Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlich-ökonomischer Exzellenz (LOEWE)

Schwerter der bronzezeit arch%c3%a4ologische staatssammlung m%c3%bcnchen depot foto krause 2 gesch

Prehistoric Conflict Research – Bronze Age Fortifications between Taunus and Carpathian Mountains

The emphasis of the LOEWE focal point “Prehistoric Conflict Research – Bronze Age Fortifications between Taunus and Carpathian Mountains” is on empirical investigations of warfare and war-related infrastructure during the Bronze Age. Little is known or has been investigated regarding the hillforts of the 2nd millennium BC, which are characterized by strong walls and are often located on mountain tops. These fortified hilltop settlements situated between the Carpathians and the Central German Uplands represent a new phenomenon at the dawn of the 2nd millennium BC. They document an eminent need for protection, but also represent centers of power with the capability to control territories and traffic routes. Together with archaeobotanists and pedologists, we intend to reconstruct the Bronze Age environment in the periphery surrounding the hillforts in order to understand their use of resources.

The empirical research of the LOEWE focal point can only be based on case studies. We are therefore going to establish a scientific network connecting archaeologists from France to Moldavia in order to enhance the joint research on Bronze Age fortifications.

In addition, the LOEWE focal point aims to cover violent conflicts, Bronze Age wars and the possibilities of conflict prevention within a larger theoretical and historical-cultural scope. This is why mediaevalists are also concerned with early medieval castles, while sociologists will examine fortifications and other structures of war in ethnographical contexts around the globe.

The subject of prehistoric conflict research has become depressingly topical in the face of ongoing wars in Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Have there always been wars and do they hence form an integral part of humankind, or is it a historical phenomenon which can be overcome? Prehistoric Archaeology is quite suited to make an important contribution to the effort to answer these questions.
(Translation Dr. Maren Gumnior)

The projects

Press release regarding the appropriation of our 4th year of funding

Picture: Full-handle bronze swords of the Middle Bronze Age in the archive of the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection, Munich (photograph: R. Krause)

Logo: Depiction of a lion dated to the 4th millennium BC on a silver cup from the great kurgan of Maikop, northern Caucasus (graphical design: Anke Reuter)

Research Coordinators:

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Krause, Goethe-University Frankfurt (FB 09)
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Svend Hansen, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Berlin


Archaeology in Romania and Hesse I:
Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Krause
Dr. des. Hélène Blitte

Archaeology in Romania und Hesse II:
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Svend Hansen
Dr. Claes Uhnér
Dr. Daniel Neumann


Dr. Astrid Stobbe, Goethe-University Frankfurt (FB 09)

Medieval Science:

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Jussen, Goethe-University Frankfurt (FB 08)
PD Dr. Thomas Kohl
Dr. des. Daniel Föller


Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Sutterlüty, Goethe-University Frankfurt (FB 03)
PD Dr. Matthias Jung
Dr. Andy Reymann

Administrativ coordination:

Marie-Hélène Haußels, Goethe-University Frankfurt (FB09)

Research advisory board:

Prof. Dr. Heidi Peter-Röcher, Julius Maximillians University Würzburg
Prof. Dr. Peter Ettel, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
Prof. Dr. Sighard Neckel, University Hamburg

Associated persons and institutions:

In Germany


Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Hessen Wiesbaden - hessenArchäologie
Dr. Udo Recker und Dr. Sabine Schade-Lindig


Kommission für Archäologische Landesforschung in Hessen e.V. (KAL)



Stadt- und Kreisarchäologie Fulda
Dr. Frank Verse

In Romania


Muzeul Banatului Timişoara 
Dr. Alexandru Szentmiklosi


Muzeul National al Unirii Alba Iulia
Dr. Horia Ciugudean


Complexul Muzeal Arad
Dr. Victor Sava