Chiliocomum: the ‘’plain of a thousand villages’’ examining the rural settlements in nw of amasya during the hellenistic and the roman periods by using gis

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Turkey

Thesis Language: English

Student: Coşku Kocabıyık

Supervisor: Deniz Burcu Erciyas


The territory of Pontus once occupied by the Mithridatic Kingdom in the Hellenistic Period and fell under the Roman Empire in the first century B.C., layed between the Pontus Euxine (Black Sea) and the northern edge of the Anatolian plateau. In his Geography Strabo describes Pontus with a detailed account of the settlements. In his description of his hometown Amaseia (Amasya today), he mentions a plain with 1000 villages called Chiliocomum. Indeed, the archaeological survey data indicates that there were a large number of settlements dating to the Hellenistic and the Roman period in this region. The aim of this thesis is to quantify the settlement - environment relationship and to investigate and compare settlement patterns in the Hellenistic and Roman periods by using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Data sets are used in the study includes a settlement database, topography, road network, soil and current landuse which were spatially analysed in GIS. Raster analyses, proximity analyses and density analyses are conducted in order to understand and compare site distribution and landuse. The results of the GIS analyses revealed that settlements were located in particular areas of the landscape. Some of these areas continued to be settled from the Hellenistic through the Roman period, while others were abandoned and alternative landscapes have replaced them. The results of the various analyses were utilized to discuss issues related to the shift in the political power and the socio-political structure in the region from the Hellenistic and to the Roman period.