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Innovation Fund for Maran and Stockhammer

Nov 09, 2012

A new research project by Prof. Joseph Maran and Dr. Philipp W. Stockhammer has been funded by the Innovation Fund "FRONTIER" of Heidelberg University. The project on "Interculturality and Migration in the Southern Levant in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age" will continue the work of the former research project D2 of the Cluster "Asia and Europe".

During the centuries between ca. 1400 and 1200 BCE an increase of trade between kingdoms in Egypts, the Near East and Greece led to an unprecedented degree of mobility and interaction in the East Mediterranean. This Late Bronze Age world that was characterized by political complexity, monumental architecture and palatial bureaucracies collapsed around 1200 BCE, and the ensuing period was accompanied by upheavals and migrations ("Sea Peoples"). Hitherto, research assumed that in the course of these movements of the "Sea Peoples" the so-called Philistines migrated from the Aegean and/or Cyprus to the Southern Levant and pushed back the local Canaanite population.

In cooperation with scholars from Israel, Denmark and Germany, the project will focus on the issue of the so-called Philistine migration and will combine recent scientific breakthroughs in molecular biology and isotope analysis with an archaeological contextual analysis to assess the linkage between human mobility and the transformative capacity of intercultural encounters. The project is funded by "FRONTIER" for two years with more than 90.000 euro.

The Innovation Fund FRONTIER established in accordance with Heidelberg University’s Institutional Strategy provides funding for small to medium-size projects that are characterised by outstanding scientific quality and high innovative potential.

Prof. Joseph Maran is Professor of Pre- and Protohistory, Heidelberg University, and Principal Investigator of the Cluster "Asia and Europe". Dr. Philipp W. Stockhammer is postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Prehistory and Early History and Near Eastern Archaeology, Heidelberg University. Together with Prof. Markus Hilgert, Prof. Peter A. Miglus, and Prof. Diamantis Panagiotopoulos they coordinated research project D2 "Materiality and Practice".


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  • The Levant is the geographical region roughly between Egypt and Anatolia