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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Current Research Projects


Modern India in German Archives, 1706-1989


A longterm project of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Ravi Ahuja, Universität Göttingen, Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS), PD Dr. Heike Liebau, Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) Berlin, und Prof. Dr. Michael Mann, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften (IAAW)


A multitude of short- and long-term exchange relationships, which developed between German-speaking areas of Europe and the Indian subcontinent since the early modern era contributed to comprehensive and as yet insufficiently used India-related historical source materials.


The project has five key objectives:

  1. To systematically record the German archive resources related to the history of modern India and the history of Indo-German interconnection in a database and create an index of keywords, starting with the establishment of the Dänisch-Hallesche Mission in South India (1706) and ending with the German reunification (1989/90);
  2. To make this database available for international researchers as a growing/sustainable open resource database for specific research;
  3. To gradually create a digital archive guide by systematically recording the archive resources, which enables international research and also permits a wider audience an overview of the relevant archive resources in their thematic diversity;
  4. To demonstrate the potential of German archive resources in an exemplary way through a series of pilot research projects and a resultant publication series in order to a) promote intensive research especially by German and Indian historians as well as b) create the necessary multilingual and interregional qualification profiles;
  5. To contribute through targeted measures, namely through an Indo-German tandem structure of pilot projects, to a sustainable realization to the aim of intensifying Indo-German research relationships in the humanities as formulated during the bilateral symposium of the DFG and the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) held in November 2012.




Edition and Translation of the Sanskrit Inscriptions of the Early Medieval Rashtrakuta Dynasty of Manyakheta (8th to 10th c.)



A project of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) by PD Dr. Annette Schmiedchen

The Rashtrakutas, who ruled over a territory of approximately 450,000 square kilometers in Central and Western India from the middle of the 8th to the end of the 10th century, were one of the most influential early medieval Indian dynasties. Contemporary Arab sources reckon them among the most powerful rulers. Due to the importance of the Rashtrakuta Empire, a complete edition of their inscriptions, i.e. the most significant sources, is a great scientific desideratum.

There are more than 300 known Rashtrakuta inscriptions, which constitute a large and heterogeneous group of sources. The project aims at editing and translating 80 Sanskrit copper-plate charters and Sanskrit stone inscriptions of the Rashtrakutas into English.