A Kiel archaeology excavation near Sultana, Romania.
(© Kiel University / Sara Jagiolla )
Clusters of Excellence

Social, Environmental, and Cultural Connectivity in Past Societies

The Cluster of Excellence ROOTS explores the roots of social, environmental, and cultural phenomena and processes that substantially marked past human development.

In a broad interdisciplinary conceptual framework, archaeological and historical ‘laboratories’ are investigated under the basic assumption that humans and environments have deeply shaped each other, creating socio-environmental connectivities which still persist today. A better understanding of interwoven past socio-environmental dynamics will shed light on the ‘roots’ of current challenges and crises under diverse economic, ecological, and social conditions. The six subclusters investigate key dimensions of the ‘human condition’ with specific research questions. They also jointly address overreaching themes, such as mobility and migration, resources and economy, and ideology and identity in standing cross-sectional workgroups. The ‘Reflective Turn Forum’ applies a hermeneutic approach enabling ROOTS to embrace the manifold theoretical and practical approaches of the individual research units and therefore to reach an overarching epistemological and interpretative research dialogue. Within the broad interdisciplinary frame of ROOTS, the post-doctoral researchers and the doctoral candidates are hosted by the ROOTS Young Academy, which offers excellent conditions and unique career perspectives from scientific success and personal development. Furthermore, three extended research platforms for infrastructural advances support the integrated ROOTS research on past social environmental and cultural change.

Involved Institutions:

  • IPN – Leibniz-Institut für die Pädagogik der Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik an der Universität Kiel
  • Max-Planck-Institut für Evolutionsbiologie
  • Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf

Podcast on the Cluster of Excellence

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