The members of the research group worked on projects dealing with individual sites having the character of central places or with limited regions in which networks of settlements were present. Cities, seats of power, and sacred sites were investigated in terms of their significance for, and their shaping influence on, the surrounding regions. These themes were explored in direct collaboration with scientists from the archaeological sciences and earth sciences. The network of relations between the central site or settlements in spaces of limited extension and their surroundings was studied. This involved reconstructing the development of the respective central site and of the historical landscape, as well as the respective site factors, and analysing the structure of relationships to the surrounding territory and the connecting region. The influence such central places exerted on the surrounding space were compared in terms of various cultures, regions, and societal systems. The focal areas of investigation were the Mediterranean region, the Black Sea area, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Studies included central places for which adequate historical sources are available, but also sites from preliterate epochs.