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Excellence Cluster TOPOI Officially Opened

Research Cluster Hosted by Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Inaugurated in Pergamon Museum

№ 375/2008 from Nov 26, 2008

Inauguration ceremony of TOPOI in the Pergamon Museum
Inauguration ceremony of TOPOI in the Pergamon Museum Image Credit: Stephan Töpper

Over 400 guests attended the inauguration ceremony of the Excellence Cluster "TOPOI – The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations" on November 25. In his speech Professor Dr. Jürgen Zöllner, Senator of Education, Science, and Research, called this research cluster a wise investment in the future.

Over the next years scientists and scholars in the humanities will be conducting research on conceptions of space in antiquity, in particular the interdependence of space and knowledge.

The Pergamon Museum, with its monumental reconstruction of archaeological building ensembles, was an appropriate architectural setting for the inaugural ceremony. Professor Dr. Hermann Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, gave the welcoming speech. The Ancient Studies scholar, Prof. Dr. Glenn W. Most (Pisa, Chicago), held a keynote address on methods and history of a practice in Ancient Studies.

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.