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Archaeology in Giessen

You can study Classical Archaeology in undergraduate as part of the History and Cultural Studies  or as part of the Culture of Antiquity and graduate courses (MA) as part of the History and Cultural Studies as your major or minor.

Teaching: Antiquity as a cultural universe

By establishing a joint Institute for Classical Studies with the subjects Classical Archaeology, Ancient History, and Classical Philology, we have jointly shown that in the future, teaching will to a great extent be interdisciplinary, as our undergraduate course Culture of Antiquity shows. It is important to us that future archaeologists understand antiquity as a cultural universe again and not just as the sum or even the range of individual materials / special disciplines.

Counting folds or curls and stylistic analyses are still essential methodological foundations of the subject, which must be practised, but the goal is to explore the behaviour of the ancient mankind, its ways of expressing itself, its reaction to political, but also natural spatial events. Overarching topics of the core subject modules are intended to bring together the ancient written sources, historical testimonies, and sculptures, vase paintings and other archaeological materials to understand the ancient world better. Traditionally, the contact to Art History is also close and will be further intensified. Archaeological skills are also taught to students of other disciplines, whereby the aspect of today indispensable methodological expansion plays an important role, for example in teacher training. 

 New media in teaching

Our courses make extensive use of the new media: The lecturers, among them two associate professors from the DAI (Berlin, Madrid), use various electronic means of presentation (PowerPoint, projector (Macromedia flash), EikOnline). There are two image databases available for presentations (EikOnline, Prometheus). For online communication, we use the platform ILIAS, which is also available as a learning platform for eLearning. Of course, all students will be introduced to the different systems.

Well-sorted classical libraries and extensive multimedia equipment with many computers for the students guarantee good working options. The central location of Giessen comes with the unique opportunity to use archaeological offers in Marburg and Frankfurt as well. An important complement to the courses are the regularly offered excursions to museums and archaeological sites of the Mediterranean; the integrated modern Greek department promotes modern country knowledge.

Training objectives

The aim of our training is, in addition to good archaeological and classical knowledge, the ability to independently and critically analyse situations, to convincingly argue and verbalise the arguments as well as use writing and images (media literacy) and work as a team. We promote methodical expertise and foreign language skills but also sketching and photographing of, e.g. ceramics and their publication-ready presentation as well as the use and creation of complex relational databases. At the Research Colloquium, we offer advanced students the opportunity to present their work and practice public speaking


Using modern technology, our research takes place at the desk and in the library, in museums and the field; accordingly, we cooperate with many other sciences and institutions all around the globe. Through appropriate courses, participation in excavations and lectures by international scholars, our students gain early insight into research; their research at the master and doctorate-level is presented in the research colloquium. Research grants for young academics are provided by the “Maria und Dr Ernst Rink-Stiftung der Altertumswissenschaften an der JLU” (Maria and Dr Ernst Rink Foundation of Ancient Studies at the JLU). Another field of work is eLearning, which is realised together with the Department of Media Education at our department.

The Collection of Antiquities offers a concrete view on original works of the antiquity and material for master theses and dissertations. Our students are introduced into the field of public relations regularly. Regularly, our students are introduced to the field of public relations and prepared in courses for museum tours which they accompany as guides during the semester; Exhibitions are planned together.

Information on the offered courses (german):