Daniela Hofmann


Professor , Archaeology


Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion


My research combines the close study of archaeological material with theoretical approaches and the results of scientific techniques to study identity, boundary marking and culture change at various scales. I trace how material culture at the local level impacts on larger-scale, longer-term processes using a wide range of evidence: aDNA and isotope data, mortuary and other ritual practices, human representations, artefact patterning, monumental and domestic architecture,a nd more. Recently, I have mostly focused on migration and on social inequality. With this research, I want to show how the variety of past societies and their development can help us create fairer societies today.

My primary focus is the European Neolithic (mid-6th to mid-3rd millennium), but I am also interested in comparative archaeology and in exploring inter-disciplinary collaboration, for instance between geneticists and archaeologists.

Prior to being appointed in Bergen, I worked at Cardiff University, the University of Oxford and Hamburg University.

For further details, also see my ORCID site.


I accept BA and MA supervisions on any of the following topics: Mesolithic-Neolithic transition; Neolithic archaeology; social archaeology; history of archaeological thought; mortuary archaeology (all periods); structured deposition and the archaeology of ritual; interpreting isotopes and aDNA, hunter-gatherer societies

Popular scientific book
Reader opinion piece
Popular scientific chapter/article
Academic lecture
Academic article
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
Academic anthology/Conference proceedings
Book review
Popular scientific article

See a complete overview of publications in Cristin.

Selected publications (for those after 2017, click link above or check my ORCID)


The outreach publication Migration narratives in Archaeology can be downloaded for free in English here and in Norwegian here.


Journal articles (peer-reviewed)

Ebersbach, R., Doppler, T., Hofmann, D. and Whittle, A. 2017. No time out. Scaling material diversity and change in the Alpine foreland Neolithic. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 45, 1-14.

Hofmann, D. 2016. Keep on walking: the role of migration in Linearbandkeramik life. Documenta Praehistorica 43, 235-51.

Hofmann, D., Ebersbach, R., Doppler, T. and Whittle, A. 2016. The life and times of the house: multi-scalar perspectives on settlement from the Neolithic of the north Alpine foreland. European Journal of Archaeology 19, 596-630.

Hofmann, D. 2015. What have genetics ever done for us? The implications of aDNA data for interpreting identity in early Neolithic central Europe. European Journal of Archaeology 18, 454-76.

Bickle, P., Hofmann, D., Bentley, R.A., Hedges, R., Hamilton, J., Laiginhas, F., Nowell, G., Pearson, D.G., Grupe, G. and Whittle, A. 2011. Community heterogeneity in the Linearbandkeramik: isotope evidence in its archaeological context at Aiterhofen (Bavaria, Germany). Antiquity 85, 1243-58.

Bickle, P. and Hofmann, D. 2007. Moving on: the contribution of isotope studies to the early Neolithic of central Europe. Antiquity 81, 1029-41.


Journal articles (other)

Hofmann, D. 2018. Theorie muss sein. In U. Veit (Hrsg.), Themenschwerpunkt „Die Zukunft der Archäologie“. Ethnographisch-Archäologische Zeitschrift 56 [2015], 31-35.

Hofmann, D. 2017. Endstation Friedhof? Bestattung und materielle Kultur im Wandel [Introduction to themed issue on burial]. Ethnoscripts 19, 5–12.

Hofmann, D. 2007. The conceptual animal. Technologies of body representation in the Lower Bavarian Neolithic. Journal of Iberian Archaeology, 9/10, 169-85.

Hofmann, D., Neumair, E. and Whittle, A. 2009. Neue Untersuchungen zur Ältesten Linearbandkeramik im Raum Freising. Das Archäologische Jahr in Bayern 2008, 13f.

Hofmann, D. 2006. Different times, different places. Architectural changes from the Early to the Middle Neolithic in Lower Bavaria. Journal of Iberian Archaeology 8, 185-202.


Chapters in books (peer-reviewed)

Hofmann, D. and Husty, L. 2019 [in press]. Enclosures, structured deposits and selective innovations: Riedling and the role of the south Bavarian Münchshöfen culture in the new networks of the late Neolithic. In M. Hinz (ed.)., Megaliths, Societies, Landscapes: Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation in Neolithic Europe. Proceedings of the international conference. Status: at proof stage.

