Crossroads Research Centre

History of Interaction in the East Asian, Eurasian, Indian Ocean & Asia-Pacific Worlds

This research focus investigates on the variety of interactions, communication and exchange relations in the macro-region of Eurasia, East Asia, the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Worlds across both land and sea routes. Major emphasis will be placed on the transfer of science and technologies, commodity and product exchange, trade, cultural aspects in their widest interpretation, religions, as well as migration and the organisation and functioning of networks.

We will analyse continental and maritime exchange and transfer of knowledge, ideas, products and people, including forms of migration. To this end, we will particularly investigate forms of interaction that have been important in both the past and the present, such as military (including geographical knowledge as portrayed in maps; weapons, horses, or provisions); medical knowledge and medicinal products, including diseases; aspects of culture (such as food, music) and religion (such as Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam); and historical naval enterprises and maritime commerce.

A milestone of our research lies in the parallel comparative analysis of both archaeological and textual evidence and a cross-cultural inter-disciplinary approach. The use of a wide range of sources from archaeological findings to texts, documents, and pictorial material, to linguistic evidence, will be a hallmark of the approach.

Crossroads Journal

Crossroads – Studies on the History of Exchange Relations in the East Asian World (縱 横 – 東亞世界交流史研究/クロスロード – 東アジア世界の交流史研究 / 크로스로드 – 東아시아 世界의 交流史 研究) is designed as an international forum for contributions related to the history of exchange relations in the East Asian world.

The journal is being sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the German Research Council.

“Crossroads – History of Science & Technology across the Silk Roads”

The primary aim is to investigate and make available key primary sources, both archaeological and textual, dealing with scientific and technological exchanges taking place along the maritime and overland Silk Roads. The scope will cover materials and studies connected with China’s long Silk Road history and demonstrate especially the importance of intra-Asian networks and connections. Currently we focus especially on geographical knowledge & maps (inluding sea routes), moneys & money metals, the analysis of shipwrecks and tombs, trade, commerce & human movements in the context of human-environment interaction and environmental changes, as well as aspects of medicine, medicinal drugs, and the spread of diseases.

Seafaring, Trade, and Knowledge Transfer: Maritime Politics and Commerce in Early Middle Period to Early Modern China

This project is being sponsored by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung (2010–

China and the Maritime World, 500 BC to 1900[1800]: A Handbook of Chinese Sources on Maritime History
General Editors: Angela Schottenhammer, Tansen Sen, and Geoffrey Wade

The Indian Ocean World (IOW) The Making of the First Global Economy in the Context of Human-Environment Interaction

This project is being sponsored by the MCRI (Major Collaborative Research Initiative) sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2009–2017)

„The East Asian ‚Mediterranean‘, c. 15001800: A New Quality in the Development of its Neighbouring Countries“

Research project has been sponsored by the VW-Foundation, May 2002 – July 2009

Empires and Networks


(This is only a selection of publications that do not necessarily fall under one of the other categories)

  • Angela Schottenhammer, Peter Feldbauer (Hrsg.), Globalgeschichte 1000-1250 (Global History, 1000-1250). Wien: Mandelbaum Verlag 2011.
  • Bert G. Fragner, Ralph Kauz, Roderich Ptak, Angela Schottenhammer (Hrsg.), Pferde in Asien: Geschichte, Handel und Kultur / Horses in Asia: History, Trade and Culture. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2009.
  • Chinas Eintritt in die Weltpolitik. Außenpolitisches Handeln am Beispiel Europas und Koreas (China’s Entry into World Policy. Foreign Policy Behaviour in Relation to Europe and Korea). Hamburg Bd. 396. Hamburg 2006. 179 pages. Mitteilungen des Instituts für Asienkunde.
  • Co–author in: F.–J. Brüggemeier, G. Hoffmann, Menschen im Jahr 1000. Ein Lesebuch (People Living in the Year 1000. A Reader). Freiburg, Basel, Wien: Herder Verlag 1999.

