Research interests

  • Archaeology of the human body, gender, identity and personhood
  • Interpretative funerary archaeology
  • GIS-aided spatial analysis of cemeteries and burial landscapes
  • Social status and organization
  • Bronze and Iron Age Europe
  • Intersections of the prehistoric and classical worlds in the first millennium BC
  • Network theory and analysis
  • History of archaeological thought, theory and practice

Themes

Katharina’s main interest is the archaeology of the human body, gender, identity and personhood as expressed through funerary practices and art. She works extensively on the interpretation of mortuary variation, investigating gender, social stratification and burial practices such as cremation and inhumation.

Her approach combines GIS-aided spatial analysis of cemeteries and burial landscapes as well as detailed statistical analysis of material culture with innovative interpretative frameworks to address social questions of prehistory. Her chronological and regional expertise is the Bronze- and Early Iron Ages in central Europe, but she aims to tie cultural developments into larger trajectories covering later European prehistory in general.

Within the Tracing Networks program she researches identities and social relations by studying human representations north of the Alps, shedding light on aspects of Early Iron Age identities as well as investigating the links in which communities are tied into networks of relationships with the Mediterranean. Intersections of the prehistoric and classical worlds in the first millennium BC are a key theme of he research.

Her most current project The social status of motherhood in Bronze Age Europe, funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF and hosted by the OREA Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences aims to understand the link between reproduction and women’s social status, as it explores social responses to pregnancy, birth and childrearing between c. 2200–800 BC.

Furthermore she is interested in the history of archaeological thought, theory and practice and in computer applications in archaeology. She has recently begun to explore networks, both in theory and as a method of analysis; together with colleagues from Leicester's computer science department she is involved in developing ontology applications for archaeologists.

Projects

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