Dayr Anba Hadra (B-4-6)

Research project

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.

Propagation of Early Christianity in North Galatia and its Personal and Institutional Structures of Authority (B-5-3-1)


Like many regions of Asia Minor, North Galatia in Central Anatolia already came into contact with Christianity in New Testament times. However, literary sources on the propagation of the religion in this region are rare, both in and out of the New Testament. Early Christian inscriptions are therefore of great importance in this context. Working from them, the formation of ecclesiastic centers, structures and authorities, and the theological character of Christianity in this region shall be investigated.

The History of Christianisation in the Ancient Region of Cilicia (B-5-4-1)


This project investigates the history of early Christianity in the Kalykadnos valley and adjacent areas. To fulfill this task a cross-disciplinary approach has been chosen. A variety of sources – ranging from literary to epigraphic and archaeological material – is taken into account.

Ancient Egyptian Underworld (C-4-5)

Research project

In this research project, Daniel Werning investigates the diagrammatic representation of the Ancient Egyptian underworld as attested in the Book of Caverns, an Egyptian Netherworld Book from the 13th century BCE.

Corpus defixionum Atticarum (B-5-6)

Research project

The final edition of roughly 510 curse tablets discovered in Athens and Attica (including around 40 inedita) within the new Corpus defixionum Atticarum is focus of this research project.

Early Christian Knowledge Claims (B-5-3)

Research project

Within this research project the rise and expansion of Christianity have been investigated in a series of regional histories. It was started as “Diversity of spaces” in Topoi 1 and expanded under the current research title in Topoi 2. The studies juxtaposing literary and archaeological evidence have yielded a multidimensional view of early Christianity in diverse regions. Increasing Christian presence in specific naturally boarded spaces was studied and resulted in publication of a monograph on Christianity in the Lycus Valley (U. Huttner, Early Christianity in the Lycus Valley [ECAM 1; Brill: Leiden / Boston 2013]) up to the 5th century. This book has been discussed by several experts during a major session of the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Language in Atlanta in November 2015.

Edition Miliaria provinciarum Hispanarum (B-1-5)

Research project

This project continues the editorial work on Roman milestones initiated by Research Group B-I-1 “Surveying and Limitation”. By 2013, the first volume will be ready for printing: CIL XVII/1,1: Miliaria Hispaniae citerioris Tarraconensis, ed. M. G. Schmidt et C. Campedelli, adiuvantibus R. Bertolazzi et H. González Cesteros. A second volume, on Baetica and Lusitania, will also be published in Topoi II.

Personal Authorisation of Knowledge (B-5)

Research Group

This research group brings various scholars of Ancient Mediterranean Studies into sustained dialogue on the interrelations between knowledge, authority and personality. Its comparative approach involves discourses, methodologies and technologies of Ancient History, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Greek and Latin Studies, Epigraphy, Old and New Testament Studies, Patristics, Religious Studies and Social Thought. The testimonies at stake […]

Yeha, Ethiopia (A-1-6)

Research project

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.

Simitthus, Tunisia (A-1-4)

Research project

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) are major tasks of this research project. One focus is 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 is as well dealing with fundamental questions to trading and commerce, as to the quarries and agents in the marble business.