The research group developed a comprehensive cartographic representation of technological innovations in the ancient world.
The group pursued two objectives. First, it recorded the first appearances of important innovations over a broad geographical area. The current state of research on this subject is extremely heterogeneous. Whereas there are rich collections of data for some innovations, such as the use of copper and gold, or pottery techniques like the wheel and furnace, for other innovations, for example balances and weights, the use of silver, etc., various sources had to be scrutinized to obtain the data. Second, the digital atlas served as a tool for comprehensively analyzing the spread of innovations and for reconstructing the relationships among them. Where, when, and why do some innovations prevail? Which regions do not adopt a development at all, or only belatedly? Where do innovations, after an initial phase, disappear again? Thus, a comprehensive view of the development of technology in the ancient world became possible for the first time.