Post doctoral fellow Ralph Großmann, M.A.

Post doctoral fellow

Dr. phil. Ralph Großmann (Germany, 1978)

M.A. in Pre- and Protohistory, Sociology and Philosophy

PhD thesis
The Dialectic Relation of the Corded Ware and Bell-Beaker Culture in Middle Europe, in Context to Theoretical and Ethnographic Aspects.
The project with the current working title is an interdisciplinary investigation approaching its topic from three perspectives. Beaker Cultures will be illuminated from an archaeological as well as from an ethnographic and a structural/ethnological point of view.

With respect to my archaeological approach, the focus of this investigation concentrates on the 3rd millennium in the Rhein-Main-Fulda and Mittel-Elbe-Saale regions. This timespan belongs to the Last Neolithic period which follows the preceding Late Neolithic and continues into the Bronze Age period. The Beaker cultures extended throughout Europe with some primary areas. Burials of the Corded Ware Culture were situated mainly in Eastern Europe whereas those of the Bell Beaker phenomenon were singularly situated in Western Europe. Both cultures had their most pronounced area of contact in Central Europe. This research project has been developed taking both appearances into account, including generalised ideas on burial and material customs. In this context, the investigation takes single grave constructions, the orientation and position of the deceased as well as grave goods into consideration. The beaker serves as an inter-group element of the mentioned cultures. However, we recognize differences concerning shape, decoration and production technologies which may indicate group, region and time specific influences.

This thesis intends to reveal both the relationship between the Corded Ware and the Bell Beaker Cultures and their respective diachronic development and manifestations. There are three priority issues framing the analysis. First of all, how are the burial characteristics of spatial closeness and distance adapted from one culture to another? In this context is it possible to identify burials which contain elements from both cultures? Secondly, are we able to detect different burial categories within each culture based on burial customs and grave goods? Thirdly, can we detect groupings and regularities among beaker and amphora decoration motives? How are they to be interpreted?

In order to solve these issues, the author employs methods both from the natural sciences and the humanities. On the one hand a database including burial data represents the basis for the geographic and statistic analyses. On the other hand structural theories and ethnographic patterns serve as references in order to illuminate the semantic meanings of Neolithic burial customs.
Post-doc project A quantitative and diachronic study about social inequality based on archaeological cultures in South West Germany
Research interests Social Inequalities, Social Archaeology, Bell Beaker and Corded Ware Studies, Early Bronze Age Studies, Prehistory of Central Europe, Cultural Anthropology, Stable Isotope Studies

PhD in Prehistoric Archaeology at the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” at Kiel University. Dissertation title: “Das dialektische Verhältnis von Schnurkeramik und Glockenbecher zwischen Rhein und Saale“ (Corded Ware and Bell Beaker between Rhine and Saale)

Graduated in winter 2009 with a master thesis on “Social structures in Europe’s early bronze age – theories, methods and results”

Studies of Pre- and Protohistory, Sociology and Philosophy at the Universities of Freiburg, Würzburg, Uppsala (Sweden)

Work experience

10/2016 – 03/2017
Lectureship at the Institute for Pre- and Protohistory at Kiel University

10/2015 – 03/2016
Scientific assistant at the Institute for Pre- and Protohistory at Kiel University


Sundry neolithic sites in Enheim, Lkr. Kitzingen

Middle neolithic settlement in Uffenheim, Lkr. Neustadt an der Aisch/Bad Windsheim

Early iron age settlement from „Göllersreuther Platte” and “Hinteren Berg”, Lkr. Roth

Middle neolithic enclosure in Ippesheim, Lkr. Neustadt an der Aisch/Bad Windsheim

Late neolithic tell settlement in Uivar (ro)

Selected publications

R. Großmann, Interrelations between Corded Ware and Bell Beaker? Material Cultures and Identities in the 3rd Millennium. In: Furholt, M., Großmann, R., Szmyt, M. (eds.), Transitional Landscapes? The 3rd Millennium BC in Europe. Proceedings of the International Workshop "Socio- Environmental Dynamics over the Last 12,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes III (15th – 18th April 2013)" in Kiel. Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie, Band 292. Graduate School Human Development in Landscapes, Band 9 (Bonn 2017) 129-143.

R. Großmann, Das dialektische Verhältnis von Schnurkeramik und Glockenbecher zwischen Rhein und Saale. Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie, Band 287. Graduate School Human Development in Landscapes, Band 8 (Bonn 2016).

F. Förster, R. Großmann et al., What is Landscape? Towards a Common Concept within an Interdisciplinary Research Environment. Proceedings of the International Conference held in Berlin, 6th – 8th June 2012. Journal for Ancient Studies. 169-179.