Western Asia Minor (Lydia and Asia)

Western Asia Minor was important already in Antiquity. There were numerous settlements with an enormous cultural potential and considerable economic power. In 129 BC, the Romans established here their first province in Anatolia, calling it Asia. Some centuries later, in the time of the Emperor Diocletian (284–305), the huge province was divided into seven smaller units, which continued to exist in the early Byzantine period. One of them was Lydia, about 16,000 square kilometers in size, with its centers Sardis (Sart), Thyateira (Akhisar) and Philadelphia (Alaşehir). With a size of 19,100 square kilometers, the new province of Asia was considerably smaller than the former Roman one. Among its central market places, one has to mention Ephesus (Selçuk), Pergamum (Bergama), Smyrna (İzmir) and Magnesia (Manisa). The current project TIB “Western Asia Minor” highlights with both provinces a core region of the Byzantine Empire. The gazetteer of Western Anatolian place names includes actually more than 700 manuscript pages; it is constantly growing and includes the observations and results of several field trips, operated between 2013 and 2018. The annual volumes of the Mitteilungen aus der Österreichischen Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik (Vienna) present the current research reports.

Cooperation Partners

  • Department of Art History of the Aegean University İzmir (Prof. Dr. E. Tok)
  • Department of History of the University of İstanbul (Prof. Dr. M. Sayar)
  • Department of Ancient Languages and Cultures, Akdeniz University, Antalya (Prof. Dr. E. Akyürek Şahin)
  • Institute for Archaeology, University of Hamburg (Prof. Dr. M. Seifert)
  • Austrian Archaeological Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences (Doz. Dr. S. Ladstätter; Doz. Dr. A. Pülz)