19

At this year's sixth International Open Workshop "Socio-Environmental Dynamics Over the Last 15,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes VI", the members of the CRC 1266 took the opportunity to exchange their current results on complex transformation scenarios and phenomena with colleagues from a wide range of disciplines from all over the world. In the main program of the workshop, 27 lectures by CRC members presented research of the individual subprojects. They explored the multifaceted aspects of transformations of prehistoric and archaic societies and demonstrated the complex interaction of cultural, social, and ecological processes that characterized and accompanied past transformations. In addition, 14 sessions were organised by CRC members, 11 of which explicitly or implicitly brought transformations to the centre of the exchange. 

The centerpiece of the workshop for the CRC-members was the highly attended session 19 "Scales of Transformations in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies", which was dedicated directly to the research of the CRC's subprojects. In addition to the other conference contributions, 15 lectures and 18 posters were presented by the subprojects about their research. The contributions methodically ranged from aDNA analyses and pedological investigations to settlement reconstructions and landscape receptions as well as chronologically from the Northern European Late Palaeolithic to Mediterranean Hellenism. 

Daniel Groß, for example, presented research results of the subproject B2, which prove that during the early Mesolithic in northern Germany (ca. 9600-7200 BCE) there was a change of food procurement strategies from aquatic to terrestrial prey. The results suggest that this economic-technological shift was accompanied by new communication network strategies, thus indicating a far reaching transformation process.

Session 19 audience

Another example are the results of subproject D1 presented by Robert Hofmann: The development of two structurally different types of mega-structures showed that a socio-political transformation took place in the Chalcolithic Tripolye megasites of the North Pontic forest steppe between 4000 and 3700 BCE, which led to a stronger centralization of decision-making processes. Only a short time later (around 3600 BCE) the Tripolye communities were disintegrated, probably due to a lack of acceptance of this increasing centralization.

On the one hand, the broad spectrum of all lectures covered the entire range of the CRC's research activities; on the other hand, it has become clear that it is precisely the intensive interdisciplinary cooperation within the CRC and its international networking that generates scientific synergy effects that lead to a significantly better understanding of the overall phenomenon of transformations.

High-ranking national and international scientists from various disciplines, who form the external scientific advisory board of the CRC 1266, were also present during the workshop and in particular during Session 19. They examined the scientific progress and the interdisciplinary cooperation of the CRC and provided helpful and target-oriented information from their external perspective in order to fine-tune the high scientific quality of the CRC 1266.

News of the Kiel University regarding the workshop
Workshop programme including all titles and abstracts 

Top photo: Session 19 during intensive scientific exchange. Nils Müller-Scheeßel (standing, left, subproject C2) in the discussion of his dating method for houses of the Linear Pottery culture. Jutta Kneisel (standing, right, subproject D3) chairs the discussion.

Bottom photo: Visitors of session 19.

March 26, 2019

Experimental crop cultivation by CRC 1266 members staged in a new documentary

ARTE documentation

In the documentary "Violence and Cannibalism - Crime scenes in the Neolithic" by the Caligari Film- und Fernsehproduktions GmbH  Munich, the hard everyday life of our ancestors from the Neolithic period is impressively brought to life with elaborate re-enactment scenes. A special and challenging part of the everyday life of the early farmers was the cultivation of crops. Thus the experimental cereal and linseed cultivation in the AÖZA, conducted by archaeobotanists of the CRC 1266 (Marta Dal Corso, Dragana Filipovic, Sofia Filatova and Wiebke Kirleis), was impressively staged to illustrate the intimate relationship of the early farmers with their crops.

