The organisation of pottery production and specialised handcraft (Z-COFUND-7)

Third-party funded project

The main purpose of this research project is to examine through an archaeometric approach the pottery production from Arslantepe in the Malatya Plain (Eastern Anatolia) and the Upper Euphrates Valley between the Late Chalcolithic 1 and the Early Bronze Age III (4250-2000 BCE) in order to define: the raw material procurement patterns, the complexity level of the production modes, the nature of interactions between the communities of the Malatya plain, the Euphrates valley and the surrounding Anatolian world. In more detail, the aim ist to assess the elements of continuity/discontinuity of such aspects in connection with the significant social, economic and political changes occurred during the two millennia under investigation.

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.

Archaeozoological Analyzes of Domestic Sheep (A-4-2)

Research project

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.

Early Use of Wool in the Near East and Europe (A-4-1)

Research project

Within the scope of this project, two dissertations investigated indirect archaeological evidence of textile production in two separate study areas: the Near East and the South East and Central Europe.

Shifting Things and Identities (B-4-4)

Research project

One of the fundamental questions of archaeology is the linking of spatially situated material culture to identities. Without taking recourse to the essentialist assumptions that have lately fallen under scrutiny concerning the existence of static and hermetic entities, this project investigated the dynamic correlation between collective identities, knowledge and space.

Body-Soul Theories in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period (D-2-4)

Research project

Most medieval and early modern philosophers took it for granted that the human soul has numerous faculties that enable it to produce a large variety of activities. Thus, thanks to the intellect it can produce acts of thinking, and thanks to the will it can bring about acts of willing. But what are the intellect, the will and other faculties? How are they related to the soul? Where are they located? And how can they be activated in a given situation?

Localization of Intellectual Faculties: Stoicism and Pneumatism (D-2-3)

Research project

The aim of project D-2-3 was to investigate Stoic and Pneumatist conceptions of mental processes and illnesses and of the psychology of mental events (place, bodily factors involved, exact mechanisms), and to assess their relation to relevant philosophical and medical contexts. The study focused on the Pneumatist physician Athenaeus of Attalia (1st c. BC), whose works have only survived in fragments. Athenaeus was frequently quoted, especially for his doctrine of elementary physics, his theory of reproduction and his conceptual distinction between various types of causes.  A collection of fragments with translation and commentary was a longstanding desideratum fulfilled by this project.