Karina Iwe, Alumni


Karina Iwe (Germany)

M.A. in Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History

PhD project
A Study of the Scytho-Siberian Animal Style in the Eurasian steppe belt. Multi-figured compositions.
My project, titled “A Study of the Animal Style of Scythian Nomadic Horse-Riders in Central Asia”, deals in particular with the classification and development of multi-figured animal scenes in different regions of the Eurasian steppe belt during Scythian times.

The project investigates material culture of the Iron Age (9th-3rd century BC). In the regions of Scythian nomadic horse-riders, several areas can be recognised which share common traits but also retain their local features. Thus, the emergence of nomadic horse-riders was accompanied by the appearance of a specific art style which dominated the Eurasian steppe belt for about 600 years. Nomadic life of Scythian horse-riders engendered a very intense perception of the natural surroundings. The Animal Style is, so to speak, its non-written document – a document of the interaction between nature/perceived environment and society. It reflects shared ideas of the human mind and the relationship between the individual, society and landscapes.

The aim of this project is to understand the meaning of multi-figured scenes within the Animal Style in societies of the Eurasian steppe belt. The questions to be addressed include: Which changes within the style can be recognised over time? Under which conditions did specific changes occur within the art style? Are there connections between art and objects and if so, are they visible? Are clear similarities and differences observable for regional and supra-regional levels? Does the style have an underlying meaning? What can we infer about the society, modes of thinking, and beliefs by investigating art of the Scythian period?

Research interests Eurasian Steppe Prehistory, Museums, World Heritage, Science Communication, Iron Age, Social Structures, Ritual Landscapes, Statistics, Iconographic Classification, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Nomadic Societies, Ancient Interactions and Globalization
Post PhD Position

Post doctoral fellow at University of Tübingen Project: Studie zur Interaktion zwischen Ethnologen und Archäologen im Sonderforschungsbereich 1070 ‘RessourcenKulturen’ an der Universität Tübingen


Since 2010
Member of the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” at Kiel University

2002 – 2009
(Magister Artium) Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University College of Dublin (Ireland), Department of Archaeology University of Leipzig, studies of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Intermediary examination 'Zwischenprüfung' Subject of the master’s thesis: The Animal Style of the elite burials in the mountains of Altai. Supervisors: Prof. H. Parzinger, Prof. W. Schier

Work experience

January 2016
Organizer, Excursion to the UNESCO – World Heritage Site Abbey of Lorsch

July 2015
Co-Organizer, Workshop “Complexity of Iron Age Societies”, Kiel University

November 2014
Co-Organizer, Excursion to the Völkerkundemuseum Hamburg, „Tibetische Nomaden in Not“ and „Tibetische Nomaden“

08/2012 – 01/2013
DAAD research grant, extended research travel to museums in Russia and Kazakhstan

Exhibition office Museum for Pre- and Early History Berlin “Under the Sign of the Golden Griffin. Royal Tombs of the Scythians”

Internship, Museen der Stadt Aschaffenburg, Archaeological Department (Schloss Johannisburg)

2002 - 2007
Student assistant at archaeological excavations in Kazakhstan, Ukraine (Alma Kermen/ Prof. F. Fless), Greece (Keros/ Prof. C. Renfrew) and Ireland Saxony, Lower Saxony, Bavaria and Hamburg

Teaching experience
„Einführung in die Archäologie Zentralasiens für Ethnologen“, University of Tübingen

Selected publications

Selected publications

In preparation
Karina Iwe, Das Auftreten von Sinnen in der Bilderwelt aus der Steppe. (In preparation for Visual Past. A Journal for the Study of Past Visual Cultures)

Karina Iwe, Anthropomorphe Göttinnen bei den Skythen. (In preparation for Tagungsband „Prähistorische und antike Göttinnen, Befunde – Interpretation - Rezeption“ (25.-27. März 2011)

Karina Iwe / Jeanne Féaux de la Croix / Susanne Fehlings, Case Study | Theoretical Promises und Practical Implementation. Interdisciplinary Encounters between Archaeologists and Ethnologists in a Collaborative Research Centre (SFB), 2016, Veröffentlichung des SFB 1070. [in Druck]

Karina Iwe, Nun auch noch Wissenschafts-Blogs? Beitrag für die Universitätszeitung unizeit der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Ausgabe 81/Juli, 2014.

Karina Iwe, Die Farbe Rot in der Pazyryk-Kultur, In: Harald Meller, Christian-Heinrich Wunderlich und Franziska Knoll (Hrsg.), Rot – die Archäologie bekennt Farbe. 5. Mitteldeutscher Archäologentag vom 04. bis 06. Oktober 2012 in Halle (Saale), Halle (Saale) 2013.

Frank Förster, Ralph Großmann, Karina Iwe, Hanno Kinkel, Annegret Larsen, Uta Lungershausen, Chiara Matarese, Philipp Meurer, Oliver Nelle, Vincent Robin, Michael Teichmann, What is landscape? Towards a common concept within an interdisciplinary research environment, eTOPOI (2012)

Karina Iwe, Tattoos from mummies of the Pazyryk Culture, In: Philippe Della Casa/Constanze Witt (eds.), Tattoos and Body Modifications in Antiquity. Proceedings of the sessions at the EAA annual meetings in The Hague and Oslo, 2010-11. Zurich Studies in Archaeology 9.

Selected paper presentations

New event format: science shows – a useful instrument for communication of science, St. Petersburg (Russia), Alternative Event Formats of Science Communication

The various aspects of world heritage. From the perspective of an archaeologist, St. Petersburg (Russia), Alternative Event Formats of Science Communication

Beutekunst, Kiel, European Researchers’ Night

Images of the Steppe. The Scytho-Siberian Animal Style, Biskupin (Poland), Conference „Inspirationen und Funktion der Ur- und Frühgeschichtlichen Kunst.“

A study of the Scytho-Siberian Animal Style of nomadic horse-riders in the Eurasian steppe belt. Multi-figured compositions…in the context of the museum world, Paris, PhD Seminar „Museum as a third space“


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ur- und Frühgeschichte e.V.

Elected substitute of the Doctoral Candidate's representation in the Advisory Board and the Executive Committee of the Graduate Center of Kiel University, Germany.

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