March 25, 2019

The international MN V-Workshop 2019 resulted in a new understanding of the Store-Valby phenomenon

Participants of the MN V-Workshop 2019

Fundamental social changes can be observed in the North German Plain and in southern Scandinavia at the beginning of the third millennium BC. New phenomena such as the Store-Valby style, the globular amphorae and single grave communities emerge in this area at the end of the funnel beaker societies around 3000 BC. The associated social and economic transformations were in the focus of the International MN-V workshop which took place from the 27th to the 28th of February 2019 at Kiel University. The workshop was organized by the CRC Mercator Fellow Niels Nørkjær Johannsen, University of Århus, and by Jan Piet Brozio and Johannes Müller from the project C1 Late Mesolithic and Neolithic Transformations on the Northern and Central European Plain. An important result of the workshop is that the Store-Valby phenomenon is no longer to be associated with the last phase of the funnel beaker group, but represents a specific style of expression of socio-cultural transformations at the beginning of the third millennium BC.

Photo: Carsten Reckweg

March 6, 2019

Honorary Medal of the Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań awarded to CRC speaker Johannes Müller

Muelle Czebreszuk Poznan

The Adam Miekiewic University Honorary Medal Poznań (UAM) is awarded for outstanding achievements in international scientific cooperation. For 20 years the research career of Professor Johannes Müller, speaker of the Cluster of Excellence "ROOTS - Connectivity of Society, Environment and Culture in Past Worlds" and the SFB 1266 "Transformation Dimensions" at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU), has been closely linked with the Polish University. On 22 February, the medal was presented to him in Poznań.

The UAM Vice-Rector Professor Beata Mikolajczak described the cooperation in the field of archaeology as a foundation of the partnership between CAU and UAM. The merits of Professor Johannes Müller are recognized by the award of the UAM Medal of Honor. In this 20-year collaboration between the universities, the scientific but also personal solidarity would be expressed, said Professor Janusz Czebreszuk in his laudation.

The award honoured the achievements of archaeological and palaeoecological field research carried out since 1999 by Polish-German teams from UAM and CAU. Excavations of Bronze Age sites in Wielkopolska were of central interest, especially the fortified settlement of Bruszczewo and the rich burial mound of Łęki Małe (2200-1600 BC). Together, the sites are interpreted as an Early Bronze Age power centre in this region. Over several years, international excavation teams of up to 50 participants have excavated these nowadays famous archaeological sites. The numerous scientific publications resulting from this Polish-German cooperation initiated the publication of the series "Studies on Archaeology in Eastern Central Europe", edited by Professor Janusz Czebreszuk from Poznań, Professor Sławomir Kadrow from Krakow and Professor Johannes Müller.

Read more: Kiel University Press Release

Photo: Long-standing colleagues: Professor Janusz Czebreszuk and Professor Johannes Müller look back on over 20 years of Polish-German research cooperation. (Photo: B. Fritsch)

February 21, 2019

EPHA - European Prehistoric and Historic Atlas


The EPHA Project, launched at the ZBSA by B members Sonja Grimm and Daniel Groß, provides base maps licensed under Creative Commons showing land-water distributions for different prehistoric timeframes. The maps are compiled from literature and research data and and can easily be integrated into Geo Information Systems as they are vectorised and georeferenced.

The projekt is still going on and help is requested especially for Neolithic times. If you are interested please get in touch with Sonja Grimm or Daniel Groß.

EPHA – European Prehistoric and Historic Atlas

February 18, 2019

GSHDL/CRC1266 International Workshop: Scientific programme & Poster Award

International Workshop

The detailed scientific programme for the International Open Workshop: ‘Socio-Environmental Dynamics Over the Last 15,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes’ jointly by the Graduate School ‘Human Development in Landscapes’ and the CRC 1266 is now online!

Also, the GSHDL and CRC 1266 award three prizes for the workshop‘s best posters!

For more information, take a look at the official website:

Call Poster Award 2019

February 11, 2019

MN V-Workhop: The Store-Valby Phenomenon 

MN-V Workshop 2019

From 27-28 February, CRC projects C1 and F5 will organise a workhop on the Middle Neolithic V. 

In northern Germany and southern Scandinavia, the beginning of the 3rd millennium B.C. is characterised by sociocultural changes within the Neolithic groups. Significant changes took place in forms of social organisation and in the ritual spheres of burials and their function as means of representation. But also changes in the field of economy and material culture are visible.

