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European Centre for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments

Medieval Ports
in North Aegean
and the Black Sea
Links to the Maritime Routes of the East

International Symposium

THESSALONIKE

4-6-12-2013
P R O C E E D I N G S

Thessalonike 2013
European Centre for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments

Medieval Ports in North Aegean and the Black Sea.


Links to the Maritime Routes of the East.

International Symposium
Thessalonike, 4-6 December 2013

PROCEEDINGS

Edited by Flora Karagianni

In the frame of the project


OLKAS. From Aegean to the Black Sea
Medieval ports in the Maritime Routes of the East

THE PROJECT IS CO-FINANCED BY THE EU


JOINT OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME BLACK SEA BASIN 2007-2013

The Black Sea Bsin Programme is co-financed by the European Union through the European Neighborhood
and Partnership Instrument and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance
www.blacksea-cbc.net

Thessalonike 2013
Project Participants

European Centre for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments


Stratou 2 Avenue, 546 40 Thessaloniki, Greece tel: 0030 2310 889830, fax: 0030 2310 853078
info@ekbmm.gr www.ekbmm.gr

Istanbul University - Faculty of Letters - Department of Conservation of Marine Archaeological Objects


Ordu C. 34459 Laleli, Istanbul Turkey tel: 0090 212 4555700 / 15743
ufukk@istanbul.edu.tr www.istanbul.edu.tr

Cultural Awareness Foundation


Barbaros Bulgari, Pinar Apr. No: 163 K:4 D:7 34349 Balmumcu, Istanbul, Turkey
tel: 0090 212 3472425, fax: 0090 212 3472426 kultur@kulturbilinci.org www.kulturbilinci.org

Culture Center of Thessaloniki s.a.


21 Kolokotroni, Moni Lazariston, 546 30 Stavroupoli, Thessaloniki Greece
tel: 0030 2310641277, fax: 0030 2310 602799 kepothe@otenet.gr

Varna Regional Museum


Boul. Maria Louisa no. 41, 9000 Varna, Bulgaria tel: 00359 52681012/13/28, fax: 00359 52681025
archmuseum@bulstar.net www.amvarna.com

Museum for National History and Archaeology from Constanta (MINAC)


Piata Ovidiu, nr 12 9000745 Constanta, Romania tel: 0040 743043585, fax: 0040 241618763
archmus@minac.ro http://www.minac.ro/

Branch for the Hellenic foundation for Culture


16-20 Krasnij Pereulok 65026 Odessa, Ukraine tel: 00380 482357136/37/38, fax: 00380 482346640
hfc@hfcodessa.org www.hfcodessa.org

G. Chubinashvili National Research Centre for Georgian Art History and Heritage Preservation
5 Tabukashvili st. 0105 Tbilisi, Georgia tel: 00995 32931338, fax: 00995 32932248
research@gch-centre.ge

Project Management Consultant:


Scientific Committee of the Symposium

Anastasia Tourta,
Dr Archaeologist, Director of EKBMM (GREECE
Flora Karagianni,
Dr Archaeologist, Head of Office for the Promotion of the Scientific Research
of EKBMM, Scientific Coordinator of Olkas Project (GREECE)
Natalia Poulou - Papadimitriou,
Assistant Professor of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (GREECE)
Ufuk Kocaba,
Assosiate Professor of the Istanbul University (TURKEY)
Ayca Tiryaki,
Assosiate Professor of the Istanbul University (TURKEY)
Valentin Pletnyov,
Director of Varna Regional Museum (BULGARIA)
Alexander Minchev,
Dr Archaeologist, Varna Regional Museum of History (BULGARIA)
Alexandru Barnea,
Emeritus Professor, Senior Researcher in Vasile Prvan Institute of Archaeology,
Bucharest (ROMANIA)
Gabriel Talmachi,
Researcher at Museum of National History and Archaeology, Constanta (ROMANIA)
Aleksandr Aibabin,
Dr Archaeologist, Director of the Crimean Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies
of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (UKRAINE - CRIMEA)
Larisa Sedikova,
Dr Archaeologist, Deputy Director of the National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos
(UKRAINE - CRIMEA)
Mariam Didebulidze,
Dr Art Historian, Director of the National Research Centre for Georgian Art History
and Heritage Preservation (GEORGIA)
David Khoshtaria,
Dr Art Historian, Head of Medieval Department of the National Research Centre
for Georgian Art History and Heritage Preservation (GEORGIA)

Organizing Committee

Flora Karagianni,
Dr Archaeologist, Head of Office for the Promotion of the Scientific Research, EKBMM
Marina Livadioti,
Archaeologist, EKBMM
Georgia Tavlaki,
Financial Manager of Olkas project and accounting support, EKBMM
Irene Paspala,
Excecutive Assistant, EKBMM
Contents

Salutation ......................................................................................................... 17

Editors Forword ................................................................................................ 19

Introduction / Keynote Address:

F. Karagianni:
City-ports from Aegean to the Black Sea.
An Overview of their Early Christian and Medieval Past ............................... 23

SESSION I:
THE CITY-PORTS. HISTORICAL APPROACHES

G. Simeonov:
Harbours on the Western Black Sea Coast and the Byzantine campaigns
against the Avars and Bulgarians from the 6th until the 8th century ............... 49
A. Aibabin:
Written sources on Byzantine ports in the Crimea
from the fourth to seventh century .............................................................. 57
O. Radzykhovska:
Greek sources in the scholia of the Periplus of Arrian
by Renaissance erudite I.G. Stuckius ........................................................ 68
O. Ivanov:
Medieval ports on the Southern Coast of the Crimean peninsula.
Navigation and Urbanisation ..................................................................... 80
Ch. Chotzakoglou:
Harbors and sea-routes of the Black Sea
according to Greek hagiographical texts .................................................... 94

