Western Asia Minor was already important in Antiquity. There were numerous settlements with enormous cultural potential and considerable economic power. In the Middle Ages, the region was one of the central areas of the Byzantine Empire. In early Byzantium, it was the location of the provinces Asia (ca. 19.100 km2) and Lydia (ca. 16.000 km2). Both provinces are analyzed in depth by interpreting written sources, toponyms, the archaeological evidence, and the physical state of the landscape. Due to the wealth of evidence, the results will be published in several volumes.

The Byzantine province of Asia extended from the southern parts of the Troad to the northern shore of the river Maeander; its main market centers were Pergamum (Bergama), Smyrna (Izmir), Magnesia (Manisa) and Ephesus (Selcuk). The volume constitutes a link to TIB 10 “Aigaion Pelagos, Die nördliche Ägäis”, TIB 13 “Bithynien und Hellespont", TIB 14 “Lydien”, TIB 7 “Phrygien und Pisidien”, and to TIB 18 “Karien”.