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Thursday, March 31 • 08:30 - 08:55
Cancelled S17-05 Modelling the road network of central Cappadocia (Turkey): A matter of ‘cost’ and ‘visibility’

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Modelling the road network of central Cappadocia (Turkey): a matter of ‘cost’ and ‘visibility’

Jacopo Turchetto

Analysing, reconstructing and modelling ancient road networks within a mountainous context is mostly a challenge. Often, several aspects and factors (both anthropic and natural) need to be taken into consideration at the same time, in order to propose a plausible hypothesis as for the route of the roads. 
The exploitation of the potential of Cost Surfaces and the subsequent creation of Least Cost Pathways (LCP) can produce very interesting results, in particular if GIS-derived paths and historical/archaeological proved routes are compared in order to understand which factors could have played a major role in the definition of the layout of those same routes.
In this paper, such a post-dictive approach has been applied to a specific case study, i.e. to the road system of central Cappadocia (Turkey), which is a semi-flat district strongly conditioned by the presence of the volcanic group formed by the Hasan Dağı, Göllü Dağı and Melendiz Dağları.
Moreover, in any consideration of the morphological characters of that Cappadocian landscape, LCP are also combined with another factor, which surely played a central role in the itinerary choices adopted in that territory during the Byzantine era: visibility. In a period of instability, due to the different incursions which, between the 6th and the 9th centuries, made Cappadocia a strategic territory along the frontier line between the Byzantine Empire and its neighbours, the level of visibility (or invisibility) of the roads and from the roads really influenced the ‘history’ of those same ways of communication, together with the various settlements lying around them.
The GIS-based modelling can reasonably explain the change which took place in the communication system of Cappadocia between the Roman and Byzantine periods, allowing to better understand the role and the functions of those road axes, and to evaluate the Byzantine military strategies in central Anatolia.

avatar for Mark GROENHUIJZEN


PhD Candidate, VU University Amsterdam


Thursday March 31, 2016 08:30 - 08:55 CEST
Domus Media, Auditorium 13

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