Hofmann, D. 2015. The burnt, the whole and the broken: funerary variability in the Linearbandkeramik. In Z. Devlin and E.-J. Graham (eds), Death embodied: archaeological approaches to the treatment of the corpse, 109-28. Oxford: Oxbow.

Hofmann, D. 2013a. Living by the lake. Domestic architecture in the Alpine foreland. In D. Hofmann and J. Smyth (eds), Tracking the Neolithic house in Europe – sedentism, architecture and practice, 197-227. New York: Springer.

Hofmann, D. 2013b. Narrating the house. The transformation of longhouses in early Neolithic Europe. In A. Chadwick and C. Gibson (eds), Memory, myth and long-term landscape inhabitation, 32-54. Oxford: Oxbow.

Hofmann, D. 2013c. Intimate connection: bodies and substances in flux in the early Neolithic of central Europe. In C. Watts (ed.), Relational archaeologies. Humans, animals, things, 154-172. London: Routledge.

Hofmann, D. and Whittle, A. 2008. Neolithic bodies. In A. Jones (ed.), Prehistoric Europe: theory and practice, 287-311. Oxford: Blackwell.


Chapters in books (other)

Hofmann, D. and Gleser, R. in press [2019]. The fifth millennium. The emergence of cultural diversity in central European prehistory. In R. Gleser and D. Hofmann (eds), Contacts, boundaries and innovation in the fifth millennium. Exploring developed Neolithic societies in central Europe and beyond. Leiden: Siedstone Press.

Brandherm, D., Heymans, E. und Hofmann, D. 2018. Introduction: comparing currency and circulation systems in past societies. In D. Brandherm, E. Heymans und D. Hofmann (Hrsg.), Gifts, goods and money: comparing currency and circulation systems in past societies, 1–8. Oxford: Archaeopress. Available as open access.

Hofmann, D., Husty, L. and Szilágyi, M. 2018. Chronologie, Vernetzungen, Sozialstrukturen: Das Erdwerk von Riedling, Niederbayern, und seine Rolle im Jungneolithikum Mitteleuropas [project report on Riedling aimed at a wide audience]. In F. Nikulka, D. Hofmann and R. Schumann (eds), Menschen – Dinge – Orte. Aktuelle Forschungen des Instituts für Vor- und Frühgeschichtliche Archäologie der Universität Hamburg, 163-70. Hamburg: Institut für Vor- und Frühgeschichtliche Archäologie.

Hofmann, D. 2017. Figurines and other bodies. A matter of scale? In V. Becker and H. Schwarzberg (eds), Bodies of clay, 121-39. Oxford: Oxbow.

Hofmann, D. and Lenneis, E. 2017. Size matters? Exploring exceptional buildings in the central European early Neolithic. In P. Bickle, V. Cummings, D. Hofmann and J. Pollard (eds), The Neolithic of Europe. Papers in honour of Alasdair Whittle, 145-58. Oxford: Oxbow.

Hofmann, D. 2016. The changing role of La Hoguette pottery in an LBK context. In L. Amkreutz, F. Haak, D. Hofmann and I. van Wijk (eds), Something out of the ordinary? Interpreting diversity in the early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik culture and beyond, 120-53. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Hofmann, D., Amkreutz, A., Haack, F. and Van Wijk, I. 2016. Introduction: diversity and uniformity in LBK studies. In L. Amkreutz, F. Haack, D. Hofmann and I. van Wijk (eds), Something out of the ordinary? Interpreting diversity in the early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik and beyond, 3-30. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Hofmann, D. and Orschiedt, J. 2015. Mortuary practices, bodies and persons in central Europe. In C. Fowler, J. Harding and D. Hofmann (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Neolithic Europe, 987-1004. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hofmann, D. 2014. Cast in clay: Linearbandkeramik figurines and society. In C.-E. Ursu and S. Terna (eds), Anthropomorphism and symbolic behaviour in the Neolithic and Copper Age communities of south-eastern Europe, 47-71. Suceava: Karl A. Romstorfer.

