Prof. Dr. Wiebke Kirleis

Wiebke Kirleis is professor of environmental archaeology/archaeobotany at Kiel University, Germany. She is deputy director of the Collaborative Research Centre ‘Scales of Transformation: Human–Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’ (CRC 1266, financed by the German Research Foundation/DFG) and a member of the Cluster of Excellence ‘Roots’ at Kiel University.

As an archaeobotanist, she is interested in all kinds of plant-related human activities, be they subsistence strategies or food processing, with their socio-cultural implications, as well as the reconstruction of human–environment interactions in the past. Geographically, her research areas span from northern Europe all way to Indonesia.

Key publications

Wiebke Kirleis and Ulrich Willerding. 2008. Die Pflanzenreste der linienbandkeramischen Siedlung von Rosdorf-Mühlengrund, Ldkr. Göttingen, im südöstlichen Niedersachsen. Prähistorische Zeitschrift 83, 133-178.

Wiebke Kirleis, Valério D. Pillar and Hermann Behling. 2011. Human–environment interactions in mountain rainforests: palaeo-botanical evidence from central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 20, 165-179. DOI: 10.1007/s00334-010-0272-0.

Wiebke Kirleis, Stefanie Klooß, Helmut Kroll and Johannes Müller. 2012. Crop growing and gathering in the northern German Neolithic: a review supplemented by first new results. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 21, 221-242. DOI: 10.1007/s00334-011-0328-9

Wiebke Kirleis and Stefanie Klooß. 2014. More than simply fallback food? Social context of plant use in the northern German Neolithic, in: Alexandre Chevalier, Elena Marinova, and Leonor Peña-Chocarro (eds.), Plants and people: choices and diversity through time. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 326-335.

Wiebke Kirleis and Elske Fischer. 2014. Neolithic cultivation of tetraploid free threshing wheat in Denmark and northern Germany: implications for crop diversity and societal dynamics of the Funnel Beaker Culture, in: Felix Bittmann et al. (eds.), Farming in the forest: ecology and economy of fire in prehistoric agriculture. Special issue. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 23, Supplement 1, 81-96. DOI: 10.1007/s00334-014-0440-8

Nicki Whitehouse, Wiebke Kirleis, and Chris Hunt (eds.). 2014. The world reshaped: practices and impacts of early agrarian societies. Special Issue. Journal of Archaeological Science 51, 1-236.

Wiebke Kirleis and Marta Dal Corso. 2016. Trypillian subsistence economy: animal and plant exploitation, in: Johannes Müller, Kurt Rassman, and Mykhailo Videiko (eds.), Trypillia-megasites and European prehistory 4100–3400 BCE. Themes in Contemporary Archaeology 2. London: Routledge, 195-205.

Books by Wiebke Kirleis

Millet and What Else?

The Wider Context of the Adoption of Millet Cultivation in Europe

Edited by Wiebke Kirleis, Marta Dal Corso & Dragana Filipović | 2022

Broomcorn/common/proso millet (Panicum miliaceum) is a cereal crop that originated in East Asia and was transferred westward to Europe, where it was introduced in the mid-2nd millennium BCE, at the height of the Bronze Age.…

Gender Transformations in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies

Edited by Julia Katharina Koch & Wiebke Kirleis | 2019

In which chronological, spatial, and social contexts is gender a relevant social category that is noticeable in the archaeological material? How can transformations in social gender relations and identity be recognized archaeologically? Is the identity…

How's Life?

Living Conditions in the 2nd and 1st Millennia BCE

Edited by Marta Dal Corso, Wiebke Kirleis, Jutta Kneisel, Nicole Taylor, Magdalena Wieckowska-Lüth, Marco Zanon | 2019

The Bronze Age and Early Iron Age saw many developments in metalworking, social structure, food production, nutrition, and diet. At the same time, networks in Europe intensified and human impact on the environment changed in…

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