• Albi Mappa Mundi, world map of the Merovingian period | Source: Albi, bibliothèque municipale, Ms. 29 (115)
    Compass points or cardinal directions were far less standardized in antiquity than in the modern era. Ancient authors usually expressed indications of orientation in a relative frame of reference. Thus a reconstruction of the process through which the information was registered and reused, was developed | Image: Albi Mappa Mundi
  • Part of Tabula Peutingeriana, Konrad Miller 1887 | Source: Bibliotheca Augustana, Wikimedia | Public Domain
    The Tabula Peutingeriana, is one of the most important sources for the classification of ancient place names. The publication "Tabula Peutingeriana. Die einzige Weltkarte aus der Antike" makes all sheets accessible in their original format for the first time after extensive restoration.
  • Cover of Codex Fejéváry Mayer | © Famsi/Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt Graz
    The codices and early colonial map-like documents from Mesoamerica reflect a distinctive perception by means of a graphical representation system. The study of these documents reveals the transmission of prehispanic spatial concepts of the Mesoamerican world to new media of European cartographic formats | Image: Codex Fejéváry Mayer
This research group focused on the subject of “common sense geography”. This term, which was coined by the members of the group, represents an attempt to link three subject areas together.

Common sense geography refered firstly to that part of historical geography which deals with knowledge in bygone cultures, and especially with the sphere of knowledge that is available in implicit form (implicit knowledge). Secondly, common sense geography addressed “lower” geography, in contrast to “higher” or “professional” geography, and thus it explored how geographical information is disseminated and applied outside of academic discourse. Lastly, common sense geography investigated “naïve” perceptions of space and, in attempting to describe these perceptions adequately, developed mental models (cognitive maps or frames or scripts) of ancient spatial orientation(s).

Research Projects