Press release: A forum for human diversity


Jan Steffen, Henny Piezonka, Bill Angelbeck, Jerimy Cunningham, Martin Furholt, Nils Müller-Scheeßel, Jens Schneeweiß, Maria Wunderlich

The original press release, published on 30/03/2023 on the website of the University of Kiel, can be found here.

  • EAZ serves as a forum for scholarship bridging disciplinary boundaries on the diversity of human life
  • Open Access and thematic openness challenge traditional power structures in research
  • EAZ allows critical view on current global challenges

Human societies are extremely complex. Anyone who wants to understand the cultural-historical development of our species must combine methods and results from numerous disciplines such as archaeology, social and cultural anthropology, palaeoecology, or philosophy. At the same time, many scholars are specializing in increasingly narrow research areas and niches. "Therefore, we need to demonstrate all the more that we can gain valuable new insights by bridging disciplines and approaches," says Dr. Henny Piezonka, professor of anthropological archaeology at Kiel University and member of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS.

She is part of an international team that is now reviving the "Ethnographisch-Archaeologische Zeitschrift" (EAZ), one of the oldest academic forums for the interdisciplinary study of humans and their lifeworlds from antiquity to the present. Now, after a five-year break and a change of the editorial team, a new issue of the EAZ is being published—for the first time with Kiel as the official place of publication. The new, 57th volume is dedicated to one of the fathers of American anthropology, Franz Boas, who received his doctorate in Kiel 142 years ago.

The goal of the EAZ is not only to bridge disciplinary boundaries. It is also about challenging habits and hierarchies of power in academia, combating inequalities and thus enabling new ways of looking at, and understanding, the human condition. "In recent decades, there have been increasingly critical approaches to anthropology and archaeology rooted in postcolonial, indigenous, feminist, and queer concerns. They challenge outdated research that has been very male, Western, and dominated by the English language," explains Prof. Dr. Martin Furholt of the Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology at Kiel University and member of the editorial board of the new EAZ.

"The combination of anthropological and archaeological research, including a revival of transdisciplinary specialties such as ethnoarchaeology, can amplify alternative and previously disadvantaged voices in a way that contributes to the decolonization of the disciplines," adds his colleague Henny Piezonka.

In this way, the EAZ aims to provide a critical and self-reflexive view on current global challenges such as social inequality, climate change, and indigenous sovereignty. In doing so, the new editorial team builds on the journal's long history as a cross-disciplinary medium.

Founded in East Berlin in 1953, the EAZ follows research traditions that emerged in Germany in the mid-19th century, integrating various approaches to archaeology and anthropology. This tradition also influenced Franz Boas, who is considered one of the pioneers of cultural anthropology in the United States.

In Europe, however, the fields were institutionally separated in the 20th century. The EAZ stood largely alone with its transdisciplinary orientation until the early 21st century. Between 2009 and 2018, it was published in Leipzig and increasingly incorporated theoretical and philosophical contributions as well as analyses of the history of archaeological thought.

With its relaunch at Kiel University, the EAZ is now dedicated to research at the intersections of archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, and philosophy, particularly the relationships between society, culture, and the environment.

EAZ articles initially appear online at Two issues per year may be printed on demand. As with other scientific journals, scientific quality is ensured by external, international reviewers who advise the editors whether a submitted article should be accepted or revised. There is no cost to the researchers. Accepted articles are published on the website without a paywall under an internationally renowned, free license. "This open access approach also ensures a democratization of research. The decisive factor is not how well funded the institution is where the scientists work. Scientific quality alone counts," emphasizes Prof. Henny Piezonka.

The editorial systems run on servers hosted by the IT Centre of Kiel University. In addition to Martin Furholt and Henny Piezonka, the new editorial team includes Prof. Dr. Bill Angelbeck (Douglas College, Canada), Prof. Dr. Jerimy Cunningham (University of Lethbridge, Canada), Dr. Jens Schneeweiß (Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology Schleswig/Cluster ROOTS) and Dr. Maria Wunderlich (Institute for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology at CAU /Cluster ROOTS). Dr. Nils Müller-Scheeßel (Institute for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology at CAU /Cluster ROOTS) supports the team in the editorial process. The journal also has an international network of recognised experts  for a board of Associate Editor, advising on the review of submitted articles.


The editorial team of the new EAZ met on the occasion of the Kiel Conference 2023 in mid-March at the Kiel University: Henny Piezonka (Kiel University), Jens Schneeweiß (ZBSA), Martin Furholt (Kiel University), Bill Angelbeck (Douglas College, Canada), Maria Wunderlich (Kiel University), Anastasia Khramtsova (Cluster ROOTS). Not present was Jerimy Cunningham (University of Lethbridge, Canada, pictured in the frame), who is also part of the new editorial team. Photo: J. Steffen, T. Pape.

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