Abgeschlossene Projekte

SFB 1266. 1 Förderphase, Projekt A1 Theories of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies; PI: Annette Haug


Academic Staff:

Mitarbeiter/innen: Kim Kittig

Project description

The key task of theory project A1 lies in a theoretical conceptualization of the complex archaeological and palaeo-environmental factors influencing transformation processes of prehistoric and archaic societies. Environmental, cultural and social theories will be used to develop middle range theories together with the other projects and disciplines of the CRC. hier weiterlesen

SFB 1266, 1. Förderphase, Projekt E1 Transformations in Early Greek Societies and Landscapes; PI: Annette Haug

Blick über Aigeira und den Korinthischen Golf
View on Aigeira and the Corinthian GulfPhoto: T. Keßler

Academic Staff:


Mitarbeiter/innen: Torben Keßler

Project description

The project deals with the transition from Bronze to Early Iron Age (12th to 8th century BC) in the regions around the Gulf of Corinth and the Gulf of Patras. Archaeologically, this period is commonly known as the “Greek Dark Ages” which is due to the loss of literacy and the generally less copious material evidence in comparison to the times before and after. Apart from that, it is a phase of major social transformations. hier weiterlesen

SFB 1266, 1. Förderphase, Projekt E3 Human, landscape, architecture. Hellenistic building complexes in the context of human action and perception; PI: Annette Haug

Hellenistic architecture


Academic Staff:


Mitarbeiter/innen: Asja Müller, Fanny Opdenhoff, Jessica vant' Westeinde, Michael Feige


Project description

The project investigates the transformation of the interrelation between built architecture and landscape during the Hellenistic period (ca. 4th to 1st century BC) in the Mediterranean. This period can be regarded as a key moment in the history of human design of landscape features since it saw a massive change in the relationship between architecture and landscape as already stressed by Hans Lauter in the 1980s. Therefore, project E3 focuses on architectural interventions and their consequences for the shaping of the landscape and, vice versa, the influence of landscape on the specific forms of architecture. In contrast to many previous studies related to this subject, built space is not regarded as a static, container-like entity in which action takes place. Instead, the project adopts a more dynamic, relational concept of built space. Seen from this perspective, which is founded upon the research of influential theoreticians as Martina Löw and Henry Lefebvre, built space is a social product, formed by the ever-changing relations of its occupants and constituent elements. Thus, built space is strongly linked to specific forms of agency, social behaviour and social contexts.


In this the Project E3 pursues two different approaches, each of which focuses specific architectural and geographical contexts:

  • Asja Müller's Project investigates the interaction between humans, architecture and the surrounding landscape in regard to Hellenistic sanctuaries in the eastern Mediterranean from the 4th to the 2nd Century BC. Details
  • Michael Feige's Project addresses these relationships with a view on Roman Republican Villas on the Italian Peninsula from the 2nd to the 1st Century BC. Details



  • A. Haug - A. Müller, Introduction. Hellenistic Architecture, Landscape, and Human Action, in: dies. (Hrsg.), Hellenistic Architecture and Human Action. A Case of Reciprocal Influence (Leiden 2020) 11–20

SFB 1266, 1. Förderphase, Projekt E3 – Roman Republican Villas in Italy. Rural complexes in the light of human-architecture-landscape relations; PI: Annette Haug

Roman villas
Villa San Marco in StabiaeBildnachweis: wikicommons


Project description

The project investigates the relations between human actions, architecture and surrounding landscape in the context of Roman Villas on the Italian peninsula of the 2nd and 1st century BC. The systematic spreading of the “villa system” during the last two centuries before Christ marks a decisive transformation in the way in which humans perceived, structured and used the landscape of Italy. The result of this transformation was a completely new system of rural settlements and economics, as well as a specific way of life that should remain dominant until the end of antiquity.

As a mix of economic facilities and residential buildings Roman villas represented multifunctional architectures that had to cope with a wide range of tasks and needs. They had to combine spaces for the leisure, recreation and festivities of their owners as well as agricultural production into a single building complex. At the same time they were built in very different locations and various landscapes. They therefore form an excellent basis for the investigation of the connections between human, landscape and architecture.

Against the background of these assumptions, the main question of the project is how the different functional requirements and natural circumstances were taken into account in the planning, design and decor of the buildings. The project will analyze this on the basis of various aspects, such as:

Location – Function – Architecture

  • Which locations were preferred for the construction of villas with varying functionality?
  • Which architectural modules were used in the design of the villa buildings? Where and in which way were they applied?
  • Are there architectural forms or combinations that were especially developed for villas?
  • Is it possible to detect connections between the use of specific architectures, the function and/or the surrounding landscape?

Perceiving and interacting with the architecture

  • What role did the view out of the villa and its outside perception play in the planning, positioning and orientation of the buildings?
  • How were production and service facilities handled in regard to the outside perception of the building?
  • How did the villa’s architecture structure human perceptions and actions?
  • In which way did the layout of the rooms or other elements coordinate the movement and vision throughout the building?
  • Which functional spaces were structurally linked or separated, respectively?

Perceiving and interacting with the landscape

  • Did different landscape settings influence the layout, orientation and decoration of certain rooms, i.e. triclinia? Were specific landscape views preferred in this context?
  • How were these views architecturally arranged and enhanced?
  • In which way was the view out of the Villa perceived by the inhabitants?
  • Which elements are reflected in artistic works, i.e. the Roman wall paintings?
  • Has the natural landscape in the immediate and further vicinity of the villas been artificially altered with gardens or ornamental architecture to suit the view to the taste of the owners? If, which kinds of alterations can be traced?
  • How did "real" and "artificial" nature (natural landscape/gardens) interrelate?

Social and historical context

  • Which ideas, ideologies and social structures can be deduced from the relationship between human, villa architecture and landscape?
  • How and to what extent did they influence or condition the formation of the Roman-Italic Villeggiatur?
  • What is the relationship between the Roman villas and their functional nearest relatives, the palaces of the Hellenistic kingdoms?