Historic Archaeology

Icon FruehgeschichteProf. Dr. Ulrich Müller | Tel. 880.3655 | Room: 022 | Current lectures (UnivIS)

Consulting hours: time between terms: by arrangement | summer term 2018: Thursday 12 - 2 p.m

The Chair of Early History, Medieval Archaeology and Modern Archaeology focuses on the 1st and 2nd millennium AD and also touches on contemporary archaeology. The employees concentrate on Central Europe, with the current focus on Northern and Eastern Europe. 
In contrast to prehistoric times, the findings are also obtained through archaeological procedures - but the inclusion of written and pictorial documents as well as contemporary witness reports in the most recent phases of history is necessary in order to arrive at comprehensive statements in cultural studies or cultural history.

The Kiel BA and MA course is called "Prehistoric and Historical Archaeology". Historical archaeology is a term that is used differently in the diverse traditions of archaeology worldwide, but ultimately means an archaeological methodology for epochs with "dense tradition". In particular, the relationships between material archaeological and written sources are discussed. Historical archaeology is therefore also a bundle of methods for understanding historical processes and structures from a global perspective, regardless of regions and epochs. Early history, but especially medieval and modern archaeology are part of historical archaeology. 

A special feature of Kiel archaeology is the focus on "maritime and limnic archaeology". Numerous projects from the Stone Age to the present day are carried out in particular by the AMLA (Working Group Maritime and Limnic Archaeology). Furthermore the training to become a research diver is possible in Kiel.

AKTUELL Blickpunkt Archäologie 4, 2017 Leitlinien zu einer Archäologie der Moderne

AKTUELL: 45. Tagung der ARKUM (19.-22.09.2018)  Transkulturalität im Raum (Call for Papers

Research Focus

In Kiel, Historic archaeology focuses on the Middle Ages and Post-Medieval period in Europe. The teaching and training works within the time-frame of the first century AC up until the present (“contemporary archaeology”). Research is focused on the time between the High Middle Ages and the Early Post-Medieval period. The North as well as the East Central European regions are the main focus of various projects.

Contentual Priorities

  • Cultural practices of social groups
  • Urbanisation and urbanity
  • Artisan production in the Middle Ages
  • Landscape archaeology, specifically maritime and limnic shaped regions
  • Development of theories

With the appointment in Kiel of the Faculty Chair, “Maritime Archaeology” was strengthened and enlarged and in cooperation with the professorship for Prehistory “Computational Archaeology” was established. In 2011 the importance of establishing a Historical Archaeology of the Premodern period was recognized when the denomination was specialised to “Protohistory, Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology”.



  • Cultural transformation processes at the coast of the Southern Baltic See between the 11th/12th and 13th/14th century – Hanse culture(s)? („Kulturelle Transformationsprozesse an der südlichen Ostseeküste zwischen dem 11./12. und 13./14. Jahrhundert - Hansekultur(en)?“) project page
  • Material culture as a sign: communication processes and media („Materielle Kultur als Zeichen: Kommunikationsprozesse und -medien“) project page
  • Marine Archaeology („Unterwasserarchäologie“) project page
  • Abandoned villages in the area of Haldensleben – settlement archaeology of the Gothic Age („Wüstungen im Raum Haldensleben - Siedlungsarchäologie im Zeichen der Gotik“) project page
  • The castle of Niendorf – the abandoned settlement Niendorf: settlement, castle, planned city („Die Burg von Niendorf - Die Wüstung Niendorf : Siedlung, Burg, Planstadt“) (PDF).
  • Krusendorf – a late medieval and early Post-Medieval church at the bay of Eckernförde („Krusendorf: St. Catharinenkirche am Jellenbek - Eine Kirche des späten Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit an der Eckernförder Bucht“) project page
  • Between Vikings and the Hanse – Continuity and transition of Haithabu as the centre of distribution in Schleswig in the 11th century („Zwischen Wikingern und Hanse – Kontinuität und Wandel des zentralen Umschlagplatzes Haithabu/Schleswig im 11. Jahrhundert“) project page
  • Finiteness and transformations: interpretations and meanings of archaeological realities for modern societies („Endlichkeiten und Transformationen: Deutungen und Bedeutungen archäologischer Realien für die moderne Gesellschaft“) – project is part of the SFBs application for „Experience and dealing with finiteness“ ("Erfahrung und Umgang mit Endlichkeit") project page


  • The slavic island settlement Olsburg in the Großer Plöner See(„Die slawische Inselsiedlung Olsborg im Großen Plöner See“) project page
  • Holocene island-use in Schleswig-Holstein („Holozäne Inselnutzungen in Schleswig-Holstein“) project page
  • Professionalisation of medieval crafts („Professionalisierung des mittelalterlichen Handwerks“)  project page
  • The princely residence on Mt. Lassois, Vix/F. of the Late Hallstatt period („Der späthallstattzeitliche Fürstensitz auf dem Mt. Lassois, Vix/F.“) (project page)