2015 | 19 | 85-106
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Mapping mistakes: the cartographic confusion of ancient Kleitor

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The ancient Greek city of Kleitor lies in a small valley in north central Arkadia. Although only recently the target of systematic excavations, the first plan of its remains was published almost 200 years ago. While this earliest plan is essentially correct in the details, it is also a simple schematic representation with little topographical detail. When a revised plan of the site – comprising a much more skillful representation of the topography – was published in the late 19th century, it soon supplanted the original in the scholarship. Hidden behind its topographic accuracy and artistic flourishes, however, lies the fact that the mapping of the archaeological remains themselves was incorrect. Consequently, as this plan continued to be modified and reproduced throughout the following century, so too were its mistakes duplicated and exaggerated. Showing the cartographical evolution in the representation of ancient Kleitor and its reception by scholars, this paper demonstrates how scholars have constructed their interpretations of the remains around the unintentional predisposition to equate artistic quality with accuracy, and the consequences of this bias on the archaeological interpretations of the site.
Physical description
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