There is no society without an idea about ‘Value’ and ‘Equivalence’ worldwide, although these concepts have a different content in every society. Furthermore, these concepts constitute highly appropriate approaches to the study of material culture. By focusing the research program toward these concepts, the participating disciplines, archaeological sciences, cultural anthropology and Sinology, obtain a valuable approach to the study of material things in different societies in different eras and on five continents. Based on the case studies under study in the individual dissertation projects, the participants of the Research Training Group (RTG) will be enabled to explain the embedding of material objects in different cultural contexts. Simultaneously it is expected that the in-depth-study of the empirical data will lead to new an extended insights into the nature of value and equivalence. The RTG assumes here a mutually fertilizing process: The well established and widely debated terms value an equivalence make it possible to articulate new and extended interpretations of the case studies in question.


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