Jan Bemmann

Visiting Research Scholar 2014-15

Jan Bemmann is Professor and Head of the Department of Prehistory and Early Historical Archaeology at the University of Bonn. He received his PhD at the University of Kiel and finished his habilitation at the University of Jena. His research interests include the Roman Iron Age and Early Medieval Central and Northern Europe, weaponry, history of archaeology, and the archaeology of the Crimean Peninsula during Roman and Early Medieval periods. Since 2005 he has been director of the Mongolian-German-Karakorum Expedition and has devoted his work to achieving a better understanding of the archaeology of Mongolia. His research in Mongolia has focused on the Orkhon Valley, the cradle and center of several steppe empires, but also covers the Bronze and Iron Age. He has edited several books on the archaeology of Mongolia and was curator of the exhibition “Warriors of the Steppes – Nomads on horseback in Mongolia 7-14th century AD”.

At ISAW Jan will concentrate on a comparative analysis of the turko-mongol empires of Mongolia within the methodological framework of historical archaeology and empirical urban theory. The methodical approach he applies is intensive, diachronically comparative study on the basis of primary data of one region. For this study, he will consider all aspects of material culture known so far and detectable in the archaeological record, with particular focus placed on settlements, permanent establishments, and the related institutions. Urban sites are a key factor to understanding the different nomadic empires.