Research Focus & Personal Profile

Research Focus


Neolithic cultural traits in global perspektive; Neolithic and Early Metal Age in Central and Eastern Europe; hunter-gatherer-fishers in high latitudes; pastoral nomads in arid und subarctic regions; mobility and sedentism; archaeology of Northeastern Europe, Siberia and Inner Asia; Ethnoarchaeology im Postsoviet Russia; Stone Age burials as socio-cultural anthropological source; conflict and inequality in prehistoric societies; pottery analysis; multivariate statistics; reconstruction of diet and subsistence economy using biomolecular methods; radiocarbon dating and reservoir effects; trans-disciplinary collaboration with natural and social sciences in prehistoric archaeology; promotion of dialogue between Western and Eastern scientific schools and cultures


Personal Profile


Current functions

Alongside her position as Junior Professor for Anthropological Archaeology at Kiel Universtity, Henny Piezonka is co-PI of the Cluster of Excellence „ROOTS - Social, Environmental, and Cultural Connectivity in Past Societies“ and of the Collaborative Research Center „Scales of Transformation“. In addition she is currently PI of two further externally funded research projects in Germany (DFG) and Mongolia (Gerda Henkel) and an Associated Researcher in the ECR funded research project „INDUCE – The Innovation, Dispersal and Use of Ceramics in NE Europe“ led by PI Carl Heron at the British Museum, UK.


Henny Piezonka has studied Pre- and Protohistory, Classical Archaeology and Art History in Berlin and Glasgow. Her magister thesis on the research history of Bronze and Iron Age studies was awarded the Humboldt Award of Humboldt University and the Rudolf-Virchow Award of the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Prehistory. The doctorate dissertation on Stone Age hunter-gatherer pottery dispersals between the Urals and the Baltic finished in 2010 was awarded the Dr. Walther-Liebehenz Price, Göttingen.

Between 2004 and 2016 Henny Piezonka worked as a Pre-Doc and Post-Doc research associate in various positions and collaborative projects at Bonn and Greifswald Universities and at the German Archaeological Institute, Berlin, conducting fieldwork-based research in various regions across Europe and Northern Eurasia with emphasis on mobile hunter-gatherer and pastoralist societies. In 2015 she successfully won funding for her own research project on the multi-period site of Veksa in NW Russia.

Since 2016 she has held the W1 professorship for Anthropological Anthropology at Kiel University. As one of the PIs of the Kiel Cluster of Excellence „ROOTS - Social, Environmental, and Cultural Connectivity in Past Societies“ running since 2019 and co-speaker of its sub-cluster „ROOTS of Social Inequality“ she is involved in research on the dynamics of social inequalities and on the entanglement of domestication, diet and diseases. As one of the founding PIs of the Collaborative Research Center 1266 „Scales of Transformation“ started at Kiel University in 2020 she is co-PI of its sub-project „Theories of Transformation in Prehsitoric and Archaic Societies“. In a project funded within the "Lost Cities" programme of the Gerda Henkel Foundation Henny Piezonka and her team investigate since 2019 roles and perception of abandoned urban sites within the Mongolian nomadic society at the interface between archaeology and cultural anthropology.

In research and teaching Henny Piezonka specializes in hunter-gatherer and pastoralist studies with a regional focus on northern latitudes and the circumpolar Arctic. Drawing from a broad temporal scope from the Late Glacial to the present, her research explores long-term socio-cultural and economic dynamics connected to mobile life ways in steppe, forest and tundra environments. Her work brings together field-based archaeological research with ethnoarchaeological work amongst contemporary hunter-fisher and herder communities in order to reach diversified, ontologically informed understandings of people and their material world.