People have a complex relationship with their environment, which is not only understood as a natural framework of their pure existence, but also as a self-created space to live in. The use and expansion of their knowledge about this living world encourages communities and individuals to develop new ideas and concepts regarding social and technological change. This change can be triggered by intentional actions as well as by unintentional re-actions, which include communal reflection on values and forms of expression. The world is not only present per se but must be shaped in social and cultural terms.
TA 2 is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study (Pleistocene archaeology,prehistory, geosciences and Ancient Greek philology from Asia Minor to Central Europe) of how challenges are dealt with in a (living) world created by humans, whereby a wide diversity of methodological approaches is considered from temporally and spatially different perspectives. In diachronic projects, social, political, economic, but also epistemic processes are investigated in an ever-changing field of tension between accepted values and the need to reconceptualise perceived phenomena. The individual projects show that, in addition to practical considerations, abstract motives have repeatedly influenced human behaviour since early human history. Their consequences can not only be linked to historical, but also to present and future research questions and discourses, especially with regard to sustainability, economic and/or ecological adaptation mechanisms in societies, and the varying significance of social derivations linked to them. Due to their diverse substantive links, such as the focus on social changes and the inevitability of technological transformations, the projects mutually benefit from each other. The joint exchange makes it possible to determine individual and collective social practices from different perspectives in several disciplines.
TA 2 makes a fundamental contribution to the profile area primarily by looking at the reciprocal relationship between human communities or individuals and their environment. A cross-cultural and cross-temporal perspective over a long period of time makes it possible to structure patterns of behaviour regarding the perception, conceptualisation of and coping with challenges. Moreover, a diachronic perspective enables an assessment of long-term processes that led to social transformations.
Prof. Dr. Sabine Gaudzinski-Windheuser