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The Founding Institutions of Berliner Antike-Kolleg

The Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK) is supported by six founding institutions, which are responsible for the unique concentration and quality of Berlin’s research landscape:

Freie Universität Berlin

Freie Universität Berlin | Henry-Ford Building (© FU, photo: Bernd Wannenmacher)

A remarkable number of disciplines dealing with ancient civilizations are concentrated in the Freie Universität Berlin (FUB). A total of around 20 fields are dedicated to research on the ancient world in the broadest sense; the distinctly archaeological orientation entails a close connection with the natural sciences, especially with a wealth of expertise in the geosciences in the areas of surveying and environmental reconstruction.

As early as 2004, the FUB had already consolidated its ancient studies expertise in the Interdisziplinäres Zentrum Alte Welt (IZAW), with a view to facilitating trans-disciplinary dialogue. This enabled the development of new research questions that were eventually integrated into the Excellence Cluster Topoi, questions whose further development and transmission now constitute an important educational goal of the Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK). This factor, combined with the wealth of disciplines and the cooperation between the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS) and the Dahlem Research School (DRS), make the FUB one of the first choices for students and teachers of the ancient studies.


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Headship (© CC-BY-SA-3.0)

The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) has proven strengths in the fields of philosophy, theology, history of science and in research on the transformation of the ancient world, the latter venturing to comprehend elements of ancient culture and thought in terms of their influence on later epochs of European history. Major research themes include ancient worldviews, representations of the cosmos in ancient cultures and the spread of Christianity. Together with other fields of study, these subjects are represented in the HU’s August-Boeckh-Antikezentrum. The center was conceived as a platform for discussion, exchange and collective interdisciplinary work, as practiced in the Excellence Cluster Topoi and as the Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK) plans to continue practicing in its research and educational activities.

Cooperation with the Humboldt Graduate School (HGS) while at the same time contributing to the education of junior scholars through Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS).

Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften

Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (© BBAW, photo: Angelika Fischer)

Since the 19th century, the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities) has conducted research on Greek and Roman inscriptions, coins and ancient medical texts and has pursued studies of the Egyptian language – in connection with a unique editorial competency that will play a role in the work of the Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK). Many of the ancient studies research projects initiated in the 19th century, such as the Inscriptiones Graecae, the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL), the Ancient Egyptian Dictionary and Turfan Studies are still thriving today, while new projects such as Corpus Coranicum and the Alexandrian and Antiochene biblical exegesis in late antiquity and Galen projects have recently been initiated.

In 2005, the academy consolidated its ancient studies research projects into a single institution, the Zentrum Grundlagenforschung Alte Welt.

Its goal in cooperating with the BAK is to sharpen its research profile in the ancient studies, while at the same time contributing to the education of junior scholars through Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS):

The BBAW is engaged in the doctoral programmes: Ancient Languages and Texts (ALT); Ancient Philosophie/History of Ancient Science (APhil/HistAS); Languages and Cultures of the Silk Road (Silk Road)

Deutsches Archäologisches Institut

Headquarters of the Deutsche Archäologische Institut | Theodor Wiegand Building (© DAI, photo: Peter Grunwald)

Since its founding in 1829, the Deutsche Archäologische Institut (DAI, German Archaeological Institute) has remained a leading internationally active institution in the fields of archeology and ancient studies. Research today is conducted by a total of 15 branch offices on five continents – academic affiliations are maintained with countries in the Mediterranean region as well as with countries in the former Soviet bloc, Asia, Africa and South America. The activities of the institute’s employees advance research interests while also furthering the analysis of  the cultural legacy of the respective countries. Consequently, the DAI, as a research institution with an international scope, plays an important role in the foreign cultural and educational policy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Numerous DAI projects are pursued in the form of inter- and trans-disciplinary clusters whose research frequently unites the humanities and natural sciences.

The DAI contributes its exceptional competency in archaeological excavation and landscape reconstruction to the Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK), a contribution that also exerts an influence on the education of junior scholars through Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS).

The DAI is engaged in the doctoral programmes: Landscape Archaeology and Architecture (LAA); Languages and Cultures of the Silk Road (Silk Road)

Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte

Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (© MPIWG, photo: Reinhard Görner)

The Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (MPIWG, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science) conducts research into how, in the course of centuries of interaction between the sciences and the surrounding cultures, new categories of thought, evidence and experience have evolved. One of the central research subjects is the globalization of knowledge, with individual projects encompassing several millennia and dealing with cultures from all parts of the globe. The projects extend from Babylonian mathematics to modern-day genetics, from the natural sciences of the Renaissance to the early days of quantum mechanics.

The institute views ancient studies research as a central area of the history of knowledge, an area that will be further explored through the institute’s involvement in the Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK) and the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS).

The MPIWG is engaged in the doctoral programme: Ancient Philosophy/History of Ancient Science (APhil/HistAS)

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz | Museumsinsel (© bpk)

The Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SPK, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) unites the Staatsbibliothek and numerous museums with diverse themes under a single umbrella; this includes the Ägyptische Museum, the Antikensammlung, the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, the Pergamonmuseum and the Vorderasiatische Museum. The collections and holdings are both encyclopedic and universal; they document the cultural development of mankind from the early stages to the present, and combine to form a unique basis for research. An especially unique characteristic of the collections is that they cover all branches of cultural heritage.

Furthermore, the interdisciplinary work at the Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK) benefits from the fact that the activities and knowledge archives of the SPK are situated at the interface of art and culture on the one hand, and of knowledge and research on the other – a position especially beneficial for junior scholars at Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS).

The SPK is engaged in the doctoral programmes: Ancient Objects and Visual Studies (AOViS); Languages and Cultures of the Silk Road (Silk Road)