SESSION :
CITY-PORTS

E. Stoycheva:
/ Nessebar:
- ................ 103
L. Buzoianu:
Tomis - Ville commerciale au Pont Euxin
(documents pigraphiques et archologiques) ............................................ 113
T. Samoylova:
Asprocastron - Monkastro - Akdja-Kermen - Akkerman - Belgorod
Medieval Commercial Port in the Lower Dnestr
(History and Archaeology) ........................................................................ 123
L. Sedikova:
Tauric Chersonesos. Medieval city-port ..................................................... 131

SESSION :
HARBOUR INSTALLATIONS - FACILITIES. THE CASE OF THESSALONIKI

. :

....................................... 141
10

. :

.............................................................. 163
E. :

...................................... 174
A. , .. :

......... 187

SESSION IV:
FORTIFICATIONS

12 EBA: . , . , . , . :
...
-- ....................... 211
P. Androudis:
Deux fortifications des Gattilusi Samothrace: Chra et Palaiapolis ............ 233
A. Minchev:
Ten less investigated late antique fortresses
on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast (4th - early 7th century AD) ..................... 248
I. Mania, N. Natsvlishvili:
Littoral Fortifications in South-West Georgia ............................................... 276

SESSION V:
COASTAL AREAS

.. :
.......... 291
A. Barnea:
Vestiges palochrtiens des ports de la Mer Noire
de la province de Scythie. Ltat actuel des recherches .............................. 316
G. Custurea, I. Nastasi:
The End of Urban Life on the Dobroudjan Shore of the Black Sea
in the 7th century AD ................................................................................ 320
C. Paraschiv-Talmachi, G. Talmachi:
Considerations regarding the commercial traffic through navigation
in Danubes mouths area (10th-12th centuries) .......................................... 332

SESSION VI:
ARCHITECTURAL - ARCHAEOLOGICAL TESTIMONY

M. Manolova-Voykova:
Import of Middle Byzantine Glazed Pottery to the Western Black Sea Coast:
the case of two cities - Varna and Anhialos ............................................... 353
D. Khoshtaria:
The Basilica at Petra (Tsikhisdziri) ............................................................ 367
K. Mikeladze:
Artifacts from Gonio and Tsikhisdziri ......................................................... 377
11

SESSION VII:
MEDIEVAL SHIPS - SHIPWRECKS

K.P. Dellaporta:
Byzantium under the Greek seas ............................................................... 391
U. Kocaba:
Theodosius Harbour and Yenikap Byzantine Shipwrecks Excavation,
stanbul-Turkey ........................................................................................ 401
E. Trkmenolu:
A Medieval Shipwreck discovered in the Theodosius Harbor: Yenikap 27 ...... 414
T. Gler:
Construction technique of Yenikap 20 ....................................................... 423
K. Balayan:
The Cilicia - functioning replica of 13th c. merchant sailing ship
of Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia ................................................................. 428

SESSION VIII:
SURVEYS - PROJECTS

P. Gkionis:
Hydrographic surveys in support of archaeological port investigations .......... 445
E. Kostic:
Limen. Cultural Ports from Aegean to the Black Sea ................................... 454
P. Adam-Veleni:
Black Sea - Unity and Diversity in the Roman Antiquity ............................... 458
J. Preiser-Kapeller:
Mapping maritime networks of Byzantium.
Aims and prospects of the project
Ports and landing places at the Balkan coasts of the Byzantine Empire ...... 467

Index ................................................................................................................ 493


Abbreviations

AA Archaologischer Anzeiger
AAA



AM Athenische Mitteilungen
AJA American Journal of Arhaeology
AnBoll Analecta Bollandiana
BCH Bulletin de Correspondance Hellnique
BF Byzantinische Forschungen
BSA Annual of the British School at Athens
Byz Byzantion. Revue International des Etudes Byzantines
BZ Byzantinische Zeitschrift

DOP Dumbarton Oaks Papers
JHS Journal of Hellenic Studies
JB Jahrbuch der sterreichischen Byzantinistik
JRS Journal of Roman Studies
LCI Lexicon der Christlichen ikonographie

PG Patrologiae cursus completus. Series Graeca
PL Patrologia cursus completus, Series latina
REB Revue des Etudes Byzantines
TM Travaux et Memoires
VV Vizantijskij Vremennik
Mapping maritime networks of Byzantium.
Aims and prospects of the project
Ports and landing places at the Balkan coasts
of the Byzantine Empire
Preiser-Kapeller Johannes*

In 2012, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft granted funding to the major


collaborative research focus Harbours from the Roman Period to the Middle Ages
(SPP-1630), consisting of 15 individual projects (ranging from Greenland to the
Mediterranean), which are carried out by approximately 60 scholars over two three-
year periods with the aim of interdisciplinary research on the phenomenon of the
harbour1. One of these projects, Ports and landing places at the Balkan coasts
of the Byzantine Empire (4th-12thcentury). Monuments and technology, economy
and communication was developed by Ewald Kislinger and Andreas Klzer (both
from Vienna) and is based on a cooperation of researchers of the Rmisch-German-
isches Zentralmuseum (RGZM) in Mainz2, the University of Vienna3 and the Austrian
Academy of Sciences; project supervisor is Falko Daim, Director General of the
RGZM4. The project focuses on the coastline from Dalmatia via the Aegean Sea to
the western Black Sea and the Danube delta. Based on an analysis of all available
sources and archaeological evidence, the aim is a complete survey of the coastal
towns, bays and estuaries documented in these regions for the period 300-1204 AD;
this should make possible differentiations with regard to the respective local signifi-
cance of harbours for regional communication as well as for long-distance trade. Due
to the cooperation between Mainz and Vienna, also the material of the renowned
long term-project Tabula Imperii Byzantini (TIB)5 can be used in order to document
for the first time systematically the medieval port places of the Balkans and to analyse
them within the wider European context of the SPP 16306.
The project will use the well-established methodological toolkit of the Tabula
Imperii Byzantini for the survey of the historical and monumental evidence in order
to augment the data basis of the already existing volumes of the TIB. At the same
time, we intend to combine this information with digital geo-data both from published
material (in print and online) as well as from own exploring voyages in the region;
on this basis, modern tools of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can be used
for the analysis of maritime sites and transport systems7. Within the TIB-project,
Mihailo Popovi has introduced these methods over the last years in a pioneering
way; he is preparing the volume on Macedonia, Northern Part (TIB Vol. 16, today

* Email: Johannes.Preiser-Kapeller@oeaw.ac.at; Website: http://oeaw.academia.edu/JohannesPreiserKapeller.

