Welcome to the Heritage Gazetteer for Cyprus (HGC). Cyprus has played an important role in the history of many cultures. It has been described in many languages and several different alphabets, over several millennia. This can make identification of places difficult; and it means that interesting historical information may be dispersed, and hard to access.
The overall aim of this project, therefore, is to facilitate the use of a wide range of expertise in recording the historic geography of Cyprus; the resource has been designed to record all locations/monuments attested as in use in any period up to 1918, date of the publication of George Jeffrey's Description of the historic monuments of Cyprus, and all names used for these locations on the island, in any language or period up to the establishment of standard reference systems. Entries are of two kinds: specific monuments, (described as Archaeological Entities, AE) for which we aim to provide a geographical point as accurately as possible; and larger groupings, such as villages, or excavation areas (described as Historical Units, HU), for which we are providing deliberately schematic polygon outlines, since we cannot know the precise dimensions of such an area at every point in its history. Modern administrative districts are named according to the Οδηγός Τυποποίησης Ονομάτων (Nicosia, 2007, available online). Modern toponyms are given in the form used in the Complete Gazetteer of Cyprus (Nicosia, 1987, pp 1-1301 available online: see also the list of Towns and Villages of Cyprus, pp. 1303-1669). Transliterations for modern toponyms not found in those publications use the rules set out in the Οδηγός, at pages 27ff.
The maps which we provide are drawn from the Ancient World Terrain (AWMC and Modern Open Street Map, (both freely available), Google Aerial and Google Road (offering a limited number of hits). In 2018 we were able to add the Kitchener Map of Cyprus, completed in 1882, and kindly made available by the National Library of Scotland (https://maps.nls.uk/cyprus/).
The essential requirement for inclusion in the HGC is, for any location not yet in the Gazetteer, a georeference, a name and a dated reference; and for any name not yet in the Gazetteer, a reference to an example of its use in an accessible document, and a date. There is provision for contributors to register, and for all contributions to be peer-reviewed before publication.
This first publication of the HGC (from 2015) is designed to present a very limited range of material, but also to demonstrate what may be possible. Our initial contents have been taken from the online Inventory of Byzantine Churches (iBCC, Papacostas, 2015), for which this resource provides the map; materials from other historical texts are steadly being added (see under Sources, and, for fuller descriptions, the HGC bibliography). The aim, therefore, is to demonstrate what is possible. We would welcome approaches from any other projects conducting research on the history of Cyprus who would like to use the HGC to illustrate their work, and to add their materials to a Gazetteer which we hope will grow.
We also hope that those publishing material from Cyprus online - for example photographs of monuments/locations, or collection catalogues, etc - will use the URI provided for each location to link their information to information presented here.