In this phase a cultural phenomenon appears in the western Baltic Sea region, which according to a Danish site is called Store-Valby and is systematically assigned to the last phase of the Northern Funnel Beaker groups. Characteristic for these groups is a material culture that on the one hand refers to older developments but in other repects clearly distinguishes itself from these.

In the workshop, experts from Southern Scandinavia and Northern Germany, will discuss questions such as possible triggers for the phenomenon, the relationship to the northern group of Funnel Beakers, and other contemporary cultural phenomena such as Single Grave culture or Pitted Ware culture groups, as well as questions on economy, subsistence, burial practices, and material culture. It will be organised by CRC Mercator fellow Niels Nørkjær Johannsen, University Aarhus University, Jan Piet Brozio, and Johannes Müller.


MN V Workshop
27-28 February 2019
Leibnizstraße 1, room 207

January 29, 2019

Why were megalithic tombs erected? Lecture by Jan Piet Brozio from subproject C1 at the Foundation Stiftung Oldenburger Wall e.V. in Oldenburg i.H. 

Vortrag Brozio

The foundation Stiftung Oldenburger Wall e.V consisting of more than 600 members invited Jan Piet Brozio from subproject C1 "Late Mesolithic and Neolithic Transformations in the North Central European Plain" to give a lecture in Oldenburg on 24.01.2019.
The lecture "Why were megalithic tombs erected? The development of monumental funeral architecture in the Neolithic Age of Northern Germany" presented new research results to a large audience, among them the mayor of Oldenburg i.H. Martin Voigt and the president of the district Ostholstein Harald Werner. 
In his talk, Jan Piet Brozio introduced different sites in the Ostholstein region which is an important research area within the project. From 2016 to 2018 two excavation campaigns were carried out at sites with waterlogged deposits (read more about the excavation in 2016 here).The excavations provide new insights into the transformation phase from the 4th to the 3rd millennium B.C. and the relationship between different Neolithic cultural phenomena.

Photo: Jan Piet Brozio with the director of the Oldenburg Wallmuseum, Stephan Meinhardt, and Irmtrud Schubert .(Torsten Ewers, Stiftung Oldenburger Wall e.V.)

January 28, 2019

Döner in the Stone Age! Lecture by Wiebke Kirleis on 23 January at the Kids‘ University

Kids UniversityToday, our food comes from all over the world. But was it always like this? What did the Stone Age people eat and where do our crop plants and our domestic animals come from? At the Kids‘ University, CRC co-speaker and archeobotanist Prof. Wiebke Kirleis explained how 6000 year old cereal grains and wild apples are beeing discoverd at excavations in Schleswig-Holstein and how they are connected to findings in the Near East, Iraq, and southeast Turkey. 

At the Kids‘ University eight to twelve year old students have the opportunity to get a first whiff of academia. In one-hour lectures, Kiel University scientists offer an insight to every day research of various disciplines. The lecture by Wiebke Kirleis was the last one for this semester. The series will be continued in spring.

Watch the video of the lecture (in German only)

Go to the homepage of the Kids‘ University

Photos: Daniela Menge and Uli Kunz, Copyright: Exzellenzcluster »Future Ocean«

January 16, 2019

Launch of CRC Book Series: “STPAS”

STPASThe new CRC book Series "Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies"(STPAS)is now online at the homepage of the publishing house Sidestone Press. It is dedicated to the fundamental research questions of the CRC1266 dealing with transformations on different temporal, spatial and social scales, in the period between 15,000 before till the beginning of the common era.Cover Embracing Bell Beakers All volumes will be provided online with open access but can also be purchased as printed versions. 

By now, pre-order is open for the first two volumes, “Embracing Bell Beaker“ by Jos Kleijne and „Das Jungneolithikum in Schleswig-Holstein“ by Sebastian Schultrich. 

