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The Zhao Yu Tu (“map of the area of the mausoleum”), excavated in the late 1970s in Pingshan County, south-central Hebei Province. Hebei Provincial Museum at Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, China.

Dept. III

Artifacts, Action, Knowledge

Department III studies the history of knowledge and action. The two main areas of interest are the processes and structures that lead to varying configurations of collaborative and individual bodies of knowledge as well as the changing role of artifacts—texts, objects, and spaces—in the creation, diffusion, and use of scientific and technological knowledge. Research cases include Asian cultures and the premodern era. In addition to individual projects, Working Groups are dedicated, at different levels of detail, to gathering together scholars interested in specific issues within larger themes.

Research Themes

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Histories of Planning
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The Body of Animals
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News & Press

Tagesspiegel features Artist-in-Residence Vivien Xu's "Silkworm Project" with Art Laboratory Berlin

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Dagmar Schäfer and Florence Hsia take a second look at Joseph Needham in Isis special issue

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Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Welcomes Journalist in Residence Laura Spinney

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Department III Events

The Silkworm Project

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Moving Crops

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A Medieval Geographical Manuscript from Dunhuang: The Illustrated Itineraries of Shazhou (Shazhou tujing)

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Publications & Digital Resources