Projects and Excavations

Excavation and survey projects include: Field work on megalithic constructions and Tiefstich settlements of the Altmark; A Neolithic moist-soil settlement in Ostholstein; The excavation in Poland of a moist-soil, bronze aged settlement with fortifications; The Excavations of Late Neolithic settlement mounds in Central Bosnia. Central settlements of the Hallstatt period and enquiry into archaeoprognosis are the focus of various analysis projects. Landscape and Settlement Archaeology are essential aspects for all excavation, survey and analysis projects, as well as for the graduate school “Human Development in Landscapes” and the priority program “Early monumentality and social differentiation”. In addition to the aforementioned projects and excavations field research is being conducted in Hesse, Franconia and Dalmatia. Some of the work depends and is conducted in close collaboration with various heritage agencies, the GAI or foreign universities and museums.

Feldaktivitäten der Prähistorischen Archäologie Kiel


Graduate School "Human Development in Landscapes" (Exzellenzinitiative) project page

A transdisciplinary collaboration in the graduate school is necessary to develop new concepts for reconstructing landscapes, for defining social spaces and for integrating various archives into the development of socially relevant proxies.

Archaeoprognosis (Thyssen)

Predictive Mapping is the basis for diachronic analysis of the prehistoric developments in Brandenburg. It functions as an instrument for archaeological reconstruction of settlement strategies as well as a useful devise for the monument conservation.


Settlement archaeology in the Central Balkan: Research on the economic and social history of Late Neolithic populations (5,500-4,500 BC) (DFG)(„Siedlungsarchäologie im Zentralbalkan: Forschungen zur Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte spätneolithischer Bevölkerungsgruppen“)project page

Archaeological surveys and excavations in Bosnia by the Roman Germanic Commission (Knut Rassmann) and the Christian-Albrechts-University (Johannes Müller) in collaboration with the State Museum of Sarajevo (Zilka Kujundzic) of Bosnia and Herzegovina have already begun. In Okoliste at the Bosna, a tell in the canton Visoko (about 50 km north of Sarajevo) is being excavated. The tell is, with a diameter of approx. 400 m, one of the largest structures in the Balkans and is interpreted as belonging to the Butmir group. The group existed in Central Bosnia from 5,500-4,800 BC and played an essential part in the communication systems that existed between the Central Balkan and the Adriatic Sea.

Geomagnetik in Südosteuropa (DAI) project page

The Institute for Pre- and Protohistory is undertaking geomagnetic surveys at Neolithic and Copper Age settlement sites in Romania in accordance with the DAI-Clusters I and in close collaboration with the Eurasian department at the DAI (Prof. Svend Hansen). Further noteworthy collaborations of this project are with the historic national museum Cluj (Prof. G. Lazarovic, Dr. Z. Maxim), the archaeological institute Iasi (Dr. C. M. Lazarovici, Prof. D. Monah), the CMJ Piatra-Neamt (Prof. G. Dumitroaia) and the Brukenthalmuseum Sibiu (Prof. S. A. Luca). Ten sites were examined in 2007 and 2008, which had some intriguing results. (see project page).


The megalithic landscape of Altmark (DFG) („Megalithlandschaft Altmark“)

The excavations of two megalithic tombs (Lüdelsen) and the application of sondages at an enclosure and a settlement site near Tangeln (Denis Demnick u. Sarah Diers), combined with pollen analysis and the examination of sediments, should enable the reconstruction of the Middle-Neolithic landscape with its grave and settlement sites. The relationship between Neolithic monumental architecture, settlement structures and environmental changes can be interpreted by jointly analyzing palaeoecological data, surveys, grave site research and test excavations at settlement sites and enclosures.

Priority Program SPP 1400: Early monumentality and social differentiation (DFG) On the formation and development of Neolithic large buildings and the first complex societies in Northern Central Europe („Frühe Monumentalität und soziale Differenzierung (DFG) Zur Entstehung und Entwicklung neolithischer Großbauten und erster komplexer Gesellschaften im nördlichen Mitteleuropa“) project page

How and why did the first monuments first appear in Northern Germany? Which part did the economic developments play? What influence did the climate have? Which societies developed what for their social space? Which social differences are apparent? How and why did the funnel beaker societies end? These and many others are the questions that are being researched in the priority program (SPP 1400) at the institute since 2009. The program was filmed in part and the resulting 3-4 mins clips were published on the DFG Science TV projects page.