1. Cf. http://www.spp-haefen.de/en/home/.
2. http://web.rgzm.de/.
3. http://www.byzneo.univie.ac.at/.
4. http://www.oeaw.ac.at/imafo/die-abteilungen/byzanzforschung/.
5. Cf. cf. http://www.oeaw.ac.at/imafo/die-abteilungen/byzanzforschung/communities-landscapes/historische-ge-
ographie/.
6. An extended outline of the project can be found here:http://www.spp-haefen.de/en/projects/byzantine-harbours-
on-the-balkan-coasts/.
7. For an overview on GIS and GIS-tools cf. Kappas 2011; Conolly, Lake 2006; Chapman 2006; Gregory, Ell
2007. For an exemplary application of these tools for an archaeological-historical case study in the Aegean
see now Bevan, Conolly 2013. These tools are therefore well established in archaeology and some fields of
historical studies, less so in Byzantine studies; thus, we will describe also standard-instruments in greater
detail on the following pages. On this issue cf. also Popovic 2012a, 255-69, and the project GIS of Byzantium
in Mainz for an overview of such activities in the field: http://web.rgzm.de/1699.html.
468
Preiser-Kapeller Johannes

FYROM and south-western Bulgaria), thus a region without access to the sea8. The
aim of the present paper is a demonstration of the explanatory value of instruments
of GIS as well as of network analysis on various levels for research on maritime
sites, regions and networks with three short case studies, in order to illustrate the
potential of our approach within Byzantine maritime studies. These three case stud-
ies have been selected from regions within the modern borders of Greece (respec-
tively apart from the last one), which is the area of responsibility of the author of
this paper in the above mentioned project.

Spatial analysis of harbour sites: the case of Bonditza

While archaeological evidence under water hints at an utilisation of settlement


and harbour already in the early Byzantine period9, the name of Bonditza
(3855'23.04"N; 2052'53.05"E) at the Ambrakian Gulf first appears in Byzantine
sources under Emperor Leon VI (886-912), when it was registered as first ranking
bishopric of the Metropolis of Naupaktos10. The increasing significance of the har-
bour made it a target of the Normans, who conquered and plundered Bonditza in
1081; in the winter of 1084/1085, a part of the Norman army took quarters in the
region11. Equally, in the Byzantine-Venetian treaties of 1082, 1147 and 1187, the
site is mentioned as a single harbour of interest for the Venetians in the region be-
sides Kerkyra12. Also the Arab traveller al-Idrs registered B-nd-sa in the middle of
the 12th century as fortified town13. During the Comnenian period, a fortress was
constructed in the northwest of the modern settlement and to the south of the har-
bour; an exterior line of walls reached the coastline to the west as well as to the
east of the harbour. Later construction phases of the fortress date from the Ottoman
and Venetian period14. After 1204, Bonditza became part of the exile realm of Epirus
and remained a significant settlement in the late medieval period15. Also, later por-
tolans registered the harbour: the Greek Portolan II in the edition of Delatte (16th
century) calls Bonitza a portokalo between Ambrakia (in a distance of 20 miles) and
the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf (in a distance of 12 miles) respectively Prebeza16.
Also, in the Portolan of Bernadino Rizo (1490) the chastelo de la boldoniza is reg-
istered as a harbour at the route along the Southern coast line of the Ambracian
Gulf in the direction of Arta17. Equally modern sailing companions highlight the qual-
ity of the easily accessible harbour, the good supply of drinking water and further
anchorage grounds to the west of the town18. Sources of the 14th-15th century men-
tion Bonditza and its hinterland as source of salt and fish as well as hunting
ground19. Routes on land led from Bonditza to the northwest in the direction of Pre-

8. Cf. for instance Popovic, Jubanski 2010, 55-87; Popovic 2012b, 165-80, and especially his professorial dis-
sertation: Popovic (forthcoming). See also online: http://www.oeaw.ac.at/imafo/die-abteilungen/byzanz-
forschung/communities-landscapes/historische-geographie/past-landscapes-future-methods/ and
http://oeaw.academia.edu/MihailoPopovic.
9. Spondyles 1993, 588; Veikou 2012, 103-4, 514-6. This evidence needs further surveys.
10. Darrouzes 1981, Notitiae 7, 576. 9, 447. 10,532. 13, 582. 21, 1511; Soustal, Koder 1981, 54, 84-7; Lauffer
1989, 708. Kislinger 2009,
11. Annae Comnenae Alexias, VI, 6, 1 (179, l. 45); Mathieu 196, 214, 246; Soustal, Koder 1981, 56-7; Lauffer
1989, 708; Kislinger 2009, 129-30, 143.
12. Tafel, Thomas 1964, I 52 (Nr. 23), 118 (Nr. 51), 184 (Nr. 70); Pozza, Ravegnani 1993, 40 (Nr. 2, 8); Dlger 1924-
1965, Reg. 1081, 1365, 1576, 1647; Soustal, Koder 1981, 56; Lilie 1984, 52-3, 55, 63, 182; Kislinger 2009, 515.
13. Nedkov 1960, 51; Veikou 2012, 515.
14. Soustal, Koder 1981, 128; Smyres 2001, 129; Veikou 2012, 514-5.
15. Nicol 1957, 19; Soustal, Koder 1981, 128; Asonites, Synkellou 2010, 70.
16. Delatte 1947, 12-4.
17. Kretschmer 1909, 505.
18. Mittelmeer-Handbuch 1954, 121-2; Heikel 1982, 42; Radspieler 2011, 70.
19. Asonites, Synkellou 2010, 72-3, 76.
469
MAPPING MARITIME NETWORKS OF BYZANTIUM

beza, to the southwest in the direction of Leukas, to the south in the direction of
Zaberda and to the east via Drymos in the region of the Lake of Ambrakia inland20.

