RTG 1876

Core Faculty

Prof. Dr. Tanja Pommerening (spokesperson)

Prof. Dr. Jochen Althoff (vice spokesperson)
(Classical Philology)

PD Dr. Annemarie Ambühl
(Classical Philology)

Prof. Dr. Heide Frielinghaus
(Classical Archaeology)

Prof. Dr. Sabine Gaudzinski-Windheuser
(Pleistocene Archaeology)

Prof. Dr. Marion Gindhart
(Classical Philology)

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Claudia Lauer
(Medieval German Studies)

Prof. Dr. Johannes Pahlitzsch
(Byzantine Studies)

Prof. Dr. Doris Prechel
(Ancient Near Eastern Studies)

Prof. Dr. Alexander Pruß
(Near Eastern Archaeology)

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The RTG's core faculty comprises 10 professors of Egyptology, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Near Eastern Archaeology, Classical Philology, Classical Archaeology, Middle High German, Byzantine Studies, and Medical History.

During the period of the RTG (9 years) a total of 35 doctoral students and 2 post-docs will be funded by the German Research Foundation as "wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter". At any one time, there will be twelve funded positions. In addition, other doctoral students with external funding will form part of the group. They will have the same rights and responsibilities as those paid by DFG and take part in the same programme of study, the only difference being the source of funding.

A considerable number of associated faculty and institutes provide additional support for our graduate programme. You can find a list of all cooperating institutes and partners here.

During the second funding period, the RTG invites scholars from outside each term for two days. Furthermore, a total of two Mercator-Fellows will be integrated for an extended stay in Mainz to work with our graduates students.

Administrative support for all members of the RTG is provided by an extra member of staff in charge of coordinating our work.

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Research Programme

In their theses, doctoral students study one or more specific concepts of humans and nature, within one culture as well as comparing various cultures, based on sources that may be written, iconographic, or archaeological, within an area that comprises the ancient Near East, the Mediterranean, and Europe, during any period from 100.000 years B.C.E. to the Middle Ages.

The focus is on the types, representation, and evolution of these concepts (mechanisms of transmission, creation, application, etc.), and moreover on their natural, local, temporal, generic, linguistic, iconographic, sociocultural or individual forms, and on temporal or regional continuities and discontinuities.

Early ideas about humans and nature often show a surprising similarity on the surface between one culture and another. This makes it imperative to distinguish between concepts that are universal and those that are specific and individual, before claiming that interchanging has taken place. The wide range of disciplines that are part of our RTG provides opportunities for focusing research projects in such a way that they at the same time advance knowledge in one specific discipline and also provide answers within the wider framework of the universal or individual character of such concepts. We have students from different disciplines work on identical or similar topics in order to facilitate ground-breaking studies for such a comparison.

Four partly overlapping research domains:

A) Concepts of original state and primordial elements, the origin and the end of the world

B) Concepts of natural phenomena, the forces of nature, and natural catastrophes

C) Concepts of flora, fauna, and natural environment

D) The conceptualization of the human body, of disease, healing and death

Other Projects


Further information (in German)

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