Icon DFG Science TV


SPP1400 – Megalithic constructions and settlement patterns during the Funnel Beaker period in Ostholstein (3,500-2,700 BC): Middle Travetal and Western Oldenburger Graben (DFG) („Megalithbauten und Siedlungsmuster im trichterbecherzeitlichen Ostholstein (3500-2700 v. Chr.): Mittleres Travetal und Westlicher Oldenburger Graben“)project page

In order to obtain evidence for various usage patterns of the environment, as well as of social and ritual spaces, funnel beaker moist-soil settlements and megalithic constructions in a microregion in the inland and at a coastal location are compared with one another.

SPP1400 – Monumental enclosures, non-megalithic and megalithic burial complexes of the Early and Middle Neolithic Age (DFG) („Monumentale Grabenwerke, nichtmegalithische und megalithische Grabbauten des Früh- und Mittelneolithikums“)project page

The megalithic constructions of Borgstedt that are radialy aligned towards the ditch enclosure in Büdelsdorf in Southern Schleswig as well as the ditch enclosure Dieksknöll with its neighboring megalithic constructions can help in understanding the relationship and meaning behind ditch enclosures and stockades.

SPP1400 – Formation, function and the reference to landscapes of megalithic tombs, enclosures and settlements of the Funnel Beaker Culture in the Haldensleben-Hundisburg region (DFG) („Entstehung, Funktion und Landschaftsbezug von Großsteingräbern, Grabenwerken und Siedlungen der Trichterbecherkulturen in der Region Haldensleben-Hundisburg“) project page

A large concentration of megalithic tombs (spatialy seperated from other grave sites) can be found near Haldensleben(Saxony-Anhalt) situated at a border between a loess and a moraine landscape. What does it mean? What sort of impact does the border between old and new settlement sites have? What sort of social implications can be drawn from the spatial structures?

SPP1400 – Population density, communication structures and spatial traditions of the Funnel Beaker Culture (DFG) („Bevölkerungsdichte, Kommunikationsstrukturen und Traditionsräume in der Trichterbecherkultur“) project page

The various data archives on the funnel beaker societies are analysed in order to reconstruct spatial distribution patterns of monuments as well as of types of finds, which then can be used as a basis for statistical analysis, like reconstructing population sizes.

SPP1400 – Ocean and the North German climate (DFG) („Ozean und norddeutsches Klima“)project page

Marine archives can be used to identify climate proxies, which can be applied in reconstructingthe Neolithic climate in Northern Germany.

SPP1400 – Coordination of the SPP 1400 (DFG)project page

Building and maintaining the joint data bases of all projects and organising the communication within priority programs are the key tasks of the coordination project.


Bruszczewo: Bronze Age in the great polish settlement cluster of Koscian (DFG) („Bruszczewo: Bronzezeit in der großpolnischen Siedlungskammer von Koscian") project page

In accordance with a longstanding collaboration with the Poznan University, research is being conducted on the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age approx. 60 km south of Poznan. The research involves extensive surveys and the excavation of an early bronze aged settlement as well as the future excavation of a Late Neolithic site. The many palaeoecological findings enable the reconstruction of the relationship between humans and their environments.

Cultural changes in northeastern Central Europe at the transition from Late Bronze Age to Middle Bronze Age (DFG) (“Kultureller Wandel am Übergang von der FBZ zur MBZ im nordöstlichen Mitteleuropa“) project page

The transition of Early to Middle Bronze Aged societies can be reconstructed from archaeological as well as ecological data for Northeastern Central Europe. The research project of Jutta Kneisel studies the abrupt discontinuation that took place around 1650 BC at different locations.

Forging Identities (The European Commission´s FP7 PEOPLE PROGRAMME) zur Projektseite

The Mobility of Culture in Bronze Age Europe (Initial training network ITN 2009-2012). The ITN Forging Identities will explore intercultural interaction in Bronze Age Europe - a golden epoch between 300 and 500 BC with new patterns of social identifications, specialised production, complex polities and wide-reaching networks across Europe.... The CAU institute is integrated with a project about Bronze Age social identity and mobility.

Bredenbek (LA 29) (State Office) project page

Scientific collaborator Jutta Kneisel is examining an Early Bronze Aged burial mound in Rendsburg-Eckernförde (Holstein).

Smoszew (CAU) project page

The joint project of scientific collaborator Jutta Kneisel and Poznan University is excavating a middle bronze aged burial mound near Krotozyn in Greater Poland.


Settlement hierarchy, cultural regions, social evolution and territoriality from the 8th to the 4th century BC in Southwestern Germany (DFG) („Siedlungshierarchie, kulturelle Räume, soziale Evolution und Territorialität vom 8. bis 4. Jh. v. Chr. in Südwestdeutschland“)project page

Centralised processes are archaeologically expressed in the formation of elites, the settlement hierarchy and the spatial distribution of cultural similarities (cultural metric). For further information click the link above.