The principal objective of research area C is to reconstruct perceptions and representations of spaces in ancient cultures on the basis of archaeological remains and findings, texts and images. Over the long-term, this will include the examination of how spaces, spatial relations, movements, and directions were perceived and imagined; how they were represented in various media; and to what extent spatial perception, experience, and representation affected the knowledge of spaces – and how this knowledge in turn decisively influenced spatial perception, experience, and representation. Research in area C integrates the disciplines of linguistics, text studies, and literary criticism, as well as archaeology, art history, and history.

Research group (C-1) Deixis and Frames of Reference focuses on the phenomenon of perspectivation in language, text and graphical communication systems (e.g. pictorial narratives, text-image complexes); research group (C-2) Space and Metaphor is dedicated to spatial metaphors used in written and non-written communication by diverse cultures from antiquity through the early modern era to the present day; research group (C-3) Fragments, Ruins, and Space deals with the perception and representation of ancient spaces in modern contexts; the goal of research group (C-4) Pictorial Constructions of Space(s) is to apply a diachronic perspective and a comparative-culture approach to the study of the construction of space through pictures; research group (C-5) Common Sense Geography analyzes concepts of “common sense geography” in ancient cultures; and research group (C-6) Cityscaping concentrates on ancient cities and the process whereby urban spaces are actively shaped and modeled.