Emerging Field 5 “Concept of Change in Historical Processes”

A central challenge in the study of historical civilizations is the construction of plausible, evidence-based narratives describing complex processes of change that affected and shaped past societies. Archaeological evidence bears substantial intrinsic complexity: it is often fragmentary and has been subject to prior transformations, displacements, and preservation processes. Owing to the inherent difficulties of inferring such spatio-temporal processes from the data, their interpretation constitutes a prime subject for advanced mathematical modeling and formalized reasoning.


In response, EF 5 aims to (i) develop an ontology for processes of change in ancient societies and to cast its key scientific concepts, such as “resilience,” “tipping points,” and “migration waves” in mathematical terms; to (ii) advance model development for historical change processes, such as the spreading of innovations in ancient cultures, and analyze these models in the light of the developed concepts of change; and to (iii) explore relevant research data with advanced techniques of data analysis, and devise methods for integrating the data into the models under development.


Scientists in Charge: Friederike Fless, Rupert Klein


Young researchers’ colloquium (EF4 and EF5): CHANGES+ CHange AgeNts: Governing Earth and Society+