Cognitive perception of space in Mesoamerica (C-5-8)

Research project

This research project studied prehispanic codices and early colonial map-like documents from Mesoamerica. It shows the changes the representations underwent after contact with the Spaniards. The Prehispanic documents, known as Codices, reflect a distinctive perception by means of a graphical representation system that distinguishes them from the “lienzos” and “mapas” (maps) produced in the course of the Spanish colonization. The study examines the ‘mapped worlds’ in the the ‘art of mapping’ in Mesoamerica and compares the visualization and organization of space in the pictorial documents before and after the Spanish Conquest.

Mental Modelling (C-5-1)

Research project

This interdisciplinary research project aims at linking cutting-edge research in cognitive linguistics with studies in ancient geography. Cognitive linguistic approaches usually deal with synchronic processes, whereas the study of ancient texts necessarily implies the adoption of a diachronic perspective. The combination of these two methods allows to gain a unique insight into the conceptualization of spatial categories in the ancient world.