The Tabula Peutingeriana and the Madaba mosaic map: a comparative analysis for the reconstruction of the Holy Land historical landscape

Authors: Margherita Azzari*, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Carmelo Pappalardo, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Anna Lena, Università degli Studi di Firenze
Topics: Historical Geography, Cultural Geography, Applied Geography
Keywords: Historical cartography, historical landscape, GIS, virtual landscaping
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2020
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Director's Row E, Sheraton, Plaza Building, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The paper intends to present a comparative analysis of two among the most important cartographic documents from a historical, geographical and artistic point of view, aiming to reconstruct the historical landscape of that area of the Near East often referred to as Holy Land. Moving along in the search of a common cartographic background, it is essential to compare the Madaba Map and the Tabula Peutingeriana and other similar sources.
If regarding the place names the main reference for the Madaba Map is the Onomasticon of Eusebius of Caesarea, as regards the comparison with the Tabula Peutingeriana a common cartographic and iconographic archetype is conceivable. Who designed and crafted the mosaic carpet of Madaba were familiar with the representative stylistic elements that we also find in the Tabula.
Also important are the differences between the two documents, which can be ascribed to various factors: different purposes, different materials and media, different periods, different users, different targets, different history and conservation, etc.
The project is about the reconstruction of the historical landscape on the basis of cartographic, documentary and archaeological sources analysed through a methodological approach that highlights geographical and cultural components and their relationships testing innovative technologies for geodata analysis and representation that vary in time, creating a storytelling tool, a data visualization environment enriched with visual perception through overlaid information useful to better understand the document, its history, the main features of historical landscape, and its material and immaterial signs which are an expression of cultural identity.

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