• Flyer of the event series "Topoi im Museum"
    Results of the group has been presented to a broader public within the event series "Topoi im Museum"
  • Northern coast of Elba | Photo: R. A. Eser/ © R. A. Eser
    Elba was one of the important centres of iron production of the Mediterranean in classical Antiquity. Sedimentological and geochemical analysis were used to give insights in the environmental impact of iron smelting | Photo: R. A. Eser
  • Rennofen Typ „Glienick“ in einem Sondageschnitt bei Mittenwalde. Datierung 4./3. Jh. BC (Foto: M. Brumlich, © M. Brumlich)
    The Teltow is one of the pioneering regions in early iron smelting in central Europe. Bloomeries of type "Glienick“ were the standard form used for iron production in the region during the pre-Roman Iron Age | Photo: M. Brumlich
  • The Iron Age section of the exhibition on prehistory and early history at the Neues Museum Berlin includes results of research group A-5 | Image: Showcase with Iron Age findings, photo: Nina Diezemann
The use of raw materials reveals clear connections between the knowledge of space and technological knowledge. An excellent example of this is the use of iron ore; iron extraction and processing requires not only knowledge of the location of concrete iron ore deposits, but also reliable knowledge of the complex smelting process.
25 Researchers
7 Research Projects
4 Dissertation Projects
23 Publications
8 Events
5 Cooperating partners

In a process spanning many centuries, iron smelting technologies spread from Anatolia in the 3rd millennium BC to reach the cultures of the northern Central European lowlands in the 4th c. BC. The projects carried out in research group A-5 focued on questions concerning the introduction and development of these innovations in various cultural situations and regions. This involved examining social integration as well as specific technological developments and ways of managing resources.

The interdisciplinary character of the group, which includes archaeologists, linguists and geographers, allowed for the inclusion of ancient texts, archaeological sources and evidence concerning the potential of and changes to regional resources. The group’s research on innovative processes and their spatial effects, as well as on knowledge-based land use practices was rigorously integrated into the Key Topic Innovation. Furthermore, economic issues that promised to yield important results were addressed through questions concerning the organization and distribution of production. In this way, the research group was also contribute to discussions concerning the Key Topic Economy.


Research Projects


Third-party Funded Project