The central research topic of research area A was human interaction with the natural environment and its potentialities, as well as the knowledge that is generated by specific objectives and that comes into play through this interaction. What spatial usage strategies do people implement? How do these strategies impact the environment? What changes do they bring about? Guided by these central questions, research area A continued to pursue its tried and tested research strategies, with certain approaches to be developed further and new ones to be added. In Topoi’s second funding phase, the focus was on the process by which space-related bodies of knowledge emerge and develop: the central theme connecting all of Area A’s research groups was now the investigation of various innovations based on aspects of the natural environment.

Special consideration was given to three aspects:

  1. Innovations aimed at valorizing the environment
  2. Innovations aimed at extracting and processing raw materials
  3. Innovations involving space-related economic concepts

The research groups were supported by the Spatial Data Analysis Forum, where the Area’s competencies in the fields of geoinformatics and computational archaeology are bundled and networked with the research groups and projects.

Research methodology continued to be based on rigorous, tried and tested integration of archaeological sciences and geosciences, involving methodological approaches from geoarchaeology, geophysics, geomorphology, remote sensing, archaeobiology, paleoenvironmental research and materials analysis.

For information on the research conducted in Area A in the first funding phase, please visit