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Supplementary material for "Handlist of Stations of the Ayyubid and Mamluk Communication Systems" by Kurt Franz, published in IHC 181 (2022)

posted on 2021-11-30, 15:12 authored by Kurt Franz
These are the supplementary materials for an article published in Islamic History and Civilization 181 entitled 'Handlist of Stations of the Ayyubid and Mamluk Communication Systems', by Kurt Franz, with DOI:10.1163/9789004459717_014

The file Franz_Handlist_Tables.xls makes the tables 12.1 and 12.2 and also additional tables S1–S3 available as spreadsheets, the latter ones indicating the routes of each governmental communication system and their minimum distances as the pigeon flies. The same is also offered as earth browser data in the file Franz_Handlist_View.kml. It allows the reader to view stations connected through direct lines so that the respective networks are represented, if not through their routings on the ground then at least in a schematic way. For specifications, see Franz_Handlist_ReadMe.pdf.

The governmental communication systems of the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods present a model case of central powers venturing to mould the geo-spatial arrangement of their realm and politically master it. It is therefore argued that the infrastructure and workings of these systems are an important source for understanding the interlocking of political history with historical geography. This article takes stock, for the first time, of the entire body of stations. Based on mediaeval lists, the archaeological and epigraphic record, and also remote sensing data, it establishes a geo-referenced handlist of 257 localities that held one or more stations, 315 stations in total. Calling for more system-wide and multi-source investigation, the handlist provides the geo-data basis for future in-depth spatial analysis of the Ayyubids’ and Mamluks’ intelligence backbones.