This dissertation project, based on a practice-theoretical background, is dedicated to the investigation of daily practice of the inhabitants of Neolithic and Eneolithic Monjukli Depe in Turkmenistan.


The analysis will focus on the extent to which different everyday practices are normatively shaped. From a theoretical perspective, the starting points comprise on the one hand the concept of habitus by the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, and on the other hand the concept of Eigensinn (self-will) by the social historian Alf Lüdke. The combination of the two ideas results in a conception able to integrate both dispositional (normative) and self-willed (non-normative) behaviour into the explanation of historical processes. The methodological implementation is based on a technique known as micro debris analysis, which is used to search a variety of soil samples for fragmentary traces of such practices. The technique allows researchers to determine in which settlement areas which practices were exercised in which intensity. The detailed and localized investigation into the reality of life in Monjukli Depe thus provides insights into the societal conditions under which social, ideological or technological developments ensued.