Official Opening of the Excellence Cluster TOPOI

Press Conference on Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 11 am, in the Pergamon Museum, Museum Island, Am Kupfergraben, 10178 Berlin

№ 364/2008 from Nov 14, 2008

Excellence Cluster TOPOI
Excellence Cluster TOPOI

How do humans affect the ecosystem? – What is a border? – How do we visualize body and soul spatially? –  How do we imagaine the universe? At first glance these questions do not appear to be related to studies of ancient civilizations. In actuality, they pertain to the origins of many of our ideas and to the foundations of our culture in antiquity. The Excellence Cluster TOPOI – The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations, aims to use innovative approaches to answer such questions.

On the Podium:

  • Prof. Dr. Friederike Fless, TOPOI Spokesperson for Freie Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Ursula Lehmkuhl, Vice President of Freie Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Christoph Markschies,  President of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Hermann Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
  • Prof. Dr. Christof Rapp, TOPOI Spokesperson for Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Official Opening

Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 7:30 pm

Pergamon Museum, Museum Island
Am Kupfergraben
10178 Berlin

Welcome:

  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Hermann Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

Opening Remarks:

  • Prof. Dr. E. Jürgen Zöllner, Senator of Education, Science, and Research
  • Prof. Dr. Dieter Lenzen, President of Freie Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Christoph Markschies, President of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Introduction:

  • Prof. Dr. Friederike Fless, TOPOI Spokesperson for Freie Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Christof Rapp, TOPOI Spokesperson for Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

A lecture will be held by the ancient studies scholar, Prof. Dr. Glenn W. Most (Pisa, Chicago).

The understanding of how space and knowledge about space are interdependent, was lost in modern times. Currently, the disciplines investigating these types of issues are separate fields of the natural and social sciences and humanities. By working interdisciplinarily, the Excellence Cluster TOPOI aims to re-construct this knowledge, to achieve a new comprehensive understanding of ancient ideas about space – ideas that continue to influence us today. The geographical area under investigation extends from the ancient Near East to the Mediterranean, the Black Sea Region, and parts of the Eurasian steppe. The period of time covers the 6th millennium BC to around AD 500.

TOPOI was selected for funding through the German federal and state Excellence Initiative. The grants amount to 5.6 million euros annually through 2012. Over 200 scholars, including 60 junior researchers, are collaborating in this transdisciplinary project. Numerous research partners from abroad are also involved, as well as other institutions in Berlin, including the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the German Archaeological Institute, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin are jointly responsible for this research project on ancient civilizations.

Further information:

Dr. Hauke Ziemssen, Executive Secretary of the Excellence Cluster TOPOI
Telephone: +49 (0)30 / 838-52249
Email: hauke.ziemssen@fu-berlin.de
www.topoi.org