From Okolište to Upper Mesopotamia in two books


Graduate School members Robert Hofmann and Fevzi Kemal Moetz have recently published new books about their research.

New equipment for field work

Hofmann, as well as many other Graduate School members, participated in the archaeological fieldwork carried out near the town of Visoko in Central Bosnia and Herzegowina from 2002 to 2008.

Robert Hofmann, former associated PhD student and now postdoctoral fellow at the Graduate School, has authored the second volume of the Okolište series (part 3 on house inventories, osteological findings, etc. is in preparation), which is at the same time his PhD thesis.

“Okolište 2” focuses on the ceramics found in the Late Neolithic settlement of the same name. The analysis of the technological and stylistic variety of these ceramic findings, related to the development of housing structures and architecture in Early Chalcolithic Okolište, results in a comprehensive, overall picture of settlement dynamics in the low mountain range of Central Bosnia.
Fevzi Kemal Moetz, former PhD student of the Graduate School, has also published his doctoral thesis. Titled “Sesshaftwerdung – Aspekte der Niederlassung im Neolithikum in Obermesopotamien”, the main objectives of the study analyze which environmental aspects attracted early Neolithic settlers in the so-called fertile crescent and how these preferences changed over time.

Moetz set up a database for all archaeological information concerning his period and region of study, as well as conducting a survey in the field. His results show, for example, that when hunter-gatherers started farming, they preferred certain soil types, even ground and the vicinity of freshwater sources for their early settlements. In contrast, sites with ritual function were likely to be erected on the peaks of mountain ranges.
Both books have been published by Habelt GmbH (Bonn) in the series “Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie” (Hofmann volume 243, ISBN 978-3-7749-3872-4; Moetz volume 244, ISBN 978-3-7749-3873-1).

Text and Photo: Jirka N. Menke