The Research Center ROCEEH is an intrinsic part of the Academies’ Program, “Discovering, Contextualizing and Preserving Cultural Heritage” of The Union of the German Academies. Our work is based directly on the explicit mission of the Academies’ Program, “ retrieve and explore our cultural heritage, to make it accessible in and highlight its relevance to the present, and to preserve it for the future.”

ROCEEH discovers, contextualizes and preserves the deep past of humankind’s cultural heritage. The research center explores the history of humanity between three million and 20,000 years ago by developing cultural concepts which enable us to examine how human culture evolved. ROCEEH address the questions related to what we call, “becoming human.” This approach is accented by field work at key sites to document the salient patterns of early cultural change. ROCEEH makes the deep past of our cultural heritage accessible by compiling data about archaeological sites and their associated assemblages. These systematically collected data are archived in the ROCEEH Out of Africa Database (ROAD), which now contains information on more than 1750 sites and 8000 assemblages, based on a review of over 2300 articles, books, theses and reports written in many languages. ROCEEH uses this unique database to explore the richness of humankind’s deep cultural past and highlights its relevance for the present by conducting focused case studies, and through scientific and public outreach. The research center preserves the deep past of humankind’s cultural heritage for the future by providing a lasting catalog summarizing each site stored in ROAD. These condensed reports provide a systematic overview of archaeological sites with details about their geography, dating, stratigraphy, cultural remains, paleoanthropology, paleoecology and bibliography.