The older section of the North European Bronze Age Cultures (approx. the 2nd millennium BC) is in large parts only represented by graves and deposits- settlements are insufficiently tapped. This applies especially to the southern zone (Schleswig-Holstein as well as parts of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Lower Saxony), in which only a few ground plans of houses have been uncovered yet. Primary objective of the project is therefore the localisation and uncovering of those settlement sites belonging to the Late Bronze Age burial mounds necropolises.
Questions concerning the forms of housing should be equally pursued as the size and organisation of the settlement unit and economic entity. Thus, the social circumstances of the time can only be sufficiently explained on basis of the forms of settlement (e.g. individual farms, hamlets, or villages). Particular interest lies on the research of causes and effects of the transition from the two-aisled to the three-aisled house construction method and the livestock housing within the building. This has been proven for example for Denmark and the Netherlands in the first half, or rather from the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. In this context, a possible bridging function of Northern Germany for the mediation of such or similar innovations must be clarified. Furthermore, the natural properties of the settlement surroundings as well as the usage and change due to the Bronze Age human should be illuminated. An important question is whether the subsistence economy, which prevailed in the Neolithic period (4th and 3rd millennium BC) led to a general or at least regional agricultural overproduction, whereby the obtaining of the new raw materials bronze or copper and tin as well as gold was only made possible. Finally, the site-specific factors should be worked out for individual regions of Northern Germany, with regard to the cultural influences of neighbouring cultures, through an overall assessment of all archaeological and paleoecological findings from the graves and settlements.
The project concerning settlement archaeology is conducted in close specialist cooperation with the project “Funde der älteren Bronzezeit des nordischen Kreises in Dänemark, Schlesweig-Holstein und Niedersachsen”, which is funded by the Academies’ Programme and in which grave finds, hoards, and single finds are processed.