Go to Sidestone Press

January 7, 2019

'Past Landscapes': New edited volume by the Graduate School ‘Human Development in Landscapes’

Past LandscapesThe edited volume ‘Past Landscapes. The Dynamics of Interaction between Society, Landscape, and Culture’ presents theoretical and practical attempts of scholars and scientists, who were and are active within the Kiel Graduate School ‘Human Development in Landscapes’ (GSHDL) at Kiel University. It comprises 18 papers dealing with central issues of interdisciplinary research on past landscapes, inhabiting societies and the development of socio-environmental interaction, with special focus on the definition and application of the term ‘landscape’:

Landscapes are understood as products of human-environmental interaction. At the same time, they are arenas, in which societal and cultural activities as well as receptions of environments and human developments take place. Thus, environmental processes are interwoven into human constraints and advances.
This book presents theories, concepts, approaches and case studies dealing with human development in landscapes. On the one hand, it becomes evident that only an interdisciplinary approach can cover the manifold aspects of the topic. On the other hand, this also implies that the very different approaches cannot be reduced to a simplistic uniform definition of landscape. This shortcoming proves nevertheless to be an important strength. The umbrella term ‘landscape’ proves to be highly stimulating for a large variety of different approaches.

The GSDHL makes the major pioneering institution of this interdisciplinary research focus at Kiel University, from which the CRC 1266, the Johanna Mestorf Academy and the excellence cluster ‘ROOTS - connectivity of society, environment and culture in past worlds’ emerged. Hence, several members of the CRC 1266 and ROOTS contributed to different papers of this volume.

The publication is freely accessible online via the publishing house Sidestone Press: Link 

Haug, A.Käppel, L.Müller, J. (eds.) 2018Past Landscapes – The Dynamics of Interaction between Society, Landscape, and Culture. Leiden: Sidestone Press.


More articles in the archive

Geomagnetic surveys and surface inspections near Segeberg

Currently, first fieldwork in the area of a Bronze Age burial ground near Bornhöved is in progress.

Extensive geomagnetic prospection
Extensive geomagnetic prospection of the Bronze Age burial ground near Bornhöved (Photo: Stefanie Schaefer).

Current field researches of the project D3 are concerned with geomagnetic prospections and surface inspection in the near of the Bronze Age burial ground at Bornhöved. References to structures in soil have already been compared with data from previous investigations. Remains of grave mounds and other soil findings are distinguished by geomagnetic figures. Some surface finds also suggest that in this area there were not only burial activities, but also settlements. The surveys take place continuously this winter. Excavations are planned for spring.

Fieldwork in the area of Duvenseer Moor

With comprehensive sedimentological analyses and georadar measurements ongoing research of the Mesolithic in the Duvenseer Moor is continued.

Fieldwork in the area of Duvenseer Moor
Drilling cores from the westen part of the Duvenseer Moor provide comprehensive palaeoecological archives (Photo: Daniel Groß)..

In collaboration with project F2 and G2 first fieldwork took place in the Duvenseer Moor, which is the central study area of project B2 “Transitions of Specialized Foragers”. Combined drilling and georadar investigations focusing on the western part of the area will gain information about the former lake basin, the sedimentation process of the fen and aims at discovering new Mesolithic camp sites.

Fieldwork and excavation: Westlicher Oldenburger Graben

In summer 2016, the excavation of a Neolithic settlement site revealed organic preservation in the Oldenburger Ditch.

Activities Oldenburger Graben
Careful excavation of a 2 m long wooden artefact with revealed tool marks (Photo: Jan Piet Brozio).

