Finding Connection in Ancient Syria

Peggy Lindner
University of Houston

Kristina Neumann
University of Houston

This poster shows the continuation of a collaborative project to unveil connections among ancient civic communities in the eastern Mediterranean by studying patterns of political, economic, and social connectivity through coin finds. We previously presented our work “Exploring Ancient Civic Connectivity in a Digital Space” to demonstrate the usefulness of incorporating digital tools (Google Earth etc.) to overcome gaps in the historical record for ancient Syria. Building on this original work, we are now expanding this research to create an online, interactive platform for both academics and the public to explore the connections and communities of ancient Syria over time and space, while drawing attention to the multicultural legacy of this historic region. One circular visualization of coin exchange between individual cities and whole regions is based on Circos plots, which were originally designed to visualize genomic data (for a demo, see: https://bit.ly/2K5SfoE). This circular visualization will be embedded into a multilayered Omeka online exhibit, which will also guide users through exploring the uniqueness of individual cities within Syria and the political and socio-economic routes connecting them to each other and the broader Mediterranean and Middle East. Overall, this project demonstrates the evolvement from the research goal of a single scholar into a collaborative project that seeks wider community engagement.