K. Sieckmeyer © Uruk-Warka-Sammlung, DAI Orient-Abteilung
Collaborative Research Cluster
Material Text Cultures


Boundaries in pre-modern texts - a workshop report

Visible and invisible textual boundaries were the subject of the interdisciplinary workshop "Boundaries in Pre-modern Texts", to which the SFB in cooperation with the Research Training Group "Document - Text - Edition" of the Bergische Universität Wuppertal had invited in November 2020. The speakers included members of both research networks, who presented their ongoing projects in a virtual roundtable. Further information can be found here (in German).

Two new MTK volumes published

Two new volumes have been published in the SFB series "Materiale Textkulturen". Volume No. 31, entitled "Black Boxes – Versiegelungskontexte und Öffnungsversuche", brings together thirteen contributions by different authors who are dedicated to the phenomenon of black boxes – complex things that have an impact and yet are hidden behind interfaces. The English-language volume "Using Ostraca in the Ancient World" (volume no. 32 of the MTK series) deals with inscribed clay and limestone shards, so-called ostraca. Both volumes are available in open access on the website of the De Gruyter Verlag. Image © 1956, 1999 by The Estate of W. Ross Ashby.

Transatlantic cooperation on the "Anthologia Palatina"

With 3,765 epigrams on 614 pages, it is the most comprehensive collection of its kind and thus of inestimable value for science: the Anthologia Palatina. Researchers of the SFB 933 "Material Text Cultures" are working on a digital partial edition of the work, which will not only provide transcriptions and translations, but also additional background information such as archaeological findings on the poems. This year, the project underwent a surprising expansion after Canadian scientists from the Université de Montréal became aware of it. Further information can be found here (in German).

Call to the University of Osnabrück - Dr. Stefan Ardeleanu takes over the professorship "Archaeology of the Roman Provinces

Dr. Stefan Ardeleanu has been appointed to the junior professorship "Archaeology of the Roman Provinces" at the Department of History of the University of Osnabrück as of November 1, thus leaving the Collaborative Research Center 933 "Material Text Cultures" after four years. As a scientific assistant in subproject A01 UP2 he had last conducted research on Late Antique grave inscriptions and grave rites in the north-western provinces of the Roman Empire. Further information can be found here (in German).


The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved the follow-up application for a further subproject in SFB 933. This is the art historical subproject A12 "The Artist's Presence. Medieval Artefacts with Artists' Signatures", which is headed by Prof. Dr. Rebecca Müller and started work in early July. Further information can be found here.

Thematic Fields

The interdisciplinary work at the CRC 933 is organized in seven thematic fields. They are based on the method of praxeologically oriented analysis of artefacts, which builds upon the examination of materiality, topology, and presence as well as on the reconstruction of praxeographies. The thematic fields stretch across the three research areas: A ‚Social Spaces‘, B ‚Social Fields‘, and C ‚Reflection (Metatexts)‘. The thematic fields are designed to make times and spaces comparable with regard to identifiable areas of social practice (ritual-religious, scientific-epistemic, political-administrative), and they serve further development of the theory and methods of the CRC 933.



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Goals & Central Ideas

The Collaborative Research Centre 933 (CRC 933) examines script-bearing artefacts: pillars, steles, portals, tombstones, potsherds, amulets, scrolls, papyri, parchment codices; to name only a few. The researchers involved investigate a lot of questions: How and under which circumstances were these artefacts produced? In which spacial arrangements were they located? Who had access to them? How and in which contexts were they used? Continue reading


MTK-Series' "Materiale Textkulturen"

The MTK-Series Material Text Cultures is the Collaborative Research Centre's publication organ. We publish collected volumes and monographs that focus on the CRC's main research questions, meaning the materiality and presence of writing in non-typographic societies. All volumes are open access and can be found here.

5300 Jahre Schrift

In 50 articles, the volume "5300 Jahre Schrift" published by das Wunderhorn presents 50 written artifacts, which are as diverse as their origins and their writers and readers – including Mesopotamian tax lists in cuneiform script, Roman temple inscriptions, ancient Egyptian books of the dead or even street art and hypertext. More information

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