Book chapters:

  • „Westasiatisch-muslimische (Huihui 回回) Medizin und Ärzte im yuanzeitlichen China (13./14. Jh.)“ (West-Asiatic Muslim Medicine and Physicians in Yuan China), in Michael Borgolte (Hrsg.), Migration als transkulturelle Verpflechtung im mittelalterlichen Jahrtausend. Europa, Ostasien und Afrika im Vergleich (Migration as Trans-cultural Network in the Middle Period Millenium. Europe, Africa, and Asia in Comparison). Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 2012, pp. 34-53.
  • “The transfer of Xiangyao 香藥 from Iran and Arabia to China – A Reinvestigation of Entries in the Youyang zazu 酉陽雜俎 (863)”, in Ralph Kauz (ed.), Interaction on the Maritime Silk Road: From the Persian Gulf to the East China Sea. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz 2010. East Asian Maritime History, 10, pp. 117–149.
  • Annotation of the Ryukyu-chapters of Fernão Mendes Pinto in Fernão Mendes Pinto and the Peregrinação. Studies, Restored Portuguese Text, Notes and Indexes, directed by Jorge Santos Alves, 4 vols. Lisbon: Fondação Oriente, 2010, vol. 3. chpts. 138–143, pp. 180–186.
  • „Vom mongolischen Teilreich zum neuen Reich der Mitte”, in Thomas Ertl (Hrsg.), Die Welt, 1250 bis 1500 (The World 1250 to 1500). Essen: Magnusverlag 2009, pp. 355382. Globalgeschichte. Die Welt 1000–2000 (Global History. The World 1000–2000).
  • “Horses in late Imperial China and Maritime East Asia: An Introduction into Trade, Distribution, and other Aspects (c. sixteenth to eighteenth centuries)”, in Bert G. Fragner, Ralph Kauz, Roderich Ptak, Angela Schottenhammer (eds.), Pferde in Asien: Geschichte, Handel und Kultur / Horses in Asia: History, Trade and Culture. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2008, pp. 231–254. Denkschriften der phil.-hist. Klasse 378, Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Iranistik 46.
  • „China – ein Weltreich im Umbruch“ (China – an Empire in Transformation), in Peter Feldbauer, Bernd Hausberger (Hrsg.), Globalgeschichte, 17. Jahrhundert (The World in the 17th Century). Essen: Magnusverlag 2008, pp. 275–310. Globalgeschichte. Die Welt 1000–2000 (Global History. The World 1000–2000).
  • „Eine chinesische Weltordnung: Ostasien“ (A Chinese World Order: East Asia), in Peter Feldbauer, Jean-Paul Lehners (Hrsg.), Die Welt im 16. Jahrhundert (The World in the 16th Century). Essen: Magnusverlag 2008, pp. 290–334. Globalgeschichte. Die Welt 1000–2000 (Global History. The World 1000–2000).
  • „Schiffahrt und Überseebeziehungen bis ins 3. Jahrhundert: Ein Überblick“ (Shipping and maritime relations until the 3rd century CE: an overview), in Michael Friedrich (Hrsg.), Han-Zeit. Festschrift für Hans Stumpfeldt aus Anlaß seines 65. Geburtstages. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 2006, pp. 599–621.
  • „Kommunikation, Transport und Verkehr“ (Communication, Transport, and Exchange), F.–J. Brüggemeier, E. Schenkluhn, Die Welt im Jahr 1000. Freiburg, Basel: Herder Verlag 2000, pp. 251–300.


  • „Europäer in chinesischen Schriften des 16.–19. Jahrhunderts“ (Europeans in Chinese sources, 16th through 19th centuries), Schriften zur Geschichtsdidaktik 22 (2007), Europa in historisch-didaktischen Perspektiven, hrsg. von Bernd Schönemann und Hartmut Voit, pp. 45–60.