General

Historical documentation (books, documents, maps, drawings) contains, among other things, important geographical information concerning both the natural and manmade environments of the places to which it refers. This information is often embedded in various kinds of representations, such as engravings, perspective charts, horizontal plans, sketches and old photographs. Such representations are frequently found in documents concerning Cyprus, as the island constituted an important hub of activity in the Eastern Mediterranean.

This web site was developed as part of the research programme "Representations of the Coastal Zone of Cyprus through Historical Map Segments and Other Illustrations", implemented by the Geography Department of Harokopio University in Athens in collaboration with the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation.

The main objectives of this collaboration are:

  1. the promotion of scientific research in the field of Historical Cartography and Geography of Cyprus
  2. the employment of young researchers in projects relating to Cartography, Geography and Culture
  3. the open dissemination of research results according to the international scientific community
This open access web application offers all interested parties, researchers and enthusiasts the opportunity to journey to the historical past of Cyprus through documented pictorial material and to investigate and contrast it with the current reality. In addition, any user of the application may, if they wish, contribute towards further enriching the documentation by providing new material or by participating in the interpretation of the existing content.

Description of the research programme

The one-year research project entitled "Representations of the Coastal Zone of Cyprus through Historical Map Segments and Other Illustrations" was prepared by the Department of Geography of Harokopio University, Athens, under the scientific supervision of Professor Christos Chalkias and supported by the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation. The main objective of the project was to design and implement an open access web application that identifies, organises and classifies the content of historical representations of the island of Cyprus.

The implementation phases were as follows:

  1. selection of historical representations, archiving and scanning, relevant literature overview
  2. for each selected representation, identification and recording of its features
  3. for each selected representation, identification and recording of its geographical entities
  4. production of selected modern representations
  5. web application design and implementation
  6. optimisation, maintenance, and enrichment of the project

Material used

The sources used for the research programme implementation originated from the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation collection. More specifically, the following sources were mostly used:

  1. The Illustrated London News. July 20, 1878. No. 2038. [From:] Jan. 25, 1879 The Illustrated London News. Vol. LXXIII. July To December, 1878. Printed & Published By George C. Leighton 198 Strand London.
  2. The English Pilot. Part III. Describing the Sea-Coasts, Bays, Roads, Gulphs, Harbours and Moulds; the Islands, Rocks, Shoals, and Dangers in the Mediteranian [sic] Sea.
  3. The English Pilot. Part III. Describing the Sea-Coasts, Bays, Roads, Gulphs, Harbours and Moulds; the Islands, Rocks, Shoals, and Dangers in the Mediteranian [sic] Sea.
  4. The Illustrated London News. July 27, 1878. No. 2039. [From:] Jan. 25, 1879 The Illustrated London News. Vol. LXXIII. July To December, 1878. Printed & Published By George C. Leighton 198 Strand London
  5. Supplement to the Illustrated London News, July 27, 1878. [From:] Jan. 25, 1879 The Illustrated London News. Vol. LXXIII. July To December, 1878. Printed & Published By George C. Leighton 198 Strand London.
  6. Map by the British Admiralty - Hydrographic Office, 1892, London
  7. Map of Famagusta
  8. Voyage Au Levant, C’est à dire Dans les Principaux endroits de L’Asie Mineure Dans les Isles De Chio, De Rhodes, De Chypre &c. De même que Dans les plus Considerables Villes D’Egypte, De Syrie, Et de la Terre Sainte; Enrichi de plus de Deux Cens Tailles-douces, où sont représentées les plus célébres villes, Païs, Bourgs, & autres choses dignes de remarque, le tout dessiné d’apres nature: Par Corneille Le Brun. Traduit du Flamand. A Delft, Chez Henri de Kroonevelt. MDCC. Avec Privilege
  9. ΕΣΠΕΡΟΣ. Ἔτος Γ´. Ἐν Λειψίᾳ τῇ 1/13 Ὀκτωβρίου 1883 Ἀρ. 59. [From:] ΕΣΠΕΡΟΣ ΣΥΓΓΡΑΜΜΑ ΠΕΡΙΟΔΙΚΟΝ ΜΕΤΑ ΕΙΚΟΝΩΝ ΔΙΣ ΤΟΥ ΜΗΝΟΣ ΕΚΔΙΔΟΜΕΝΟΝ ΕΝ ΛΕΙΨΙᾼ. ΕΤΟΣ Α ́. 1881-1882. [... ΕΤΟΣ Β ́. 1882- 1883 ... ΕΤΟΣ Γ ́. 1883-1884 ... ΕΤΟΣ Δ ́. 1884-1885 ... ΕΤΟΣ Ε ́. 1885-1886 ... ΕΤΟΣ ΣΤ ́. 1886-1887 ... ΕΤΟΣ Ζ ́. 1887-1888 ... ΕΤΟΣ Η´. 1889. Ἐν Ἀθήναις τῇ 1/13 Ἰανουαρίου 1889 ...]
  10. Twelve Etchings Of The Principal Views & Places Of Interest In Cyprus, By Tristram Ellis. With a descriptive account of each plate. 1879. London: Gammon & Vaughan, 112, New Bond Street, W.
  11. Странствованія Василъя Григоровича-Барскаго [Travels of Vasili Grigorovich Barsky to the Holy Places of the Orient] ... 1723 nо 1747 ... Частъ I [... II ... III ... IV]

Of the above-mentioned sources, representations that depict the coastal zone of Cyprus were identified and scanned - the only exception was the perspective representation of Nicosia ("Nicosia in Cyprus") which was incorporated due to its particular importance for the Geography of Cyprus.

The static map below depicts the numbered locations of the representations (i.e. the estimated points they were taken or drawn) along with their orientation.



You may view details about each representation by clicking on the following interactive map:



Project team

From Geography Department, Harokopio University:

  • Scientific project supervisor: Christos Chalkias, professor
  • Representation management, identification of geographic features: Evangelos Papadias, PhD candidate
  • Identification of geographic features: Christos Polykretis
  • Contemporary drawings: Giorgos Chalkias, architect
  • Database and web application design / implementation: Christoforos Vradis, PhD candidate

From Sylvia Ioannou Foundation:
  • Preliminary research and selection of sources: Dora Mitsonia
  • Scanning of representation material: Dimitris Stefanou
  • Bibliographic material, contribution in texts and placename identification: Dr Maria Yiouroukou, philologist

Other collaborators:
  • Contribution in geographic features identifictaion: Anna Maragkou, archaeologist, art historian