The Ostia Graduiertenkolleg is an initiave originating from the work of the Ostia Forum Project (OFP). It has a time frame from 1st of February 2020 until 28th of February 2023.

The aim of the Graduiertenkolleg is to explore the development of the forum and the civic centre of Ostia, Rome's ancient harbour city, from the foundation of the city until Late Antiquity. 

The Graduiertenkolleg is based at the Winckelmann-Institute of the Humboldt University in Berlin and consists of six ph.d. candidates supervised by Prof. Dr. Axel Gering. 

The Graduiertenkolleg thus comprise six different topics, which intersect questions and problems revolving around the centre of Ostia. This involves elaborate work on empirical material from the excavations conducted by OFP as well as material from excavations conducted in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, and in some instances from the 17th and 18th centuries. Furthermore, intensive archival studies will also play an important role.

During the three year period, the Graduiertenkolleg will convene several workshops, colloquia etc., which will be presented on this website. Furthermore, this website will also be updated with the newest results during the course and development of the different projects, thus bringing the status of each theme up to date as well as providing an overview of publications concerning the themes.

Holiday greetings from the Ostia Graduiertenkolleg December 24 and December 31 2020

The Graduate College would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

This year has been a very difficult one for everybody in the world, and we can hopefully look forward to a different year in 2021, where we can restart it all in a better way.

We initiated this College in February 2020, thus it is needles to say that the College has had a very difficult start. Fortunately, this College still has two, hopefully strong, years to come, in which we all can contribute to the end-publications, and hopefully contribute to the research community in general.

As you all can read on this website, we have been active throughout 2020, which included several online meetings, but also a small campaign in Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica. This campaign was, however, a bit limited, but we did manage to succeed.

If you are interested in reading something about the projects, you can visit them here.

Meetings in December 2020

The Graduate College decided to have three meetings in December 2020, where the six ph.d. candidates will present the present status of their projects. Due to the ungoing pandemic, the meetings were still conducted via Zoom.

The meetings were held and will be held on December 2, 9 and 16. In the first meeting, December 2, themes 2 and 3 were presented. In the second meeting, December 9, themes 1 and 5 were presented along with a third presentation concerning a 3D model of a temple. The last meeting, December 16, three presentations will be held. Themes 4 and 6 together with a presentation from Prof. Dr. Axel Gering will be held.

In December, we also published our first interim reports, in which you will find the preliminary results and preliminary theories and hypotheses. They can be found under each Theme.

Campaign, August 25 - September 20 2020

Despite the pandemic, the Ostia Graduiertenkolleg was allowed to travel to Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica, where we were able to conduct some important and vital work. Indeed, due to the situation, access to the deposits and other areas of the archaeological park was very limited. Nevertheless, all of us had the opportunity to conduct work on our individual projects. 

This campaign differed from the other campaigns conducted by the Ostia Forum Project, since no excavations were conducted, and due to the fact that this campaign was purely documental. Our group therefore also only consisted of the six ph.d. candidates and Prof. Dr. Axel Gering. 

All six projects had a fruitful three-week campaign, where important measurements and photographs were taken and important discussions were held. 

The Ostia Graduiertenkolleg is more than satisfied with the corporation with the Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica, since they showed great character and were very helpful and guided us through the process of working inside the park during this pandemic. 


Skype meeting, Friday June 12 2020

Our third Skype meeting had two main points on the agenda. Firstly, we discussed the situation in regards to the possibility of a forthcoming campaign in Ostia. It is vital for the different projects to be able to analyse and photograph the material as soon as possible, since our first planned campaign was cut short in March due to the COVID-19 crisis. Secondly, we talked about the policies from the different countries regarding foreign travels and how and when it would be possible to gather the research group in Berlin. We decided that it could be a possibilty in early July, but we did not settle on a date. 

The possible forthcoming campaign will then be discussed in Berlin.

Skype meeting, Thursday May 7 2020

Our second meeting during this crisis period was on Thursday May 7. The main prupose of this meeting was to discuss how a database should be laid out and to find out what kind of information we need in the database. We settled on different possibilities, since we, as a group, are dealing with pottery, coins, marble fragments and buildings, which require different types of information. The database therefore require a wide range of different information, which also has to be cross-referenced and contextualised. We all came up with our ideas and settled on some specific types of information. We have now tasked an affiliated professional with the purpose of producing the database and are awaiting the result.

Other topics, such as the current situation, were also discussed, and the situation in the four countries, Germany, France, Italy and Denmark was compared, since we are all dependent on the borders opening and making it possible to travel again.

Skype meeting, Wednesday April 15 2020

Due to the current health crisis, the members of the Graduiertenkolleg is spread out in four different countries with two in Germany, one in France, one in Italy and three in Denmark. This has entailed that the first official meeting of the College had to be organised through Skype. Thus, we had our first meeting Wednesday April 15. 

The meeting was not prepared beforehand as such, but the members prepared some questions, which could be discussed in plenum. The discussions involved ideas of an online database as well as exchanging literature. Next to the project-relevant discussions, the entire situation was discussed and the situation in the four countries was compared. 

Another Skype meeting has been planned in two weeks without being settled on a specific date. The six doctoral students were tasked with coming up with ideas for the database as well as providing literature in the common Dropbox folder. Next to these tasks, it was recommended to advance the individual reading processes. It is indeed a bit difficult without access to libraries, but websites such as Jstor has opened up for a lot of their literature. It was thus recommended to browse through that website along with other literature based websites. 

The opening of the Ostia Graduiertenkolleg, Wednesday February 26 2020

The Graduiertenkolleg was officially opened February 26 with a programme covering the entire day. The first part of the programme consisted of a round table discussion in the Obere Photothek in the library of the Winckelmann-Institute, where the six ph.d. students and Prof. Dr. Axel Gering got acquainted talking about their expectations to the projects and the organisation for the campaign in March, where the ph.d. students will be presented to their material and have the first possibility of working with it.

The round table discussion was followed by a tour through the library and an introduction to the library system. 

After the library tour, the group went to a workshop, where Prof. Dr. Axel Gering presented the work conducted by OFP since 2010 in the centre of Ostia. After the presentation, a session followed, where the ph.d. students exchanged knowledge and data, which they had prepared beforehand. 

At 18 o'clock, Prof. Dr. Axel Gering held a lecture, where he presented the newest results from OFP. 

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