The planned investigation into the respective economic areas is divided into three lines of research, staggered in terms of degree of focus and interlinked, that show particularly high potential in archaeological research: 1. Cross-regional economic networks, 2. Settlement centres and their environs, 3. Religious institutions as economic units. Each of these three lines of research is the dedicated focus of a group of doctoral candidates, each group accompanied by one post-doctoral candidate. While the post-doc scientists conduct comparative investigations into long periods or various cultures along the three research lines, the dissertation topics within these focal points are to deal in the narrower sense with disciplinary topics; taking into account the categories of production, distribution, consumption as well as the economic sectors dealt with by them. This will enable horizontal cross-linkage between the three lines of research.