For a first spatial analysis of the site and hinterland of Bonditza, we created
a Digital Elevation Model (DEM)21 with the help of the data from the ASTER-pro-
gramme (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer,
1999). This data is freely accessible online22 and has a resolution of 30 m, which
allows for a detailed enough DEM for further analysis23. GIS-software (we used the
proprietary package ArcGIS 10.1* as well as the open source-product QuantumGIS
1.8.0*) enables us to calculate the slope (the maximum rate of change of the ele-
vation at a given location) for the DEM as well as to add contour lines (in our case,
at a distance of 30 m to each other) and the hill shade (a shaded relief from the
surface raster under consideration of the illumination source angle and shadows)24.
The result provides a fairly good impression of the spatial situation of Bonditza, lo-
cated in a plain rising to the south and confined by higher elevations to the west
and especially to the east (fig. 1).
In order to estimate the actual spatial extent of the hinterland accessible from
the harbour and possibly exploited by its inhabitants within a reasonable stretch of
way (site catchment), a common tool is the creation of a cost-of-passage map,
which indicates the cost of travelling across a terrain from a point of origin on the
basis of the DEM25. In our map, yellow colours indicate regions accessible from the
harbour of Bonditza within one hour of footway (ca. 5km in flat area), orange colours
within two hours (10km in flat area) and red colours within three hours and beyond
(15km in flat area and more) (fig. 2). Clearly, the relatively easy accessibility of the
plain to the south and the complexity of the elevated terrain to the west and to the
east become visible and quantifiable. Within a distance of seven hours of footway,
an area of approx. 4,900 hectares (including the plain as well as part of the elevated
regions) was accessible according to our model, which seems to be a sufficient ter-
ritorial basis for a central place of at least local and also regional significance, as
envisaged in our sources26.
For the purpose of actual control and of defence, the potential to overview an
area from a site has been identified as central issue; the tool of view shed-analysis
enables us to calculate what features are visible from a specific point of view at a
specific height in a specific distance27. On the basis of our DEM, we executed such
a view shed-analysis from the harbour site of Bonditza, assuming an observer at
10 m height (standing on a tower or on the mast top of a larger ship) and calculated
her or his range of vision at a distance of 5 km (at which the movements of a larger
group of people, for instance, would still have been observable on land). As the re-
sult illustrates, the view would have been free within the bay of Bonditza towards
the sea, but very limited to the inland with the exception of some higher elevations
(fig. 3). As we have seen, a fortress was erected on a hill to the south of the harbour
in the Comnenian period; so we executed a second view shed calculation from that
fortress, again up to a distance of 5 km (fig. 4). The comparison with the results of
the first view shed-analysis demonstrates that the fortress allowed for a much wider
view on the hinterland and also possible approaches from the west (in this period,

20. Soustal, Koder 1981, 94, and map.


21. Cf. Kappas 2011, 131-8; Conolly, Lake 2006, 100-1.
22. Cf. for instance:http://gdem.ersdac.jspacesystems.or.jp/index.jsp.
23. On ASTER-data see Kappas 2011, 137.
24. Kappas 2011, 133-4; Conolly, Lake 2006, 193-7; Chapman 2006, 82-5.
25. Conolly, Lake 2006, 215-25.
26. For an overview on models for settlements and their hinterland in Byzantium cf. Mitsiou 2010, 223-40.
27. Conolly, Lake 2006, 225-33; Chapman 2006, 83-5.
470
Preiser-Kapeller Johannes

the most probable direction of access of enemies such as the Normans, for in-
stance) both via land and sea.
The well-established tools of Historical and Archaeological GIS thus allow us
to set a harbour site into its wider spatial context, to estimate its actual range of
usage of resources and of control within the hinterland and even to simulate the
potential impact of structural alterations such as the building of the fortress as in
our case study. Any in-depth analysis of the functionality of Byzantine port sites and
their complex interplay with the hinterland (one of the central aims of our project)
therefore has to take into account the potential of these methods.

A regional maritime network: the Ambrakian Gulf

A port site such as Bonditza of course cannot be analysed in isolation, but


has to be embedded in a survey of the regional traffic systems it was a part of. The
Ambrakian Gulf constitutes a special case of an enclosed sea, connected to the
open (Ionian) sea and wider ranging maritime routes only via a narrow channel
(today the channel of Prebeza). The Gulf now covers an area of ca. 500 km, but
used to be significantly larger in earlier periods; the deposits of the rivers Arachthos
and Louros contributed to a most significant process of aggradation at the northern
coast of the Gulf, where the coastline used to be up to more than 10km to the north
of the present one still in Late Antiquity. At the same time, the sea level rose at the
southern coast, where structures from the early Byzantine period lay now under
water in the case of Bonditza, as we have seen28. This different character of the
coastal areas of the Ambrakian Gulf becomes also clearly visible in our DEM (which
we created for the entire region again on the basis of the 30m ASTER-data, see
above), where we can identify the large alluvial deposits to the north and the more
mountainous character of the eastern and southern coasts (fig. 5). This difference
is of course also reflected in the cost-of-passage map, which we calculated for pas-
sages along the entire coast of the Gulf to the inland for a footway of up to 6-7 hours
(which would be a distance of up to 30 km on completely flat ground): while the ter-
rain made it possible to reach the important cities of Arta and Rogoi to the north
(and from there to travel onwards to inland centres, such as Ioannina) in this time
from the present coastline (not taking into account that the Arachthos was used for
boat trips up to Arta until the late Byzantine period29), quick movement inland was
much more constricted to the south and the east (fig. 6). This provides also one
possible background to the replacement of Bonditza by Arta as regional centre from
the middle to the late medieval period30.
Similarly, the view shed-analysis (using the same parameters as for the case
of Bonditza) illustrates the wider range of view to the hinterland (as important aspect
of control and defence) for the port sites at the northern coast (fig. 7). Interestingly,
the view shed-analysis also allows us to identify a continuous line of view between
port sites from Bonditza to the north across the entire Gulf due to an overlap of the
5km-zones of view used for the calculation, equally from the island of Kephalos
also to the west towards the mouth of the Gulf and the site of Prebeza, thus includ-
ing the most important zones of transit within the Gulf.
In order to evaluate the relevance of the sites around the Ambrakian Gulf for
regional traffic, we created a network model of sites (serving as nodes) and routes
on land and on sea (serving as links) for the regions of Epirus and Thessaly in

