The research work conducted by the various departments and commissions of the DAI is coordinated on the basis of a research plan which sets out and justifies the strategic decisions on the further development and refinement of the research profile of the whole institute and its constituent parts.
The German Archaeological Institute has decided to work towards greater thematic cross-linking between the various research projects which it conducts around the world and which are set out in the DAI research plan (PDF 2,2 MB). In view of the fact that the Departments and Commissions of the DAI tend to research very similar issues in their projects in various cultural regions of the Old and New World, we felt that it made sense to investigate certain phenomena in a comparative manner in the hope of arriving at a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying cultural processes and historical developments in early human history. The prospect of pursuing this objective on a global scale was particularly appealing. While the main focus of the Institute's work has traditionally lain on the Mediterranean region and the Near East, the projects undertaken more frequently in recent years in the Eurasian steppe, East Asia, on the African continent and in Latin America afford an excellent opportunity to gain a worldwide perspective. This opportunity is not to be missed.
The cross-linking between the research activities will be achieved by grouping the activities according to certain general themes. The themes that could be profitably investigated in this way are many and various. The matter was discussed in great depth by the directorate of the DAI at its session on 22 November 2005. It was concluded that four themes in particular were worth pursuing further. These themes lie at the heart of four research clusters which, it is hoped, will place the cooperation within the DAI on a new footing. Specifically these topical and relevant themes are as follows:
In addition we have chosen a fifth cluster, which concerns the history of research: