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Ancient Places in Pleiades

Creators: Sean Gillies
Contributors: Tom Elliott
Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified May 28, 2020 01:37 PM History
Pleiades is a gazetteer of ancient places. At present, it has extensive coverage for the Greek and Roman world, and is expanding into Ancient Near Eastern, Byzantine, Celtic, Early Islamic, and Early Medieval geography.

Key Concepts

Information about ancient places in Pleiades is organized differently from both traditional gazetteers and standard GIS datasets. In our view, neither an alphabetical list of placenames nor a set of thematic layers is sufficiently flexible and rigorous to represent a complex, partial, and changing understanding of ancient geography. Instead, Pleiades content is organized into four types of "information resource": places, locations, names, and connections. Although some other projects have adopted this pattern since we introduced it, it remains uncommon; consequently, all but the most casual user will want to familiarize themselves with the distinctions between, and relationships among, these resources by reading the Conceptual Overview document in our Help section.

Find and Use Content

All published information resources in Pleiades are free and open to the public. No login is required. The following starting points will help you find the content you seek:


Visit our front page, click in the "search" box, and start typing a name, a Pleiades ID, or a Pleiades URI to see a list of possible matching places. As you type, the list automatically narrows, and thumbnail maps appear below. Click on the corresponding ID number or map icon to visit the appropriate place page.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search page lets you construct more complex queries, but it can be much slower than the Search page. See Using Advanced Search for tips.


Regular exports of Pleiades content can be downloaded en masse in a number of formats.


Interact programmatically with published content via our Application Programming Interface.


The Pleiades faceted indexes for places and names have been taken offline temporarily to improve site performance. They will be replaced as part of a major technical upgrade now underway.