28. Veikou 2012, 28-37 and maps 2-6; Anastasakis, Piper, Tzianos 2007, 27-44.
29. Soustal, Koder 1981, 116 (s. v. Artaspotamos).
30. Soustal, Koder 1981, 113-5.
471
MAPPING MARITIME NETWORKS OF BYZANTIUM

the Byzantine period31. We based our network model on the scheme for the systems
of routes both on land and sea in the Byzantine period as developed in the respec-
tive volumes of the TIB 32, regardless of the relative significance of the respective
routes in various periods of Late Antiquity and Byzantine history. At the same time,
the model neither takes into account the actual distance nor travel costs between
localities. Therefore, it is only a first rough approximation towards a more accurate
model of the Byzantine transport system in its dynamics through centuries; a further
refinement on the basis of an integration of more sophisticated tools of GIS and of
DEMs for these regions is intended33. Still, the network model provides a first view
on the topology and structure of this traffic system and allows us to determine the
relative centrality of sites as nodal points within the network34.
In total, the network consists of 152 nodes and 289 links (fig. 8). We calcu-
lated three common network centrality measures:
Degree: degree simply measures the number of links of a node (in our case,
the number of routes leading from one site directly to other sites) in absolute
(or relative) numbers35.
Closeness; closeness centrality measures the length of all paths36 between
a node and all other nodes. The more central a node is, the lower is its total
distance to all other nodes. Closeness can also be used as a measure of how
long it would take to spread resources or information from a node to all other
nodes37.
Betweenness; betweenness centrality measures the extent to which a node
lies on paths between other nodes and indicates the relative significance of
a node as intermediary within a network due to its position on many (or few)
possible shortest routes between other nodes38.
We visualised this network of sites and routes on a map and sized nodes
(= sites) according to their respective centrality values in order to identify more and
less central nodes. The result for degree shows the sites along the Ambrakian Gulf
(together with other harbours) among the most central ones, reflecting their combi-
nation of terrestrial connectivity with the maritime ones in contrast to localities inland
(fig. 9). The visualisation of the calculations of closeness centrality shows differ-
ences between nodes less clearly (fig. 10); but if we visualise only the 60 nodes
with the highest closeness values and the links between them (fig. 11), we detect
the sites around the Ambrakian Gulf as elements within a backbone of routes
within the entire model from which all other nodes can be reached with the smallest
number of steps; it connects the sea in the west to the inland regions in the north
(up to Ioannina) and across the Pindos-Mountains to Thessaly in the east. Further-
more, also the results for betweenness centrality (fig. 12) highlight the central po-
sition of the Ambrakian Gulf region within the network model of routes in Epirus and
Thessaly, especially of the site of Arta, which has the second highest betweenness

31. For transport networks see Rodrigue, Comptois, Slack 2013, 307-17. For network models in Archaeological
GIS cf. Gorenflo, Bell 1991, 80-98; Conolly, Lake 2006, 234-52. For the application of network analysis in
Byzantine studies in general and an overview on tools and concepts cf. Preiser (forthcoming). For case studies
see: Preiser-Kapeller 2012b, 381-93; Preiser-Kapeller 2012a, 69-127; Preiser-Kapeller 2012c (all three papers
online: http://oeaw.academia.edu/JohannesPreiserKapeller/Papers).
See also online: http://oeaw.academia.edu/TopographiesofEntanglements (with further samples and visuali-
sations). On historical network analysis in general see: Lemercier 2012, 16-41.
32. Soustal, Koder 1981; Koder, Hild 1978.
33. For a much more sophisticated model for the region of Lycia see for instance Grahoff, Mittenhuber 2009; cf.
also Conolly, Lake 2006, 252-262; Gaffney, Gaffney 2010, 79-91; Popovic, Jubanski 2010.
34. For a similar study, cf. Isaksen 2008, (http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/204515/) and Preiser-Kapeller 2012b.
35. Cf. also Conolly, Lake 2006, 241-2.
36. Path length counts the number of steps necessary to get from one node to another one within the network; if
node A is connected to node B and node B to node C, the path length from A to C is two, for instance.
37. De Nooy, Mrvar, Batagelj 2005, 127-8.
38. Wasserman, Faust 1994, 188-92; De Nooy, Mrvar, Batagelj 2010, 131-3. Newman 2010, 185-93.
472
Preiser-Kapeller Johannes

value of all 152 nodes in the network. The Ambrakian Gulf as distinct and at the
same time central region within the network model becomes also visible, if we apply
the Newman algorithm, a procedure which helps to identify clusters of nodes which
are more densely connected with each other than with the rest of the network39: we
detect the Ambrakian cluster in the centre between five other regional clusters to
the north, east and south (fig. 13).
Finally, with the help of statistical analysis, we can inspect the distribution of
centrality measures among all nodes40; such frequency distributions for degree values
(fig. 14) or betweenness values (fig. 15) allow us to detect hierarchies and ranks
of settlements (also comparable with the well-established concept of central place
hierarchies developed by Walter Christaller, as I demonstrated in an earlier paper41)
and thereby sites, which are central to a similar amount. Port sites which are struc-
turally similar can thus be identified and compared across regions, again signifi-
cantly contributing to the main analytical aims of our project42.

A complex maritime network: ancient port sites in the Aegean

An important purpose of a comprehensive survey as intended in our project


is also the reconstruction of transport systems for an entire over-regional traffic
zone at large. Such a maritime macro-region could be defined for the Aegean and
the Sea of Marmara, including ports at the European as well as Asian coasts and
on the islands. In order to develop a model of maritime connectivity for these areas
(which we will present in short in the following paragraph along with some first re-
sults), we used the Geodatabase of Ancient Ports and Harbors created by A. de
Graauw and since 2013 integrated in the Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civ-
ilization of Harvard University43. This database includes names (often hypothetical),
localisations and geo-data for all ports and landing sites documented in ancient
sources up to Late Antiquity. We extracted all sites located within the Aegean and
the Sea of Marmara, a total of 791 localities. These sites we converted into a point
layer, which we projected onto a map of the area (fig. 16). Then we used the De-
launay-triangulation tool of Quantum GIS, which connects all points within a layer
with its nearest neighbours44; from the emerging network, we deleted those con-
nections leading across land or spanning distances beyond 100 km (as a maximum
distance covered by a ship on one day at this time)45. We extracted the data from
Quantum GIS and transformed it into a network matrix, which could be further used
for network analytical calculations with the software tools ORA* and Pajek *46.

39. Newman 2010, 371-82.


40. Cf. also Albert, Barabasi 2002, 48-97.
41. Preiser- Kapeller, Mitsiou 2010, 245-308 (online:http://www.byzsym.org/index.php/bz/article/view/993/937).
For port hierarchies cf. also Schrle 2011, 93-106.
42. The cities of Arta and of Demetrias at the Pagasetic Gulf are both under the top nodes with regard to their be-
tweenness values, for instance, and while Arta is not directly at the sea, both sites have a similar structural po-
sition as intermediary between maritime and terrestrial connections in our model.
43. De Graauw et al., 2013-2, MA 2013, 02138. As Andreas Klzer (Vienna) has shown exemplary for the Aegean
coast of Thrace, for instance, this database includes a certain amount of controversial or even wrong localisations,
especially due to the (sometimes outdated) literature used for its creation; still, for our model as developed for this
paper not the exact position of sites is essential (as would be the case for view-shed or cost-distance analyses),
but their relative distribution and density, since we (as in the case above) use a topological network model. Our
project group is also in contact with A. de Graauw (whose work by all means is admirable), who has shown strong
interest in possible modifications of his data emerging from our research as well as earlier results of the TIB.
44. Cf. Kappas 2011, 82-7.
45. Cf. Kislinger 2010, 149-74 (with an average distance of 85 km for one day of journey); cf. also Pryor 1992, 25-
101.
46. For ORA*:http://www.casos.cs.cmu.edu/projects/ora/software.php. On Pajek see: De Nooy, Mrvar, Batagelj
2005. For maritime networks cf. also Ducruet, Zaidi 2012, 151-68.
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MAPPING MARITIME NETWORKS OF BYZANTIUM

Thereby, we created a next neighbourhood network for the Aegean and the Sea of
Marmara, consisting of 791 nodes (=sites) and 2,188 links (= routes from one site
to another) (fig. 17)47. In this model, all port sites are connected with all neighbouring
sites within a certain distance, thereby simulating a mode of commerce and trans-
port based on ships travelling from one port to the next one, following the model of
cabotage48. As in the case of Epirus and Thessaly (see above), the network is of
course a very simplified model which only takes into account the relative position
of nodes in space49. Still, the network again allows for some interesting insights into
the emergence of hierarchies of ports or preferred routes on the background of
local and regional maritime connectivity.
In a similar way as for the Epirus and Thessaly-network, we calculated the
three common centrality measures of degree, closeness and betweenness (see
above). In particular, we were interested if the spatial distribution of centrality meas-
ures within the network model indicates a significant position of certain traffic zones
or of specific routes connecting nodes of relatively high centrality and therefore of
higher attraction (as places of destination for commerce, for instance). In order to
make such zones clearly visible, we only visualised nodes above a certain threshold
of each centrality measure. At the same time, we also inspected the statistical dis-
tribution of the frequency of centrality values in order to detect characteristic hier-
archies within the entirety of ports.
For the degree values, some regions of a high density of local interconnections
and therefore high overall degree values in the model emerge, but not within a larger
coherent zone or along a certain route (fig. 18). Also the frequent distribution of degree
values follows more the pattern of a normal distribution, where values are concen-
trated to the left and the right of a predominant average value, and not a skewed pat-
tern of distribution, as we observed it in the case of the Epirus and Thessaly-network
(fig. 19). The same is true for the distribution of closeness values (fig. 21); yet spatially,
the highest closeness centrality values are very much concentrated in a transfer zone
in the central Aegean ranging from Thasos to the Cyclades (fig. 20); such a concen-
tration of closeness values could also be expected due to the topology of the next
neighbour-network (fig. 24). The betweenness-values in contrast show again a highly
skewed distribution pattern as characteristic for many settlement systems (fig. 23).
At the same time, sites with high betweenness values are distributed along two main
corridors of connection, one leading from the Dardanelles to the Western Aegean
south to the Peloponnese and Crete, the other one to the Eastern Aegean south to
Rhodes (fig. 22, fig. 25). Interesting enough, this corridors emerging from our model
very much concur with the two major maritime traffic routes identified for the Aegean
in Byzantine times by Ewald Kislinger, for instance, one leading from Constantinople
to the Western Aegean and onwards to Italy (Route A) and one leading from Con-
stantinople to the Eastern Aegean and onwards to Syria (Route B)50. The emer-
gence of such over-regional routes thus could be connected to the overall topological
structure of maritime connectivity within the port sites of the Aegean, as reflected in
our model. In the future, we intend to augment our network model with such routes
in order to analyse their effect on the structural properties of the network51. In any
case, our first results highlight the heuristic value of even such a simple model for
the analysis of the complexity of past transport systems.

