The research of the Institute for the Study of Ancient Culture (IKAnt) covers a wide cultural-historical range with studies reaching from the Archaic to the Byzantine period and including the entire Mediterranean region, the Roman Danube and northwestern provinces, Iran, Central Asia as well as the Indo-Iranian borderlands. The focus of research is not on providing sources through excavations, but rather on the compilation, edition and analysis of archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic, papyrological and literary sources. Of special interest are aspects of cultural, political, social, economic and legal history as well as questions of a supra-regional range. These studies mostly represent an approach which differs from that of the disciplines of Classical Studies at the universities or at institutes focusing on the preservation of monuments or on field archaeology, and complement it.
Within the framework of the projects, which are throughout part of intra- as well as interdisciplinary and international networks, subject-specific methods (and sometimes specially developed software) for the analysis of finds and findings are being further developed as well. The results are regularly put up for international discussion and made public through conferences, publications and databases.
The declared aim is the publication of the results, for which, according to the field of research, several series and periodicals are available. In addition, the consistent integration of young scholars into current research projects provides them with a sound basis for further education and promotion.
Finally, the institute is in charge of several international long-term commitments of the academy for the publication of corpora and lexica.