Disciplines and methodologies

The fields of specialization of DAI research staff are to a certain extent congruent with ancient cultural regions. These specializations partly correspond to the university disciplines, such as Classical Archaeology, Pre- and Early History, Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology. From a global perspective, however, the epoch and cultural region specializations in archaeology as taught at university cover only selected areas. For the archaeology of Oceania, South and East Asia, for example, university disciplines offer no equivalents. This being so, a special role falls to the DAI both in research and education. Defining the research profiles according to geographical cultural regions does nevertheless promote region-specific interdisciplinarity among the different historical and methodological specializations of the archaeological and cultural-historical disciplines, in a form that does not occur in the university environment.

In terms of research topics, particular areas of focus can be found at the Commission for Ancient History and Epigraphy, Munich, but also and above all in the cross-departmental working groups at the Head Office, which focus on archaeological history, information technology, natural sciences, protection of cultural resources and site management.

The methodological spectrum of research at the DAI is wide. Along with classical excavation, the survey and the structural record, the DAI produces editions of ancient writing (inscriptions, papyri) and coins, presents categories of ancient material culture, performs natural science analyses, and conducts research and development in the field of scientific IT and site management.

The increasing complexity of the methodologies applied and the diversity of the disciplines involved reflects the ever more complex research questions now being explored in the archaeological sciences. These questions can only be tackled successfully in a global network of cooperation.