Cyprus has had cultural, social, political and trading relationships with the Mediterranean and its surrounding worlds from the earliest times to the present day. 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 and geographical information may be dispersed, and hard to access.
The overall aim of this project, therefore, is to draw on the widest possible range of expertise in order to improve our recording of the heritage geography of Cyprus. Our specific aim is to collect dated attestations of all locations/monuments attested as in use in any period up to 1882, and all names used for these locations on the island, in any language or period up to the establishment of standard reference systems. Modern names are given in the form used in the Complete Gazetteer of Cyprus (Nicosia, 1987). We are also aiming to better understand how historical and archaeological features, which are often ambiguous and amorphous, can be represented via their spatial footprints.
No one expert – or team of experts – has the capacity to assemble all the relevant information for this purpose. We are therefore inviting contributions about locations, and the names that have been used for them, from the widest possible public. Contributions will be reviewed, and accepted or rejected. The essential requirement is, for any location not yet in the Gazetteer, an agreed 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.
The Inventory of Byzantine Churches on Cyprus is an early example of the HGC's onward usage. Geographic URIs for the monuments therein have been loaded into the HGC, and are being used as references for the monuments' locations. The IBCC (and this its scholarly authority) is used as the first HCG attestation in each case, but the community can now add other suitably supported name variants.