Beyond East and West – Geocommunicating Historical Sacred Landscapes
Keywords: thematic maps, digital humanities, geocommunication, historical geography
Abstract. The Project “Beyond East and West: Geocommunicating the Sacred Landscapes of “Duklja” and “Raška” through Space and Time (11th–14th Cent.)” attempts to recreate and communicate the sacred landscape during a time of transition and transformation. The project has an interdisciplinary approach and incorporates multiple media, like maps, images, and 3D models. The study area of the project is situated at the junction between the Dinaric mountain range and the coastal region of the Adriatic Sea. Historically, the region was shaped by the power struggle between Byzantium, the First Bulgarian Empire, and the Serbian Realm. Ecclesiastically, it was a zone of interaction as well as encounter between Rome and Constantinople. The aim of the project is to discover and visualise the spatial and temporal aspects of these encounters and transformation processes.
To communicate the historical sacred landscape, a map-centred online application is used as a hub. To explore the relations between places, events, actors and artifacts, the users can follow the links between the entities. Content created during this project is more than points, lines or polygons which can be displayed on a map. Many objects are complemented with images, and for selected churches 3D models using aerial images captured by UAVs will be created. “Story Maps” are created for selected core research topics to provide an easily accessible starting point for users. The broader aim beyond the current research project is to provide a flexible framework, which can serve as a platform for similar research projects in historical geography and digital humanities.