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The formation and development of political territory and borders in Ionia from the Archaic to the Hellenistic periods: A GIS analysis of regional space
Author: David Hill. DOI: 10.32028/9781789693775-5.ISBN 9781789693775-5.

The purpose of this article is to present a set of geopolitical maps of Ionia from the Archaic to the Hellenistic periods using a range of sources and by applying comparative models drawn from a number of Greek regions. The maps represent the first attempt to visualise geopolitical Ionia. The borders and territories of the Ionian poleis have been identified and drawn on two maps to represent the geopolitical situation at the time of polis formation in the 8th century BC, and again in the 2nd century BC during the Hellenistic period when considerable changes to the political landscape were made. The motivation behind creating a geopolitical map of Ionia that plots the territories and borders of the Ionian poleis is to open discussion. Ionian and regional research has traditionally been carried out on a polis by polis basis.1 As a consequence less focus has been placed on the pan-regional aspects of Ionian development.2 Intra-project focus within fieldwork leads to lower levels of direct collaboration between research institutions and to a fragmentation of the Ionian narrative. In addition, increasing specialisation in academic fields has led to fewer regional studies being undertaken. The linearity of cultural development is often broken into convenient chronological bites where material driven themes are treated separately. This is a logical way of focusing on detail and responding to a dominant source material from period to period, but it does however lead to a staccato narrative;3 for example, the Archaic and Classical periods are largely dominated by literary texts that exploit and amplify cultural polarity between Persia and the Greek world, using regional war as a literary vehicle to carry the narrative.4 The Hellenistic period tends to focus more upon architectural studies, central planning and autocratic driven change, whilst the increase of material from honorific inscriptions in the late Hellenistic and Roman periods drives a more civic based narrative. Archaeological data for each period are also fragmented; very little has been excavated from the Archaic period in Ionia, and generally it is the larger monumental and public and religious buildings rather than domestic material that is available for research. Finally, the themes of settlement evolution and the spatial development of the Ionian landscape are rarely taken up and discussed in a pan-Ionian narrative.

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