Leibniz Graduate School Raw Materials, Innovation, technology of ancient cultures
The Leibniz Graduate School of "Raw Materials, Innovation and Technology of Ancient Cultures (RITaK)" is a collaboration between the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum and the Ruhr-University Bochum. It has set itself the goal of exploring the mining, processing and use of resources from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Mineral resources have had a decisive influence on human history. They are essential engines of cultural and economic development. This is true for ancient cultures, which we classify based on their use of raw materials (Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, etc.), and applies just as much to our civilization today, which will perhaps one day be called the Silicon Age: mining, metal extraction, sustainability, environment and economy, imports and exports are all issues that are more relevant than ever! This is why it is so important to explore resources and their role in changing culture and society in the past, in order to make comparisons with the present. Following this principle, the Graduate School RITaK develops knowledge about the past and makes this available for current discussions and solutions to problems.
What strategies and mechanisms did people use at different times and in different cultures in order to obtain raw materials, and how were they processed? What ideas and concepts or technologies and innovations were required? How far did the flow of raw materials and products extend? And to what extent did landscapes and cultural areas change under the influence of new resources? These and other fascinating questions will be investigated by our doctoral candidates in their doctoral studies at the Graduate School.
During their three-year research projects, the young scholars from Spain, Austria, the United States of America and Germany receive comprehensive supervision and various forms of support from renowned scholars and scientists from a wide range of archaeological, historical and geographical-geological disciplines from nine institutions at the DBM and the RUB. Further researchers from nine national and international institutions at the cutting edge of research in Europe support the project as partners, providing numerous opportunities for academic networking and exchange.
Perspectives from ancient history, ethnography and archaeology: Innovation – acquisition of raw materials – social change: models and concepts
Exchange and trade were important aspects for the social and economic life of prehistoric communities.read more
The developments that took place in Bronze Age are considered to be the first steps towards the formation of Eurasian nomad societies and establishment of the communication and trade networks which will be called later as the Silk Roads.read more
Metal of the Bronze Age cultures from central and eastern Kazakhstan: provenance, production and distribution – an archaeological and archaeometric study
The regions of central and eastern Kazakhstan had a special significance for metallurgy in Bronze Age Eurasia. Important metallurgical centres within the Eurasian Metallurgical Province (EMP) emerged here on the basis of rich deposits of copper and tin oreread more
Prestigious metals in elite tombs of the Copper Age and Early Bronze Age: Provenance and metallurgical knowledge
The focus of this dissertation is an interdisciplinary investigation of the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age in northern Anatolia, supported by archaeological and archaeometallurgical sciences.read more
The mining district of Faynan is of capital importance in the economy of the ancient Near East, and is one of the best preserved and most thoroughly researched sites of early mining and smelting in the Levant.read more
In western, central and southern Asia the 3rd millennium BCE should be understood as a period of accelerated social transformations, rooted in processes which started back in the 4th millennium, in what is known as the Uruk period.read more
Metal trading and technology transfer by the Phoenicians in the westernmost part of the ancient world
The Iberian Peninsula was one of the most important mining centers in antiquity. Since the Chalcolithic minerals and metals such as gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, etc were extracted, smelted and transformed.read more
Laurion: Archaeological studies on ancient mining activity and settlement patterns in the Attic mining district in pre-history and antiquity
The Lauriotike, one of the most important mining regions of Ancient Greece, has been a subject of scholarly interest since the early 19th Century. The mines of Southeast Attica became of growing economic importance for Classical Athens since Late Archaic times with the issue of the famous ‟Athenian owls“.read more
The Hellweg zone: Transfer of technology and raw materials between the Roman Empire and the Germanic tribes.
This dissertation project focuses on the settlement of Kamen-Westick, which is situated in what is known as the Hellweg zone. This term refers to the area between the Ruhr and Lippe rivers in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, and derives from a historical trading route called the Hellweg.read more
In the 10th Century there is a transition in the economy of the Baltic region from an eastward focus on Russia and Central Asia to a westward focus on Anglo-Saxon England and the Saxon Empire.read more
Analysis of the medieval development of mining laws and settlements in the Saxon Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge)
Mining formed the Ore Mountains over centuries. The earliest documentation of mining in the Freiberg region comes from c. 1168 with the discovery of silver ore deposits. Miners, families and labourers moved to the region, and the rapid settlement left its mark on the landscape.read more