Nikolas Heil

I am a PhD student working at the German Mining Museum in Bochum. I completed my studies at the Ruhr University Bochum and graduated with a Master’s degree in Pre- and Protohistory and Archaeology of Economics and Raw Materials. During my studies, I had the opportunity to study at Hacettepe University in Ankara as part of the ERASMUS programme.

My research focuses on the archaeology of Anatolia, especially the periods of the Late Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age. I am interested in contexts of metallurgy and raw material appropriation and want to understand the social and technical processes behind them. Therefore, I use interdisciplinary approaches such as the combination of archaeometric and archaeological analyses.

In my project I like to investigate the modes and practices of raw material appropriation and exchange in Anatolia during the Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age (4th/3rd mill. BCE), primarily focusing on metallurgy at Arslantepe and its broader region. It will explore the interplay between subsistence and access strategies of mobile pastoral groups seeking pastures on the plateaus and mountainous areas to understand the cultural development of the “Kura Araxes phenomenon” and its influence on metallurgy in the region.

In addition to scientific analyses of the materials, intangible resources such as the exchange of knowledge and the transfer of know-how will be included. Identifying the forms of exchange and the subsistence strategies of the settlements will contribute to a better understanding of socio-political and cultural changes, interactions and settlement development in the region.

The study will shed light on the interdependent relationship between mobile and sedentary groups and the dual character of stationary settlements, providing insight into the subsistence and resource appropriation strategies of these groups. For further research into this interdependence, one should not limit oneself to metallurgical raw materials; resources such as obsidian, salt or pigments would be of interest.

Author: Nikolas Heil