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 will integrate the disciplines of linguistics, text studies, and literary criticism, as well as archaeology, art history, and history.

Research group C-1 focuses on the phenomenon of perspectivation in language, text and graphical communication systems (e.g. pictorial narratives, text-image complexes); research group C-2 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 deals with the perception and representation of ancient spaces in modern contexts; the goal of research group C-4 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 analyzes concepts of »common sense geography« in ancient cultures; and research group C-6 concentrates on ancient cities and the process whereby urban spaces are actively shaped and modeled.