Early Iron in South Asia (PLUS-10)

Additional project

The project aims to compile and catalogue archaeological evidence on early iron smelting in Sri Lanka and thus takes up research aims and questions already addressed in the framework of the research group (A-5) Iron.

Early Iron in Eastern Europe (A-5-6)

Research project

The spread of iron metallurgy into Europe has been a long lasting debate since the beginnings of iron production are hardly comprehensible. Apparently, the southern part of Eastern Europe played a major role in the introduction of this complex pyrotechnology doubtless due to its integration into the Circumpontic network and the proximity to the Near East. The research project aimed to highlight the development of the earliest use of iron in Eastern Europe.

Iron mining in the Tyrrhenian Sea (A-5-4-2)


The Topoi dissertation project A-5-4-2 constitutes the physical-geographical part of the interdisciplinary research project (A-5-4) Iron mining and smelting in the (northern) Tyrrhenian Sea. The dissertation focuses on a landscape-archaeological perspective on human–environment interactions on Elba Island (Tyrrhenian Sea; Tuscany, Italy) during the period of pre-industrial iron smelting (5th century BCE– 1st century BCE/CE and 10th to 13th century CE).

Iron, landscape and humans on Elba in 1st millennium BCE (A-5-4-1)


The doctoral project A-5-4-1 represents the archaeological part of the interdisciplinary Topoi research project (A-5-4) Iron mining and smelting in the (northern) Tyrrhenian Sea. The dissertation deals beside the topography and chronology of iron smelting sites also with the impact of iron mining and smelting on the landscape of Elba Island in the 1st millennium BCE. In addition, it concentrates on a diachronic investigation of the antique mining work/slavery and on an economic historical classification of the Elban iron production in the Mediterranean context.

The beginnings of iron smelting in the area of the Przeworsk culture (A-5-2-2)


The spread of technical innovations such as iron smelting required basic natural resources (iron ore) and manual skills along with social acceptability and necessity. The dissertation investigated the beginnings of iron smelting in the area of the Przeworsk culture (Poland). It is assumed that the earliest stages of local and regional iron production coincide with the emergence of the Przeworsk culture within the 2nd century BC.

Iron Technology in the Museum (A-5-7)

Research project

The revision and new conception of the prehistoric exhibition at the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte in Berlin affected, among other things, the museum’s Pre-Roman Iron Age division, featuring artifacts from ancient Europe and Eurasia. In setting up the new exhibition at “Neues Museum”, the focus was not only on portraying Iron Age cultural groups, but also and especially on the subject of iron and iron smelting as a new raw material and a new technology.

Iron Smelting in the Baltic Region (A-5-5)

Research project

This project conducted fundamental research into deposits and smelting sites in the southwestern Baltic region. In the course of the project, the group analyzed, recorded and mapped sites that may have met the prerequisites for independent iron smelting.