Sense of place and identity in the prehistoric Mediterranean Islands (B-4-COFUND-1)

Third-party funded project

Islands have a distinct “sense of place”: studies of present-day island communities indicate that their perceived physical containment, which is felt particularly on small islands, results in strong place identification or in an “island identity”.  As an archaeologist, Helen Dawson is interested in finding evidence for such place-identification in the past. The smaller islands surrounding Sicily, with their rich archaeological record, provided ideal case studies to test these ideas – from their initial colonisation during the Neolithic to their becoming integrated in wider trading and inter-cultural networks during the Bronze Age (ca. 5500-900 BCE).

Travelling Things: Thinking on the character of ‘Roman imports’ in Central Germany’s ‘Barbaricum’ (B-4-4-1)


The aim of this study was to investigate the character of the “Roman import” phenomenon. In the past, “Roman imports” were usually discussed as objects in anthropocentric conceptualized contexts like trade contacts, mercenary services, gift exchanges, predatory economies and ethnic identities. In his dissertation project, by contrast, Schreiber offers a thinking perspective, that ‘Roman import’ should not be seen merely as a scientific construction, or an empirical category. Instead, he takes a symmetrical point of view. From a theoretical neo-materialistic perspective, Schreiber argues that things are not objects but assemblages (cf. DeLanda). They are heterogeneous and fluid entities. Therefore, to analyze things means to analyze not their stable essences but their intra-active enactments (cf. Barad) and entanglements.

Ritual Landscapes in the Prignitz (B-2-5)

Research project

This project deals with the Late Bonze Age Royal Tomb of Seddin, which is one of the few elite tombs with a monumental architecture. Within this project the entire composition of the tomb, the reasons for the monumentalisation, the technical realisation and the choice of its location within the whole area are examined.

Nabataean Fine Ceramics (A-6-7)

Research project

This research project explored the emergence and distribution of Nabataean fine ceramics in the 2nd century BC – 4th century AD. It was investigated to what extent the typical type of ceramic is to be classified as an identity marker of Nabataean culture and society.

Thirdspaces (B-4-5)

Research project

“Third Space” in the postmodern geography of Edward Soja is an approach built on Henri Lefebvre’s theory of specific “modes of production of spaces”. Lefebvre distinguishes a perceived, a represented and a lived space (espace perçu, espace conçu, espace vécu).

Creating Christian Concepts of Space (C-2-1)

Research project

Besides the investigation of the formation and usage of spatial metaphors in the text corpus of the early Christian authors, this project also examined the significance of deixis and the meaning of several prepositional phrases, e.g. “in Christ”, “to be in Christ”, “to be in the Lord”, “to be in the Spirit”, “to be under the Law”, “to be under Grace (charis)” and “to be in Grace” as a mixture of spatial and non-spatial entities.

Jewish Genealogies (B-5-5)

Research project

The project analysed literary genealogies in Jewish writings of the Hellenistic time. It focussed on the tradition-historical background, the narrative function and the meaning for the self-conception of the authors and readers of each scripture.