The term economic landscape helps to define the complex relationship between the economic activities of human society and their natural environment. Natural resources, environmental conditions and the trans/supra-regional geographical setting provide the basis for the economic development of a region. Furthermore, social settings of economic actions and interactions are taken into consideration.

Beyond resources and infrastructure, production and distribution sites are fundamental to understand economic landscapes. Since economic phenomena are not restricted to the landscape in which they are evolving, we are aiming to widen the theoretical framework towards the term Regional economic analysis. Inter-regional exchange patterns created by a certain demand and political interest have to be addressed while dealing with ancient economies.

Regarding questions of organization, political power, which is gained and maintained by control over crucial resources, is a central aspect. Therefore, a focus on aspects of political economy is necessary. Political economy is based upon a particular – either traditional or dynamic – ideology. The latter is important in terms of understanding processes of innovation, which transform economic space and its perception in a fundamental way.

The Autumn School will focus on the following aspects:

  • The access to and use of natural resources and the effects of environmental conditions
  • Structuring economic space (production sites, distribution sites, networks)
  • Transformation of mindscapes (ideology, power, innovations) and their spatial framing

The program of the Autumn School consists of several lectures providing an introduction to each of these three aspects, followed by a visit to the German Archaeological Institute and its laboratories in Berlin, as well as a practical approach to GIS based network analyses. Furthermore, an excursion to the Archäologisches Landesmuseum Brandenburg (Brandenburg a. d. Havel) is planned.

Ph.D. students of archaeology, geography and related disciplines are encouraged to submit their poster contributions.

Costs and accommodation

Participation is free of charge.

Travel allowance up to 200 € per person is available for non-local participants. All participants will be expected to organize their own travel and accommodation in Berlin for the duration of the Autumn School. Advice on accommodation options will be provided.


Conception and organization

Judith Fütterer, Elke Kaiser, Jan Krause, Robert Martin

Participating institutions

Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK), Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS), Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology and Institute of Geographical Sciences (Freie Universität Berlin), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin German, Archaeological Institute (DAI)


12:30 - 13:30
13:30 - 13:45
Elke Kaiser
Jan Krause
15:30 - 16:00
Poster Presentations, Part I
Judith Fütterer – Origin and distribution of the earliest copper artefacts in Eastern Europe | Francesa d´Andrea – The south-eastern sector of the Esquiline Hill: economic, social and political meaning of a multifunctional landscape at the borders of Rome | Gruia Fazecaş – Bronze Age Economic Landscape in Criş Rivers Basin | Julia Schönicke – Early Neolithic team work
15:30 - 16:00
Coffee Break
16:00 - 18:00
Poster Presentations, Part I
Ioannis Apostolou – Reconsidering the "helicoidal washeries" at Laurion, Attica | Hagit Nol – Landscaping Early Islam: A Case Study from Central Israel, 7th-11th centuries AD | Franz Becker – Landscapes of Exploitation and Control? Bronze Age Hillforts and their Spatial Setting in Transylvania | Marina Eguíluz – Understanding economic spaces through multi-dimensional analysis of macro-lithic artefacts | Parsa Sarvenaz – Archaeological Landscapes of Persian Chahar Taqs
18:15 - 19:45
Keynote: The Rise and Fall of the Taskscape
Julian Thomas
20:00 - 21:00
09:30 - 16:00
09:30 - 10:30
Introduction into the natural, technical and social aspects
Jonas Berking
10:30 - 11:00
Intensive vs extensive agriculture in the European Neolithic: The economy of slash-and-burn farming in experiment
Wolfram Schier
11:00 - 11:30
Coffee break
11:30 - 12:00
Poster Presentations, Part II
Lisa Bringemeier – Late Bronze Age land use dynamics and the emergence of fortified hilltop sites in the Central and East Hesse Uplands, Germany | Cristian Floca – Living Among the Waters. A brief history of the Relationship between Human Communities and Natural Resources within a micro-zone from the Pannonia Plain
12:00 - 13:00
13:00 - 16:00
Visit to Naturwissenschaftliches Referat of the German Archeological Institute
00:00 - 00:00
Visit to Archäologisches Landesmuseum Brandenburg
Meeting point: S + U-Bhf Berlin Friedrichstraße, Track 3 at 9:15, Departure 09:37 with RE 1 (3168)
10:00 - 20:00
10:00 - 10:30
The socioeconomic structure of Trypillia "mega-sites" and their hinterland
René Ohlrau
10:30 - 11:00
Long distance exchange and early social complexity in the Neolithic of the Near East
A view from Göbekli Tepe
Oliver Dietrich
11:00 - 11:30
Coffee Break
11:30 - 12:00
Social agency and the bloosme of wind-driven technologies in the pre-modern era of eastern Iran
Moslem Mishmastnehi
12:00 - 13:00
13:00 - 13:30
Europe as a metallurgical Landscape - production, organisation and connectivity
Bianka Nessel
13:30 - 14:00
The mining and smelting landscape on Elba Island 700 BC – 200 CE
Fabian Becker
Raphael Alexander Eser
14:00 - 14:30
Poster Presentations, Part III
Sara E. Zaia – Long-distance trades on the Egyptian sea coasts | Lukas Goldmann – Island control over inland water exchange networks in the late western Slavic world
18:00 - 20:00
Keynote: Controlling the economic landscape
Property, production and trade: the Bronze Age in the Carpathian Basin and Southern Scandinavia compared
Claes Uhnér
20:00 - 22:00
10:00 - 14:00
10:00 - 10:30
Mining landscape as resource spaces of appropriation: Theoretical frame
Thomas Stöllner
10:30 - 11:00
The practical application of resilience theory- a short introduction from archaeology
Marcel Bradtmöller
11:00 - 12:00
Poster Presentations, Part III
Lily Li-Chia Liu – The Economy of Eastern Han Sichuan brick tombs | Robert Martin – Rethinking glass innovation
12:00 - 13:00
13:00 - 13:30
The spread of copper metallurgy and early agriculture – understanding the role of economic factors in innovation diffusion
Silviane Scharl
13:30 - 14:00
Elementary Structures of Prehistoric Innovations
Florian Klimscha
14:00 - 15:00
Podium discussion with Silviane Scharl, Florian Klimscha, Claes Uhnér