In cooperation with projects F2, F3 und G2, he C1 project started with geophysical prospections, excavations and paleoecological researches on a Neolithic site with wetland preservation in the Western Oldenburger Ditch (Westlicher Oldenburger Graben) in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The landscape of the Oldenburger Ditch changed in time and was used and formed by settlements and burials from Mesolithic to Bronze Age time. The younger Neolithic site which was excavated is located on a peninsula in a former lagoon situation. Peat and organic silt preserved organic artefacts such as wood in the former coastal zone. Furthermore, other special findings are arrow shafts and parts of wooden constructions. On the peninsula, several postholes of houses and settlement pits were documented. Concentrations of flint artefacts refer to activity areas in the settlement tool production. The site is one of several Neolithic settlements on islands, peninsulas and the lagoon periphery of the prehistoric Oldenburger Ditch.

The local newspaper Kieler Nachrichten report on the fieldwork in the Western Oldenburg Ditch:

KN online article

Video with aerial view during the excavation process

Activities Oldenburger Graben Luftbild
The excavation area from bird's eye view. In the background you see the lake “Wesseker See“ and the bay “Hohwachter Bucht” of the Baltic sea (Photo: Kieler Nachrichten).

Activities Oldenburger Graben Messung
In order to select the specific study area, methods of geophysical prospection were applied before the excavation started (Photo: Jan Piet Brozio).

Linear pottery settlement archaeology in southwestern Slovakia

Extensive excavation and fieldwork deliver first results of early sedentism and settlement dynamiks in the Carpathian Basin..

Activities settlement southwestern Slovakia
Vráble 'Vel'ké Lehemby'. Excavation trenches of 2016 from a height of roughly 60 m. The features of planum 1 are marked in red (Picture: Martin Furholt).

This year's excavation campaign of project C2 lasted from the 1st of August to the 29th of September and took place in one of the house groupings within the eastern Early Neolithic settlements of Vráble 'Vel'ké Lehemby'. In four trenches an area of roughly 2300 sqm containing four houses was uncovered. Apart from the typical long pits flanking the houses numerous postholes as well as a couple of bee-hive shaped storage pits were discovered. The most spectacular find consisted of a human skeleton (male, 20+) which was deposited at the border of one of the long pits and which lower legs and feet had been removed, probably in the course of the recutting of the pit.

Activities Siedlung Suedwestslowakei Skelett
Vráble 'Vel'ké Lehemby', trench 14. Human skeleton, the lower legs and feet are disturbed. The right arm is placed behind the spine (Photo: Martin Furholt).

Excavation and collection of botanical macro remains in Hungary

International project collaboration of the CRC in the course of the investigation of a Middle Bronze Age settlement (Vatya Culture).

Activities Ungarn
Work begins in Trench 2 in 2016. Features in the southern part of the house are being excavated, the excavated soil is being sieved in the background to ensure the best possible artefact recovery, and photographs of special finds are being taken (Photo: N. Taylor)..

The excavations of a Middle Bronze Age Vatya Culture house (1913 – 1527 cal. BCE) at Kakucs-Turján, Hungary were completed in early September 2016. The botanical samples from the site will be analysed in the frame of a PhD thesis by Sonja Filatova as part of the CRC sub-project F3. Some carbonised plant macro-remains have been sent for radiocarbon dating already, in order to refine the chronology of the site. The excavations are planned to continue in Summer 2017, as part of the on-going co-operation with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań.

Recently published: Interdisciplinary research on a gallery grave of the Late Neolithic Wartberg (3350-2900 calBC)

Galeriegrab der spätneolithischen Wartberggruppe
Cribra orbitalia, symptoms of increased blood production (haematopoiesis) in the orbital roof of a 3-4 year old child buried in the gallery grave of Niedertiefenbach (Photo: S. Jagiolla).

An interdisciplinary pilot study conducted by scientists from the CAU Kiel, University of Zurich and the Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Hessen focused on precise 14C dating of the gallery grave as well as palaeopathological, dental and pathogenic evidence of diseases. Members of the CRC sub-projects D2 and F4 are involved in this study, which has recently been published in the Prähistorische Zeitschrift (in German, with English summary).

