Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

SPP Häfen: 2. Call for Papers for "Harbours as objects of interdisciplinary research – Archaeology + History + Geosciences"

— filed under:

DFG Priority Programme 1630 "Harbours from the Roman Period to the Middle Ages" Call for Papers for: Harbours as objects of interdisciplinary research – Archaeology + History + Geosciences

► Registration Form

► Information on accommodation etc.

The DFG Priority Programme 1630 “Harbours from the Roman Period to the Middle Ages” started in July 2012. Its aim is the interdisciplinary study of primarily civil harbours as highly complex systems in which ecological, logistical, economic, social, legal, military and religious subsystems overlap and influence each other. In order to evaluate the full extent and depth of the phenomenon 'harbour', these subsystems and their implications for the development of the settlements must be identified. The 15 interdisciplinary projects of the Programme are working on a comparative analysis allowing harbours to be understood as system-relevant components.

We are now at the half-time of the six-year grant period and therefore will hold an international conference at which we will bring forth first results as well as new perspectives. The conference is in close cooperation with the Johanna Mestorf Academy, the Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology and the Institute of Geosciences of the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany. It is titled “Harbours as objects of interdisciplinary research – Archaeology + History + Geosciences” and will be held from the 30th of September to the 3rd of October at the Auditorium Maximum (main lecture hall) of the University in Kiel. The conference language will be English.

On the evening of the 30th of September there will be an opening keynote-lecture and a welcome reception at the Institute of Geosciences at the CAU Kiel. For our interdisciplinary research on harbours the conference will continue with plenum lectures and different parallel session for the next two days. The final day (3rd of October) will be devoted to a field trip, in which we will divide the group into two. One group will visit Haithabu and Schloss Gottorf in Schleswig, the other group will join in a guided bus tour to the modern port of Hamburg.

The interdisciplinary sessions are the following:

•    Geophysics and Field Research: Developing methods

Both the localization and the subsequent large-scale survey of former harbours constitutes a challenge for geophysics, since the often prevailing limnic environment and coastal shallow waters neither suit the conventional methods usually applied in terrestrial or in marine geophysics. This challenge gave impulses for the development of new approaches. The session will deal with the whole range of adapted geophysical methods such as geomagnetics, geoelectrics or GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar), seismic measurements, their possible interaction and their potential for harbour research.

•    Geoarchaeology: Changing Harbour Environments

Harbours are primarily established as shelter for waterborne traffic and their link to both maritime and terrestrial traffic networks. However, these natural conditions are seldom stable and can change, e.g. due to changing water levels or silting. If a modification of the harbour facilities was not possible it often led to an abandonment of the site. Here, marine geosciences are capable to not only locate the former shoreline and give information on earlier water depths, but also to reconstruct the very processes that changed the prevailing condition on-site.

    Archaeological Features: Harbour Facilities and Infrastructure

This session will focus on the study of harbour facilities and their progressive development. Harbour facilities served the changing demands at the port by means of providing a sufficient water depth for mooring and the necessities for stock exchange and, thus, secured the economic basis of each harbour town. Yet, a port worked not only by its harbour facilities alone, but just as well by its harbor-related logistic infrastructure in the settlement and on the sea route towards it.

    Written and Iconographic Sources: Complementing the Material Evidence

The study of the material remains of harbours is obviously limited in its potential insights. Information on e.g. harbour legislation, administration, collection of duties or actual trading voyages of particular individuals remains in the dark. However, evidence of harbours from non-archaeological sources exist in a great variety in historical records from Imperial Roman times to the High Middle Ages. This session wants to encourage a revision of written sources, inscriptions, papyri and seals, along with pictorial records reflecting harbours as economic, legal, stately and cultic systems just as well as the daily harbour life.


All 15 projects participating in the Priority Programme will present a poster on their research.

Deadline for submission is the 15th of June 2015. Please send your abstract of about 200-400 words as well as the registration form (see above) to:

Ilka Rau, M.A.                             Tel.: +49 4621-813 662     

Zentrum für Baltische und Skandinavische Archäologie

Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen             

Schloß Gottorf

24837 Schleswig


The abstract must include the title, the preferred session, contact details with affiliated institution and email address as well as information on participating in one of the two choices for the excursion to either the port of Hamburg or Schleswig. Papers are expected to be 20 minutes long followed by 10 minutes of questions and discussion. The papers will be evaluated by the initiators of the SPP and replies regarding acceptance will be given by July 2015.

An admission fee of 30,-  Euro is to be paid at the conference office during registration. Additionally, a fee of 40,- Euro for the optional field trip will have to be paid.

Please also check our homepage for latest information:

Please note that the archaeological proceedings will be published in a conference publication whereas the geophysical papers will be published in the peer-reviewed “Journal of Archaeological Science”.


Initiators of the Priority Programme


Prof. Dr. Claus von Carnap-Bornheim

Archäologisches Landesmuseum und

Zentrum für Baltische und Skand. Archäologie

Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf


24837 Schleswig

Prof. Dr. Peter Ettel

Bereich für Ur- und Frühgeschichte


Löbdergraben 24a

07743 Jena

Prof. Dr. Falko Daim

Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum

Ernst-Ludwig-Platz 2

55116 Mainz

Dr. Ursula Warnke

Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum

Hans-Scharoun-Platz 1

27568 Bremerhaven


Document Actions