SFB 1070 focuses on exploring the social and cultural dynamics related to the use of resources. The innovative perspective on resources surpasses the traditional economic definitions by far. A considerable number of academic disciplines contribute their expertise to the centre: Archaeology, History, Geography, Classical Philology, Economical History, Cultural and Social Anthropology and Protestant Theology.

The centre comprises three project divisions – A. Developments, B. Movements and C. Valuations – with subjects spanning a geographical frame from Scandinavia to Central and South Asia. From the age of the Neanderthals to the cultures of Mesopotamia, Phoenician and Roman colonisations and the age of Vikings to present times the SFB applies a comprehensive perspective to the use and development of resources in a variety of contexts.

The sector divisions are meant to stimulate a cross-interlocking between the project divisions, enhancing multidisciplinarity and addressing recent scientific issues. In contrast to the project divisions the sector divisions will be newly designed for each phase of funding, in order to link always different projects. The results of the first phase highlighted three issues as especially innovative and suited for interdisciplinary research: materiality, knowledge and the subject of preservation and destruction of resources.