On Wednesday (16 March), Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will ceremonially accept Prof. Hans-Joachim Gehrke’s resignation as president of the German Archaeological Institute and welcome his successor, Prof. Friederike Fless, to the post.
A classical archaeologist, Friederike Fless will be the first woman in the history of the German Archaeological Institute to head what is one of the world’s biggest institutes of archaeological research. Prof. Fless is among the most renowned women in her field. She supports a broad spectrum of focuses in research, from archaeological field work to issues in iconography and visual studies.
The Institute was founded in 1829 and has, with one interruption, been run under the auspices of the Federal Foreign Office since 1874. Renowned throughout the world, it carries out archaeological digs, maintains international contacts in academia and has an important place in Germany’s cultural relations and education policy abroad. The German Archaeological Institute runs departments in Athens, Cairo, Istanbul, Madrid and Rome as well as offices in Baghdad, Beijing, Damascus, Sana’a and Tehran. It also has research units in Amman, Jerusalem and Lisbon. One of the functions of the Institute’s departments abroad is to provide a place for the experts of each host country to come together.