Topoi Exhibition 2012

Jenseits des Horizonts –
Raum und Wissen in den Kulturen der Alten Welt

Jenseits des Horizonts - Mapping the World


The large Topoi exhibition in the north wing of the Pergamon Museum placed the theme of the Excellence Cluster in a central position, while simultaneously depicting important research results. The connection between space and knowledge in the cultures of the ancient world was narrated in temporal depth and spatial breadth. In the course of the exhibition, visitors learn how humankind actively confronted the conditions and observations of its environment. How it made sustainable use of its environment, for example the resource of water, and how under diverse spatial and cultural conditions it developed fundamental cultural technologies such as writing and arithmetic. The exhibition showed how these technologies combine in the observation and description of the heavens and the horizon, as well as how they find expression in the concrete measurement of the Earth.

This lead finally to the theme of the central room of the exhibition, in which ancient mapping of the world and images of the world occupied a central position. Maps and world images are realizations of spatial representations and spatial knowledge. At the same time, they leave a lasting imprint on these representations and this knowledge. This is because no map is a pure copy; rather it always contains an admixture of interpretations and perceptions. The diverse fields in which knowledge of space plays an active role serve as the focal point of a series of spaces in which spatial representation in medicine, magic, music and the interpretation of numbers were addressed.

With more than 100,000 visitors the exhibition “Beyond the Horizon” ended in September 2012. A virtual tour of the exhibition gives you the great opportunity, with more than 270 selected objects, 16 exhibition rooms and themes, to get an impression of the unique atmosphere of the large Topoi exhibition “Beyond the Horizon”.


Cover des Ausstellungskatalogs "Jenseits des Horizonts"Exhibition catalogue

Märtin, Ralf-Peter
Jenseits des Horizonts.
Raum und Wissen in den Kulturen der Alten Welt

Edited by Exzellenzcluster Topoi and Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Open Access on


June 21 – September 30, 2012


Pergamon Museum Berlin

10178 Berlin

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