Founded by the Graduate School „Human Development in Landscapes“ in the scope of a pilot study for the CRC 1266, the research approach combined established archaeological and palaeopathological methods with new diagnostic tools, such as the application of a CAD/CAM-system measuring dental attrition and the analysis of aDNA using high-frequency sequencing. The project collaboration involved scientists from the Institute for Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, the Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology, the Department of Conservative Dentistry and Parodontology of the CAU Kiel as well as the Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Hessen. Contributing CRC members are C. Rinne (D2), B. Krause-Kyora and A. Nebel (both F4).

Rinne, C., Fuchs, K., Muhlack, J., Dörfer, C., Mehl, A., Nutusua, M., Krause-Kyora, B. 2016. Niedertiefenbach. Ein Galeriegrab der spätneolithischen Wartberggruppe südwestlich von Niedertiefenbach (Landkreis Limburg-Weilburg, Hessen). Praehistorische Zeitschrift 91/2, pp. 284–316. ISSN (Online) 1613-0804, ISSN (Print) 0079-4848, DOI:

Fieldwork and excavation in the Ukraine: The Copper Age Mega-Site Maidanetske

The research collaboration of sub-project D1 sheds light on formation and decline processes of population agglomerations in Chalcolithic Cucuteni-Tripolye mega-sites. During August and September 2016, extensive fieldwork and excavation of the mega-site Maidanetske (ca. 3900–3600 BCE) took place in central Ukraine. 

Fieldwork and excavation of the mega-site MaidanetskeExcavation and documentation of the uncovered chalcolithic building structures in the mega-site Maidanetkse, Ukraine (photo: S. Jagiolla).

Geomagnetic prospections suggest ditch structures with superimposing by pits in the northern area of the settlement. A trench of 10 m length revealed a vertical stratigraphy composed of several features and containing material culture remains, which will help to clarify the chronological sequence of the structures and might contribute to establish an internal chronology of the site itself.

The excavation of and sample extraction from a so-called “mega-structure” (large building structures) was one highlight of the campaign. Due to their enormous dimensions as well as their central and separated positions along main traffic arteries, these structures indicate to have had special public functions. Further investigations and analyses of the collected sample archives are important aspects in the examination and evaluation of this and alike buildings.

Documented profiles and sampling of open spaces between the house ring structures and undeveloped inner settlement parcels provide sufficient material for palaeobotanical and geoarchaeological analyses. The results shall help to understand the purpose and utilization of open spaces and road-like structures in Cucuteni-Tripolye mega-sites.

Further geomagnetic prospection in the northern part of the area gained new information about a preceding settlement, constructed in similar spatial and structural patterns. Drilling surveys and sample collections in the surrounding wetlands now provide appropriate palynological archives to reconstruct prehistoric ecological conditions as well as the development of the mega-site and its impact on the natural environment.

Activities Oldenburger Graben LuftbildSampling of monoliths from a soil profile intercepting a house in trench 110, Maidanetske 2016 (photo: M. dal Corso).

New interdisciplinary research on Maidanetske – a key site oft the chalcolithic Trypillia Mega-site phenomena

In European prehistory, population agglomerations of more than 10,000 inhabitants per site are an infrequent phenomenon. The unexpected discovery of the Trypillia mega-sites excavated nearly 50 years ago by Soviet, Ukrainian and Moldavian archaeologists using a multidisciplinary approach, uncovered the remains of more than 2000 houses spread over 250 hectares. Since then, the sites stay in focus of archaeological research at the border if the North Pontic Forest Steppe zone ca. 4100-3400 BCE.

Geomagnetischen Prospektionsareale

Overview of the geomagnetic survey area (ca. 150 ha) of Maidanetske with a detailed view of the northern area (Müller et al. 2017, fig. 3).

