Interdisciplinary and global – the DAI's research networks

The questions explored by archaeology have changed. The spectrum of subject areas and of research cultures in the archaeological sciences around the world is constantly expanding as questions revolving around early human history become more complex. Many of the questions can only be answered if multiple disciplines and institutions work together.

Knowledge networks – research networks

The research networks include natural scientists who are involved in the reconstruction of landscapes, habitats and climates in antiquity – and who ultimately generate knowledge about the living conditions of humans in the ancient world. The archaeologists at the DAI examine not only man-made artefacts but also bones and vegetation remains. They also work with climate models. Apart from that, dendrochronology, archaeozoology and archaeobotany as well as geophysics with their respective methodologies are among the many sciences that today form a self-evident part of archaeological research. And at every excavation, during all collaborative work in the field or in the library, in individual scientific discussion as well as defining overarching research themes, international and interdisciplinary networks come into being. They are a necessity if research work is to be successful, and a precondition for the creation of research associations on a national and international level.

Research networks worldwide

Fundamental to the DAI's work is a variety of research networks and research collaborations around the world. Scientific exchange and cooperation in concrete projects in host countries are strands in an international network that is of great importance to the DAI. Cooperation is anchored in agreements and extends far beyond bilateral treaties.

The concept of research centres, which is being further developed by the DAI at the moment, is intended to reinforce international cooperation in the form of a project. A first step in this direction has been taken with the founding of the Friedrich Hinkel Research Centre. The centre will make Friedrich Hinkel's great achievements in Sudanese archaeology accessible to international researchers in cooperation with the Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project.

Research networks at the DAI – research clusters

The DAI's research profile also includes an internal network in the form of research clusters. In these research clusters, case studies on various ancient cultures and in various landscapes are grouped together according to central themes: innovation, migration, political and sacred spaces, even the history of the subject itself are examined. The diachronic and spatial comparison of cultural phenomena around the world produces significant new findings. In the future, transregional focus areas will be added as an internal network inside the DAI.

Research associations

Worldwide research cooperation as well as networks inside the DAI are the basis for further-reaching research associations which gather together the competences of major scientific institutions, both nationally and internationally. Universities and non-university facilities here contribute their institutional strengths to the investigation of certain overarching themes. 

Graduate schools and study courses

Graduate schools are a central component of modern research associations. The DAI is a partner in innovative postgraduate programmes and courses of study, and a member of several graduate schools, for example in Munich, Kiel and Berlin.

The DAI contributes its competence in education by taking part in seminar programmes and supervising dissertations. A result of this is that acquired knowledge can be practically applied on concrete DAI projects. Many researchers at the DAI are permanently employed in a teaching capacity at German and international colleges.

Internationally, various departments of the DAI are involved in university teaching – whether through the preparation of university curricula in the field of classical studies, through lectorships or by establishing cultural contacts both across the curriculum and across borders as the basis for future cooperation. The utmost importance is attached to cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.