47. Cf. also Conolly, Lake 2006, 164-66.


48. Cf. Horden, Purcell 2000, 123-70, as well as Wilson 2011 and Arnaud 2011, 33-60 and 61-80 on these issues,
as well as Kislinger 2010, for the validity of such a model for the middle Byzantine period.
49. For a more elaborate network model for the Aegean cf. for instance: Knappett, Evans, Rivers 2008, 1009-24.
50. Kislinger 2010, 149-74.
51. Cf. also Arnaud 2005.
474
Preiser-Kapeller Johannes

Conclusion

The project Ports and landing places at the Balkan coasts of the Byzantine
Empire (4th-12th century). Monuments and technology, economy and communica-
tion aims at a systematic survey of all port sites and landing places documented
in the early and high medieval period for these regions. On the basis of a combina-
tion of the traditional methodological toolkit of the Tabula Imperii Byzantini with tools
of Historical Geographical Information Systems as well as of Network Analysis, a
new comprehensive spatial analysis of maritime transport systems of the Byzantine
Empire on various scales from the single port site up to over-regional traffic net-
works will be possible. By executing such analyses for distinct time periods, a sur-
vey of the temporal dynamics of harbours and maritime networks and their
interdependence with political, economic and ecological changes could be also
achieved. Therefore, results of the project will be of relevance both for historical
and methodological aspects of the Byzantine maritime history.
475
MAPPING MARITIME NETWORKS OF BYZANTIUM

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http://www.spp-haefen.de/en/home/.
477
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http://web.rgzm.de/.
http://www.byzneo.univie.ac.at/.
http://www.oeaw.ac.at/imafo/die-abteilungen/byzanzforschung/.
http://www.oeaw.ac.at/imafo/die-abteilungen/byzanzforschung/communities-landscapes/historische-
geographie/.
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http://web.rgzm.de/1699.html.
http://www.oeaw.ac.at/imafo/die-abteilungen/byzanzforschung/communities-landscapes/historische-
geographie/past-landscapes-future-methods/
http://oeaw.academia.edu/MihailoPopovic.
http://gdem.ersdac.jspacesystems.or.jp/index.jsp.
http://oeaw.academia.edu/JohannesPreiserKapeller/Papers
http://oeaw.academia.edu/TopographiesofEntanglements
http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/204515/
http://www.byzsym.org/index.php/bz/article/view/993/937
http://www.casos.cs.cmu.edu/projects/ora/software.php.
478

Mapping maritime networks of Byzantium.


Aims and prospects of the project
Ports and landing places at the Balkan coasts of the Byzantine Empire

Preiser-Kapeller Johannes*

Abstract:

In 2012, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft granted funding to the major


collaborative research focus Harbours from the Roman Period to the Middle Ages
(SPP-1630) with the aim of interdisciplinary research on the phenomenon of the
harbour. One of these projects, Ports and landing places at the Balkan coasts of
the Byzantine Empire (4th-12th century). Monuments and technology, economy and
communication, focuses on the coastline from Dalmatia via the Aegean Sea to the
western Black Sea and the Danube delta. Based on an analysis of all available
sources and archaeological evidence, the aim is a complete survey of the coastal
towns, bays and estuaries documented in these regions for the period 300-1204 AD;
this should make possible differentiations with regard to the respective local signifi-
cance of harbours for regional communication as well as for long-distance trade.
The project will use the well-established methodological toolkit of the Tabula
Imperii Byzantini for the survey of the historical and monumental evidence in order to
augment the data basis of the already existing volumes of the TIB. At the same time,
we intend to combine this information with digital geo-data both from published ma-
terial (in print and online) as well as from own exploring voyages in the region; on
this basis, modern tools of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can be used for
the analysis of maritime sites and transport systems. The aim of the present paper is
a demonstration of the explanatory value of instruments of GIS as well as of network
analysis on various levels for research on maritime sites, regions and networks with
three short case studies in order to illustrate the potential of our approach within
Byzantine maritime studies. These three case studies have been selected from re-
gions within the modern borders of Greece (respectively beyond for the last one),
which is the area of responsibility of the author of this paper in the above mentioned
project.
479
MAPPING MARITIME NETWORKS OF BYZANTIUM

Fig. 1: Digital Elevation Model for the region of Bonditza at the Ambrakian Gulf,
created on the basis of ASTER-data (resolution: 30 m) with the help of the software tools ArcGIS 10.1*
and QuantumGIS 1.8.0* (scale: 1:100:000; J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).

Fig. 2: Cost-of-passage map for the region of Bonditza,


created on the basis of the Digital Elevation Model with the help of the software tool ArcGIS 10.1*
(scale: 1:100:000; J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
Yellow colours indicate regions accessible from the harbour of Bonditza within one hour of footway,
orange colours within two hours and red colours within three hours and beyond.
480
Preiser-Kapeller Johannes

Fig. 3: View shed-analysis from the harbour site of Bonditza, assuming an observer at 10 m height
and calculated for a range of vision of 5 km, created on the basis of the Digital Elevation Model
with the help of the software tool ArcGIS 10.1*
(scale: 1:100:000; J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).

Fig. 4: View shed-analysis from the fortress of Bonditza, assuming an observer at 10 m height
and calculated for a range of vision of 5 km, created on the basis of the Digital Elevation Model
with the help of the software tool Arc GIS 10.1*
(scale: 1:100:000; J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
481
MAPPING MARITIME NETWORKS OF BYZANTIUM

Fig. 5: Digital Elevation Model for the region of the Ambrakian Gulf, created on the basis of ASTER-data
(resolution: 30 m) with the help of the software tools ArcGIS 10.1* and QuantumGIS 1.8.0*
(scale: 1:400:000; J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).

