Deir Anba Hadra, also known as monastery of St. Simeon, is located on the West bank of Assuan across from Elephantine island about one kilometer inland on the gebel, overlooking a desert valley. Its ruin, dominated by the monumental residential tower, belongs to the best-preserved specimens of monastic architecture from late antique and early Islamicate Egypt. The ongoing work on the monastery, a cooperation between the German Archaeological Institute, Dept. Cairo, and the Excellence Cluster Topoi further expands on the architectural history of the church, its painted decoration, the economic buildings of the monastery, and archaeo-botanical research.
This research project was devoted to the process of a major economic shift in sheep husbandry that by the end of the 4th millennium BC took place in South-West Asia. From that time onwards, sheep management was rather focused on fiber exploitation than on meat and milk, requiring the transformation of sheep with hairy coat to those with a woolly vlies.
Since 2009, this joint Ethiopian-German project has investigated Yeha, an archaeological site located 35 km northeast of Aksum (Tigray province), with regard to the causes, development and effects of Sabaean cultural transfer on Northern Ethiopia, and the process by which the Sabaeans acculturated to the native population.
The influences of extensiv raw material extraction, the processing of the workpieces and their distribution in Mediterranean world as well as the influences of the local landscape and city development of Simitthus (Tunisia) were major tasks of this research project. One focus was studying the use of the marmor Numidicum in different periods of time from the 2nd century BC until the 7th century AD to get a spectrum of utilization. The project was as well dealing with fundamental questions to trading and commerce, as to the quarries and agents in the marble business.