The doctoral thesis assesses the economic development of ancient Bithynia situated in the North West territory of Asia Minor during the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Byzantine periods. The study draws for the most part on published data, enriched only modestly by research in the field. The main contribution of the work lies in an elaboration, streamlining, analysis and presentation of already known information.
The main objective of the thesis is to examine this data with new approaches and perspectives, pointing to the hitherto unexpended potential of accessible data. Within the applied analyses, the main focus is on assessing the archaeological record in its spatial context. This allows a ‘spatial perspective’, only rarely taken into account when exploring Asia Minor.
The datasets analysed in order to reconstruct the economic development of Asia Minor include epigraphic evidence, ancient literary sources, settlement patterns and road systems. The date was digitised, and a large part of it can be found online in form of tables and maps.
The study can be characterised as a multi-scalar approach. The values under examination encompass macro-regional scale represented by the territory of NW Turkey, roughly corresponding with the ancient region of Bithynia, and micro-regional scale within, focused on the hinterland of Iznik, the ancient town Nicaea, one of the main centres in antiquity. The largest analysed scale focuses on the interpretation of one of the pottery scatters discovered during the Iznik Survey Project in the spring of 2015 (henceforth the ISP15) in the micro-region, which was covered by a systematic survey. The assembled data is, where applicable, compared with results from the inter-region of Paphlagonia and the supra-region represented by the entire Asia Minor.
The rectified map of NW Asia Minor will be published within PLEIADES: https://pleiades.stoa.org/
Preliminary results of the project have been presented in a number of publications and at several international conferences e.g.:
Mapping the Past: G.I.S. Approaches to Ancient History, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, USA (2016), Talk on ”Pilot GIS Project in the Hinterland of Nicaea, Bithynia, Asia Minor”
CAA Visegrad (Computer Applications & Quantitative Methods in Archaeology), Cieszyn, Poland (2015), Talk on “Reconstruction of Ancient Road System in Bithynia with Micro-Regional Focus on Nicaea and its Hinterland (nowadays Iznik, Turkey) – How LCPA fits to the real archaeological data? “
Iznik/Nicaea on its Way to Become UNESCO World Heritage Site, Iznik, Turkey (2015), Talk on “Results of the Pilot Project Identifying Archaeological Monuments in the Hinterland of Nicaea”
This Ph.D. thesis is being written within the program Landscape Archaeology and Architecture (LAA) of the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS).