Decorative Arch, Resafa, Syria. Copyright, Daniel Schwartz.

Place Types used in The Syriac Gazetteer

The Syriac Gazetteer categorizes places using a controlled vocabulary of types. The definition of each type is given in the table below:

Type Definition
building A construction for which there is no narrower category, such as a church or mosque. Examples of this type include palaces and named city gates.
church A building for Christian religious services. It can be a parish church, a monastic church, a cathedral, or a small chapel used only occasionally, but not a chapel that is part of a larger church.
composite A named place concept which merges multiple distinct place types, such as a city and a diocese. More specific types are preferred.
designated-space An area with artificial boundaries which is not necessarily built up, such as a cemetery, town square, or polo ground.
diocese An ecclesiastical province governed by a bishop, archbishop, or metropolitan.
fortification A military outpost such as a fort or a castle.
island A land-mass smaller than a continent surrounded on all sides by water.
madrasa A building or space designated for instruction in the Islamic sciences.
monastery A whole monastic complex, including living quarters for the monks or nuns, the church(es), and potentially a refectory, library, school, or other part.
mosque A building or designated space used for Muslim congregational prayers. It can be part of a larger building complex.
mountain An elevated physical feature, from Mt. Ararat down to a prominent hill.
natural-feature A natural feature for which there is no narrower category, such as a mountain or open water. Examples of this type include forests and hot springs.
open-water A broad category for seas, lakes, oceans, and ponds.
parish An ecclesiastical region below a diocese, presided over by a priest.
province A political unit subject to a "state" but larger than a city. States often have multiple levels of administrative units (e.g. the late Ottoman vilayets, sanjaks, kazas, and nahiyes), all of which can be indicated as a "province."
quarter A subdivision of an urban center.
region A term indicating a geographic extent larger than a city, without a corresponding politico-administrative apparatus. The size could range from a small valley to an entire continent.
river A stream of water of whatever size, from the smallest creek to the Amazon. Wadis are also included, even if they are not filled with water year-round.
settlement Any collection of civilian residences, from the smallest village to the largest metropolis.
state A sovereign government such as an empire, kingdom, caliphate, or independent emirate.
synagogue A building designated for use in Jewish worship.
temple A building designated for use in pagan worship.
unknown A place whose name is known, but what sort of place it represents is unknown.