Free booklet of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS is now available online or as a print edition.
Mobility, its configuration and its limits are currently highly political and often emotionally debated topics. The Cluster of Excellence ROOTS at Kiel University has now published a scientifically based and at the same time easily accessible contribution to the history of human mobility and its routes since the Stone Age. The booklet ROOTS of Routes - Mobility and Networks between the Past and the Future vividly explains on more than 120 pages the routes that have connected people since the Stone Age, what influenced mobility in earlier millennia and how routes contribute to network formation – until today. The publication is now available for free as a print edition or online in German and English.
"Mobility and migration have always played a fundamental role for human lifeways and cultural processes. History is simply not possible without migration and contacts between different social groups," says Dr Henny Piezonka, Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the Free University of Berlin and one of the booklet's editors.
A long-term perspective can objectify discussions
"Debates about migration are often very emotional today. A scientifically well-founded long-term perspective can help to bring more objectivity to discussions. Many phenomena around the topic of mobility are not new," adds co-editor Dr Andrea Ricci, archaeologist from the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS.
The booklet ROOTS of Routes now offers this long-term perspective. "Since the Stone Age, the development of human existence has been connected to the emergence, use and expansion of connecting routes, but sometimes also to their abandonment. We can learn from this," emphasises the third editor, classical philologist Professor Dr Lutz Käppel, Kiel University.
The contributions in ROOTS of Routes, written by renowned experts from the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, deal with fundamental, global questions that are illustrated by regional or local as well as transcontinental examples. Which ecological and social boundary conditions influenced the routes and movements of people in the past? What significance did the invention of the wheel, the spread of metal technologies or the search for food have for mobility? How were human and animal paths linked? Since when have people been forced to flee from their homes as a result of changing climatic conditions? These are just a few questions that the booklet explores.
ROOTS booklets as contributions to current debates
As examples of concrete routes, ROOTS of Routes traces the old and new Silk Roads between China and Europe or Africa on a global level, and on a regional level, for example, the Ox Trail across the Jutland Peninsula or old Celtic and Roman roads in southwestern Germany.
Ultimately, however, routes not only promoted the mobility of people and the exchange of goods, but also the spread of knowledge. The booklet also sheds light on this aspect.
After Pandemics and Crises, ROOTS of Routes is the second booklet of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, which utilises scientific findings of archaeological and historical research for current discussions. Further thematic booklets are in preparation.
"Only those who understand the past will be able to sustainably shape the present and develop lasting future perspectives. As a Cluster of Excellence, we would like to contribute to this understanding with new research results," says ROOTS speaker Professor Dr Johannes Müller from Kiel University, explaining the concept behind the booklet publication series.
Piezonka, H., Käppel, L., Ricci, A. (eds.): Mobility and Networks between Past and Future. ROOTS Booklet Series 02.
DOI: 10.59641/y1811bk. Free download at https://www.sidestone.com/books/roots-of-routes-mobility-and-networks-between-the-past-and-the-future