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Applying Digital Methods to the Study of a Late Ottoman City: A Social and Spatial Analysis of Political Partisanship in Gaza

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Authors:
Yuval Ben-Bassat University of Haifa Haifa Israel

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Johann Buessow Ruhr University Bochum Germany

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Abstract

This article takes the understudied Ottoman city of Gaza in southern Palestine at the end of the nineteenth century as a case study to illustrate the new possibilities available today to researchers of the Middle East by combining the study of historical sources with GIS and other digital technologies. It first surveys the main sources available for the study of this city, some of which have only become available to researchers in recent years. It then describes the construction of a comprehensive database based on these sources and ways to run statistical analyses based on it. Finally, it presents the research results on maps and aerial photos connected to a GIS system. The case of Gaza can thus serve as a model for studying other cities in Ottoman Greater Syria and the Ottoman Empire in general.

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