top of page

Dr. Sabine Huy

Research Interests:

Cultural Contacts and Cultural Theory; Archaeology of Cities and Settlements; Ancient Economies; Ancient Black Sea Area; Ionia; Ancient Pottery


I studied archaeology in Kiel, Rome and Berlin and received my PhD from Free University Berlin in 2015. My research aims to explore dynamics of societal coexistence in a long-term perspective. In my dissertation, I investigated transformations in society as a consequence of cultural contacts in the pre-Christian Black Sea area. During my subsequent positions as a research associate at the Universities of Bochum and Hamburg, I concentrated on developments of urban life using the case of Miletus/Ionia. I took part in various fieldprojects in Russia, Turkey, and Armenia and participated in several research networks about cultural interaction, the relationship between nature and cult and ancient economies.

Project Abstract

Multiple Temporalities And The Making of Cityscapes. A view from the ancient Crimea

I am interested in the coexistence of different time layers in the architectural ensemble of ancient cities. My project aims to describe the different speeds of change in urban space beyond the linearity and recurrence of construction phases. Construction phases constitute an important methodological tool in archaeological urban studies. However, a periodisation based on architectural changes often results in a block-like urban history that is told in the form of small architectural episodes and thus ignores the temporal complexity in urban space. Urban elements such as buildings and streets are subject to disparate dynamics that depend above all on different building materials and functions, but also on symbolic meanings. The architecture of a city thus materialises different time layers, which give rise to a synchronous asynchronicity. The way society deals with these multiple temporalities – be it the renewal, transformation or continued use of existing buildings, the acceptance of ruins in the cityscape, their rejection and replacement or the construction of new buildings – is a constant process of societal communication and negotiation.

Whether the coexistence of different temporal layers also shaped the reality in ancient cities, how temporal complexity was dealt with and which things in the archaeological record can function as time indices are the questions I am investigating using the cities of Myrmekion and Nymphaion in the Crimea as an example. In the centres of both cities, a strange architectural history can be observed, in which a multi-room brick architecture with a cultic character was repeatedly overbuilt by so-called ash hills. These artificially created mounds existed for decades or even centuries. Their interpretation varies between cult sites and waste dumps. The rivalry with other structures on the same site indicates competing ideas of spatial design within the population of the cities. Unlike stone architectures, the ash hills never reach a finished stage, but were in a state of constant change due to the ongoing accumulation of sediments. In this way, they already challenge the idea of a linear sequence of buildings. The situation around the ash hills is therefore particularly suitable for analysing temporal complexity in the built environment and the different ways of dealing with multiple temporalities in ancient urban societies.

Curriculum vitae


Research Associate at the Institute for Archaeology und Cultural History of the Ancient Mediterranean at the University of Hamburg


Research Associate at the Institute for Archaeological Sciences at the Ruhr-University Bochum


PhD in Classical Archaeology, Free University Berlin


Fellow of the 4th Research Network of the German Archaeological Institute, Istanbul Department Nature and Cult in Anatolia


Research Associate at the Institute for Classical Archaeology at the Free University Berlin (as representative)

Selected Publications

2022 (In Press). Praktiken der Aneignung. Kulturelle Kontakte im nordöstlichen Azovraum vom 6.–3. Jh. v. Chr., Taganrog und sein Umland 1. Deutsch-russische Forschungen am Don. Archäologische Forschungen 44. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag. 

2021. "The Economy of the Don Communities – Driven by the River or by Land Routes?" In The Impact of Rivers on Ancient Economies, Panel 2.2, Archaeology and Economy in the Ancient World 4, edited by Christof Berns and Sabine Huy, 5-20. Heidelberg: Propylaeum. 

2020 (with Hans Mommsen and Ortwin Dally). „Herkunftsbestimmung von Keramik aus der Siedlung Taganrog am unteren Don durch Neutronenaktivierungsanalyse.“ Archäologischer Anzeiger 2020 (2): 9–81. 

2019. „Versteckte Orte: Zwei Grotten im städtischen Raum Milets.“ In Natur und Kult in Anatolien, Byzas 24, edited by Benjamin Engels, Charles Steitler, and Sabine Huy, 145–176. Istanbul: Ege Yayınları.  

2019. "Rivers as Routes of Connectivity? The Case of the Don from the late 7th to the early 3rd c. BC." In Mediterranean Rivers in Global Perspective, Zentrum für Mittelmeerstudien 19, edited by Markus Koller, Achim Lichtenberger, and Johannes Bernhardt, 205–271. Paderborn: Brill.

News Articles

Thank You for Another Successful Year

February 23, 2023

Chronoi Events

Chronoi Talks

February 23, 2023

Add a Title

February 23, 2023

bottom of page