Michael Sommer is Professor for Ancient History at Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg. He studied ancient history, classical philology, political sciences, recent and modern history as well as Near Eastern archaeology in Freiburg, Basel, Bremen and Perugia. After receiving a Ph D he became lecturer at Universität Freiburg and the University of Liverpool. His research is based on economic and mentality historical questions of human, material and immaterial mobility. His research on the ancient City of Palmyra, particularly the long-distance trade of the Syrian oasis city and its interrelations to the self-conception of its inhabitants contributes to the investigations of research project (B-4-4) Shifting Things and Identities.