Pechtl, J. and Hofmann, D. 2013. Irregular burials in the LBK – All or none? In N. Müller-Scheeßl (eds), Irreguläre Bestattungen in der Urgeschichte: Norm, Ritual, Strafe...?, 123-38. Bonn: Habelt.

Hofmann, D., Pechtl, J., Bentley, R.A., Bickle, P., Fibiger, L., Grupe, G., Hamilton, J., Hedges, R., Schultz, M. und Whittle, A. 2013. Southern Bavaria. In P. Bickle und A. Whittle (eds). The first farmers of central Europe. Diversity in LBK lifeways, 205-50. Oxford: Oxbow.

Hofmann, D. and Smyth, J. 2013. Introduction: Dwelling, materials, cosmology – transforming houses in the Neolithic. In D. Hofmann and J. Smyth (eds), Tracking the Neolithic house in Europe – sedentism, architecture and practice, 1-17. New York: Springer.

Hofmann, D. 2012a. Bodies, houses and status in the western Linearbandkeramik. In T. Kienlin (ed.), Beyond elites, 183-96. Bonn: Habelt.

Hofmann, D. 2012b. The life and death of Linearbandkeramik figurines. In Cochrane, A. and Jones, A. (eds), Visualising the Neolithic: abstraction, figuration, performance, representation, 226-42. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Hofmann, D. and Bickle, P. 2011. Culture, tradition and the settlement burials of the Linearbandkeramik (LBK) culture. In B. Roberts and M. Vander Linden (eds), Investigating archaeological cultures: material culture variability and transmission, 183-200. New York: Springer.

Hofmann, D. 2010. Soziale Beziehungen und Verwandtschaft in der Bandkeramik: Struktur oder Flexibilität? [Social structure in the LBK] In E. Claßen, T. Doppler and B. Ramminger (eds), Familie – Verwandtschaft – Sozialstrukturen: Sozialarchäologische Forschungen zu neolithischen Befunden, 31-42. Kerpen-Loogh: Welt und Erde Verlag.

Hofmann, D. 2009a. Noch mehr Häuser für die Bandkeramik: neue Grabungen in Niederhummel und Wang, Landkreis Freising. [Interim report on excavations in Niederhummel and Wang] In K. Schmotz (ed.), Fines Transire Jahrgang 18. Archäologiche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Ostbayern/ West- und Südböhmen/ Oberösterreich, 181-94. Rahden: Marie Leidorf.

Hofmann, D. 2009b. Cemetery and settlement burial in the Lower Bavarian LBK. In D. Hofmann and P. Bickle (eds), Creating communities. New advances in central European Neolithic research, 220-34. Oxford: Oxbow.

Hofmann, D. 2005. The emotional Mesolithic. Past and present ambiguities of Ofnet cave. In N. Milner and P.C. Woodman (eds), Mesolithic studies, 194-211. Oxford: Oxbow.

Hofmann, D. 2005. Fragments of power: LBK figurines and the mortuary record. In D. Hofmann, J. Mills and A. Cochrane (eds), Elements of being. Identities, mentalities and movement, 58-70. Oxford: BAR.


Encyclopedia entries and reviews

Hofmann, D. 2018. Review of G. Brandt, Beständig ist nur der Wandel! Die Rekonstruktion der Besiedlungsgeschichte Europas während des Neolithikums mittels paläo- und populationsgenetischer Verfahren. European Journal of Archaeology, 21, 487-90.

Hofmann, D. 2017. Review of B. Boulestin and A.-S. Coupey, Cannibalism in the Linear Pottery Culture. The human remains from Herxheim. Bonner Jahrbücher 215, 388-93.

Hofmann, D. 2017. Review of I Hodder and A. Marciniak, Assembling Çatalhöyük. Themes in Contemporary Archaeology Volume 1. Prehistoric Society online reviews, available at http://www.prehistoricsociety.org/publications/reviews/

Hofmann. D. 2017. Review of The Development of Neolithic House Societies in Orkney. Investigations in the Bay of Firth, Mainland Orkney (1994–2014). Archaeological Journal 174, 477-78.

Hofmann, D. 2016. Review of Neolithic diversities: Perspectives from a conference in Lund, Sweden. European Journal of Archaeology 19, 372-75.