One of the key mega-sites is Maidanetske in the Central Ukraine. In 2013, an interdisciplinary European team of researchers started new excavations at the site. The analyses provoked many  questions: why, how and under what environmental conditions did Trypillia mega-sites develop? How long did they last? Were social reasons responsible for the transformation processes triggering changes in residence and settlement habit? The new publication “Maidanetske 2013. New excavations at a Trypillia Mega-site” addresses these questions by describing and interpreting findings and material culture of the site. Contributing authors of the CRC 1266 are Johannes Müller, Robert Hofmann, Wiebke Kirleis, Stefan Dreibrodt and Marta Dal Corso (sub-projects D1, F2, F3).

These questions are also research issues of the CRC 1266 sub-project D1 “Population agglomerations at Tripolye-Cucuteni mega-sites”. Paleo-ecological, geophysical as well as chronological analyses of recent and future research activities involve sub-projects F2, F3, G1 and G2. In order to understand urbanisation and agglomeration processes, the scientific discourse of D1 closely relates to the sub-projects C2 and E2.

„Maidanetske 2013. New Excavations at a Trypillia Mega-site“ ist als 16. Band der Reihe „Studien in Ostmitteleuropa“ im Rudolf Habelt Verlag unter der ISBN 978-3-7749-4018-5 erschienen.

For pdf-view click on the cover:

Titel Maidanetske 2013

Müller J., Hofmann R., Kirleis W., Dreibrodt S., R. Ohlrau, Brandstätter L., Dal Corso M., Out W., Rassmann K., Burdo N., Videiko M. 2017. Maidanetske 2013. New Excavations at a Tryplilia Mega-site. Studien zur Archäologie in Ostmitteleuropa, Bd 16. Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn. ISBN 978-3-7749-4018-5. 

Photos PhD-Workshop 2017

PhD talks at the Johanna-Mestorf-Kolleg in Schloss Gottorf
PhD talks at the Johanna-Mestorf-Kolleg in Schloss Gottorf
Restorer Gabriele Zink explains restoration procedures of leather
At the Archaeological Central Workshop (AZW)
Dr. Joachim Schultze, AZW: Wood preservation techniques
Doctoral Students of the PhD Workshop 2017

New Publications

New Publications
Hirse groß
Cover Kakucs Turján
Kakucs Turján
Axe-fitting from Duvensee, W1
Think global, act local !
Culture in the Caucasus
Oldenburg settlement
Lake Stymphalia
Lake Stymphalia
Bildschirmfoto 2019 06 27 um 10.24.22
4.2 ka Event
4.2 ka Event
Climate curve
Climate curve
Climate curve
Climate curve
Climate curve
Cover How´s Life
Cover How´s Life
Cremated human remains from Aarupgaard
Cremated human remains from Aarupgaard
Recent, charred tubers of tuber oat grass
Recent, charred tubers of tuber oat grass
Impressions of textiles on Bronze Age pottery from the site Bruszczewo, Poland
Two new articles about textiles and textile production coming soon in the proceedings “The Textile Revolution in Bronze Age Europe”
Plan of the excavation site of Schönhagen-Brodersby
Plan of the excavation site of Schönhagen-Brodersby
Radiocarbon datings of Altendorf
Transformation of social practice: The Altendorf grave as a place of memory
Dark Ages in the North?
Geomagnetic plan of the site of Monte da Contenda
An enclosure, settlement systems and climatic changes
Microscograph of a ceramic thin section
Starčevo ceramic technology: the first potters of the Middle Danube Basin
Cover „Megalithic monuments and social structures. Comparative studies on recent and Funnel Beaker societies“
Volume 5 of the CRC 1266-series STPAS has been published
Cover „Gender Transformations in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies'“
Volume 6 of the CRC1266-series STPAS has been published
Cover photo STPAS#08 480px
Cover photo STPAS#08 220px
grave gift klein
Stable carbon isotope composition of individual fatty acids in lipid residues of animal origin from Neolithic vessels of the Megalith tomb Wangels and domestic site Oldenburg

Retreat 2019

Retreat 2019
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EAA Bern

EAA Bern
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EAA Bern

EAA Bern
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EAA Bern

EAA Bern
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Retreat Rendsburg

Retreat Rendsburg
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New Publications