Fig. 6: Cost-of-passage map for the region of the Ambrakian Gulf


for distances up to a footway of 6 to 7 hours, created on the basis of the Digital Elevation Model
with the help of the software tool ArcGIS 10.1*
(scale: 1:400:000; J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
482
Preiser-Kapeller Johannes

Fig. 7: View shed-analysis from the sites in the region of the Ambrakian Gulf,
assuming an observer at 10m height and calculated for a range of vision of 5 km,
created on the basis of the Digital Elevation Model with the help of the software tool ArcGIS 10.1*
(scale: 1:400:000; J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
483
MAPPING MARITIME NETWORKS OF BYZANTIUM

Fig. 8: Topological network model of sites (152) and routes (on land and on sea; 289)
for the regions of Epirus and Thessaly in the Byzantine period; network created with ORA*;
KML-Layers created with QuantumGIS 1.8.0*
(map basis: Google Earth; graph by J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).

Fig. 9: Topological network model of sites (152) and routes (on land and on sea; 289)
for the regions of Epirus and Thessaly in the Byzantine period; network created with ORA*:
nodes are sized according to their degree centrality values (J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
484
Preiser-Kapeller Johannes

Fig. 10: Topological network model of sites (152) and routes (on land and on sea; 289)
for the regions of Epirus and Thessaly in the Byzantine period; network created with ORA*:
nodes are sized according to their closeness centrality values
( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).

Fig. 11: Topological network model of sites (152) and routes (on land and on sea; 289) for the regions
of Epirus and Thessaly in the Byzantine period; network created with ORA*: visualised are only
the 60 nodes with the highest closeness centrality values and the links between them
( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
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MAPPING MARITIME NETWORKS OF BYZANTIUM

Fig. 12: Topological network model of sites (152) and routes (on land and on sea; 289)
for the regions of Epirus and Thessaly in the Byzantine period; network created with ORA*:
nodes are sized according to their betweenness centrality values
( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).

Fig. 13: Topological network model of sites (152) and routes (on land and on sea; 289)
for the regions of Epirus and Thessaly in the Byzantine period; network created with ORA*:
grouping of nodes to regional clusters within the network according to the calculations
of the Newman algorithm ( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
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Preiser-Kapeller Johannes

Fig. 14: Frequency distribution of degree centrality values of nodes in the topological model of sites
and routes for Epirus and Thessaly in the Byzantine period; statistical analysis with the help
of the software tool PAST* ( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).

Fig. 15: Frequency distribution of betweenness centrality values of nodes in the topological model of sites
and routes for Epirus and Thessaly in the Byzantine period; statistical analysis with the help
of the software tool PAST* ( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
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MAPPING MARITIME NETWORKS OF BYZANTIUM

Fig. 16: Visualisation of 791 ports and landing sites documented for Antiquity in the Aegean
and in the Sea of Marmara; data from: A. DE GRAAUW et al.,
Geodatabase of Ancient Ports and Harbors. DARMC Scholarly Data Series,
Data Contribution Series # 2013-2. DARMC, Center for Geographic Analysis,
Harvard University. Cambridge, MA 2013, 02138. KML-Layer created with Quantum GIS 1.8.0*
(mapbasis: Google Earth; graph by J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
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Preiser-Kapeller Johannes

Fig. 17: Topological nearest neighbourhood network model of port sites (791) and routes (2188)
for the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara in Antiquity; network created with ORA*
( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).

Fig. 18: Topological nearest neighbourhood network model of port sites (791) and routes (2188)
for the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara in Antiquity; visualised are only the 98 nodes
with the highest degree centrality values (above a degree value of 7)
and the links between them. Network created with ORA*
( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
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MAPPING MARITIME NETWORKS OF BYZANTIUM

Fig. 19: Frequency distribution of degree centrality values of nodes in the topological nearest
neighbourhood network model of port sites (791) and routes (2188)
for the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara in Antiquity;
statistical analysis with the help of the software tool PAST* ( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).

Fig. 20: Topological nearest neighbourhood network model of port sites (791) and routes (2188)
for the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara in Antiquity; visualised are only the 122 nodes
with the highest closeness centrality values (above a closeness value of 0.10)
and the links between them. Network created with ORA* ( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
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Preiser-Kapeller Johannes

Fig. 21: Frequency distribution of closeness centrality values of nodes in the topological
nearest neighbourhood network model of port sites (791) and routes (2188)
for the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara in Antiquity; statistical analysis
with the help of the software tool PAST* ( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).

Fig. 22: Topological nearest neighbourhood network model of port sites (791) and routes (2188)
for the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara in Antiquity; visualised are only the 87 nodes
with the highest betweenness centrality values (above a betweenness value of 10,000 [unscaled];
nodes are sized according to their betweenness centrality values) and the links between them.
Network created with ORA* ( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
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MAPPING MARITIME NETWORKS OF BYZANTIUM

Fig. 23: Frequency distribution of betweenness centrality values of nodes in the topological
nearest neighbourhood network model of port sites (791) and routes (2188)
for the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara in Antiquity;
statistical analysis with the help of the software tool PAST* ( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).

Fig. 24: Topological nearest neighbourhood network model of port sites (791) and routes (2188)
for the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara in Antiquity; visualisation as network graph
with the help of the Kamada-Kawai/separate components-option, created with Pajek*
( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
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Preiser-Kapeller Johannes

Fig. 25: Topological nearest neighbourhood network model of port sites (791) and routes (2188)
for the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara in Antiquity; visualisation as network graph
with the help of the Kamada-Kawai/separate components-option, created with Pajek*.
Nodes are sized according to their betweenness centrality values
( J. Preiser-Kapeller, RGZM/AW, 2013).
ISBN 978-960-9677-01-1