Urban Planing and Development in Jordan (C-6-2)

Research project

This concerted project investigated the two urban centers Petra and Gadara and their surrounding countryside using comparative formulations and methods in seeking to determine the causes of similar and dissimilar developments and phenomena. In order to gain an understanding of the importance of the interaction between environmental and social factors in the formation and historical development of the urban form, interaction between several disciplines is required (e.g. geography, topography, geology, meteorology, technical sciences, ecology, demography, sociology, building law, building economy and cultural studies).

Forum - Spatial Data Analysis (A-SDA)


The Forum — Spatial Data Analysis was an inter-area research group that dealed with the documentation and analysis of spatial data gathered from documentation, landscape analyses and reconstructions. Besides the work of data collection in archaeology and cultural heritage in connection with investigations of geo-physics, geo-sciences, and remote sensing, the forum also fostered the extension […]

Organisation of Ancient Science (D-1-4)

Research project

This project was concerned with organisational, practical and other contextual aspects of scholarship in Babylonia, Greece, the Greco-Roman world and Egypt during the period 600 BCE – 400 AD. Scholarly communities and their relation to the temples and other institutions are investigated on the basis of textual, archival and archaeological evidence. The practical applications of astronomy, astrology, geography and medicine and the mutual relations between these scholarly disciplines are explored.

Italia illustrata (C-5-9)

Research project

The original subject of this research project was the proto-national conception of Italy that developed in the 15th and 16th century through the interaction of historiographical, geographical and literary media. Contrary to the first idea to cover the whole period, the project was finally built around the “Italia illustrata” of Flavio Biondo (ca. 1450), a detailed historiographical and geographical description of Italy in which the author struggles with a huge number of information cues, such as toponyms (place names, points-of-interest), landmarks, streets, distances, places, rivers, walls, historic sites that are foremost based on ancient authors such as Strabo, Pliny or Livy.

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 examined 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.

Peutinger Map (C-5-7)

Research project

This research project investigated the Tabula Peutingeriana from the perspective of the “common sense geography”, theory jointly developed by Topoi research group (C-5) Common Sense Geography. With regard to the significance of this source it is surprising that an academic commentary had not been provided yet.

Paradoxography and Strange Things (C-5-6)

Research project

This research project consisted in a critical edition and commentary of the Anonymus Florentinus for the Fragmente der griechischen Historiker IV (ed. by Stefan Schorn, Kai Bordersen, Klaus Geus), pursued jointly with an extensive study of the epistemic norms which inform the tradition of paradoxography. This latter, interpretive work is located within the context of a study of norms of rationality and evidence in Greek (primarily: Aristotelian) philosophy and science.

Winds (C-5-5)

Research project

This research project addressed the topic of compass points in antiquity. Compass points or cardinal directions were far less standardized in Greek and Roman times than in the modern era.