Hofmann, D. 2015. Review of Theorie in der Archäologie: zur jüngeren Diskussion in Deutschland (M. Eggert and U. Veit) and Schlüsselbegriffe der prähistorischen Archäologie (S. Wolfram and D. Mölders) [two books on archaeological theory in Germany]. Archaeologia Austriaca 99, 233-39.

Hofmann, D. 2015. Review of L’habitat du néolithique ancien de Colombelles 'Le Lazzaro' (Calvados), Antiquity 89, 998-99.

Hofmann, D. 2014. Review of J. Smyth, Settlement in the Irish Neolithic. New discoveries at the edge of Europe. Prehistoric Society online reviews, available at http://www.prehistoricsociety.org/publications/reviews/

Hofmann, D. 2014. Linearbandkeramik site excavation. In C. Smith (ed.), Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, 4515-18. New York: Springer.

Hofmann, D. 2012. Review of D. Gronenborn and J. Petrasch, Die Neolithisierung Mitteleuropas. The spread of the Neolithic to Central Europe. Bonner Jahrbücher 212, 329-33.


Exploring the archaeological migration narrative: the introduction of farming and animal husbandry in southern Norway

Starting in June 2021 and hosted at the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) in Oslo, this project will create an interdisciplinary dialogue to bring the dominant archaeological and archaeogenetic migration narrative up to date with anthropological discourse on human mobilities, identities and social change. To this end, several working groups of international specialists will develop a broad range of possible scenarios and explore them using archaeological case studies, most prominently the role human mobility and migration may have played in the introduction and establishment of farming and animal husbandry in southern Norway. The project is co-led by Martin Furholt (Kiel).


Deep histories of migration: exploring the early Neolithic around the North Sea

Funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF) and co-led with Rune Iversen (Copenhagen) and Vicki Cummings (UCLan), this project uses social network analysis on material from Britain and southern Scandinavia to investigate how ties established during Neolithic migrations played out over the longer term. We focus on the transmission of novelties in monumental architecture and structured deposition, comparing selected regions across Denmark, the UK and Ireland.

Culture change, networks and hierarchy: the Münchshöfen culture at the enclosure site of Riedling, Bavaria

This interdisciplinary project, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), is concerned with the role of prestige goods in the later Neolithic of central Europe. Large-scale cultural innovations, such as the first metal items, are being distributed in Europe at this time, but their uptake is patchy. In the Bavarian Münchshöfen culture, for instance, such finds are very rare. Instead, we see considerable investment in the building of enclosures and in the development of new traditions of structured deposition, often involving large amounts of pottery and/or human and animal remains.

This project focuses on one such enclosure, Riedling (Lower Bavaria), to investigate its use life and biography in greater detail. As an interdisciplinary team, we are aiming to build a relative and absolute chronology for the site, to establish the tempo and nature of the activities that took place there, and to characterise the buried population and the material culture. We will then place Riedling in its wider regional and European context and discuss how its inhabitants selectively participated in the wider-scale networks of their time and whether they, too, were on a path to increasing social hierarchy.

The team: Richard Evershed, Jörg Ewersen, Julie Dunne, Seren Griffiths, Gisela Grupe, Markus Helfert, Ludwig Husty, Franziska Immler, Nicole Kegler-Graiewski, Britta Ramminger, Gabriele Raßhofer, Claudia Sarkady, Freya Steinhagen, Márton Szilágyi, Patricia Tellhelm


Ofnet revisited: chronology, violence, society

Led by Jörg Orschiedt (Mannheim) and in collaboration with Rick Schulting (Oxford), this project has undertaken a thorough re-investigation of the Mesolithic human skulls discovered at Ofnet cave, Bavaria. The decapitated heads of over 30 men, women and children were found here in two concentrations, covered with deer tooth and shell ornaments. Since then, debate has centred on the question of whether this was a single (and violent) event, or whether the human remains accumulated over a longer time period as part of a standard mortuary ritual.

Our team has focused on re-assessing the demographic composition of the burial group and the evidence for lethal trauma. In addition, a large series of AMS and single amino-acid 14C-dates were obtained as a basis for further statistical modelling of the site’s span of use. The project was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).