Course: Roman urban mega-projects. Free online participation

My colleague Dr Emmanuele Intagliata is organising a great PhD course here at UrbNet about Roman urban mega projects, in which I will give a talk about roads. If you want to attend the morning of talks free of charge online, then just send an email to no later than October 15th specifying affiliation and (if relevant) the study programme in which they are enrolled. Everyone is welcome! The talk looks great, see below.

When? 10 November 2020

Where? Zoom

More info:

Urban mega-projects in the Roman period and Late Antiquity. 

New approaches and future directions

PhD course


Due to COVID-19-related health concerns, the course will be offered online (Zoom) in a shorter format on November 10th, 2020.

The morning session will be open to the public. Those wishing to attend should write to Dr Emanuele Intagliata ( by no later than October 15th specifying their affiliation and the study programme in which they are enrolled – if applicable. They will be issued a code that will allow access to the event. 

The Ph.D. students who have expressed their interest in participating by the 7th Nov. deadline will be invited to an additional afternoon session. 

Preliminary programme (final titles will follow soon)


09.00 – 9.15                Emanuele E. Intagliata: welcome and introduction

9.15 – 9.45                  Rubina Raja: City walls of Jerash

9.45 – 10.15                Søren Munch Kristiansen: Overview of analytical techniques and new                                techniques for the study of urban mega-projects

10.15 – 10.45              Catharine Hof: City walls of Resafa

10.45 – 11.00              BREAK

11.00 – 11.30              Riley Snyder: Mortar analyses

11.30 – 12.00              Simon Barker: Spolia in urban mega-projects

12.00 – 12.30              Tom Brughmans: Roman roads

12.30 – 13.00             Emanuele Intagliata:  Archival studies and urban mega-projects. A case study


14.00 – 16.00              Debate panel (PhD students and speakers only) 


Date: 10 Nov., 2020

ECTS credits (for those who submitted their applications before Nov. 7th): 2


Large-scale infrastructural projects, such as aqueducts and fortifications, were prerequisites for the existence of cities in the Roman and late antique periods. Their colossal size, however, could pose serious challenges for their construction. These could range from the necessity of maintaining a steady supply of resources over a long period, to the organization of large workforces. The study of the remains of these monuments is likewise not devoid of obstacles. On the one hand, their fragmentary state of preservation in modern urban settings poses significant problems for understanding their individual biographies. On the other, well-preserved monuments can be problematic to document owing to their size.

Despite these problems, the study of large-scale infrastructure remains of great importance. Water supply systems and fortifications can provide scholars not only with crucial details on the historical narrative of individual urban settlements, but also with insights into the ability of cities to deal with financially demanding infrastructural projects. Modern scholarship has traditionally approached the study of these monuments with an architectural perspective. However, the recent adoption of analytical approaches have considerably expanded the number of questions that archaeology can answer. These include, for example, changes in building processes and construction techniques and the impact of resource heavy infrastructural works on the surrounding natural landscape. This research-led course will provide the participants with an introduction to a diverse range of methodologies and approaches to the study of complex urban infrastructures, with specific focus on water supply systems, fortifications and roads in the Roman and late antique periods. In so doing, the course will provide a forum to discuss and reflect on how new research approaches are gradually transforming archaeology.


The course will offer research-led teaching on methods and techniques for the study of large-scale urban infrastructural projects and will focus on two main objectives:

  • To explore the importance of large infrastructural projects for urban archaeological research
  • To explore and discuss traditional and innovative approaches to monumental infrastructure. 

The aim is to encourage students from archaeology and related disciplines from the humanities to consider and discuss the potential of applying innovative approaches to their own research. The course structure consists of three modules, as detailed below. 


Professor Rubina Raja, CAS and UrbNet, Aarhus University;

Associate Professor Søren Munch Kristiansen, Aarhus University;

Associate Professor Tom Brughmans, UrbNet, Aarhus University;

Dr Riley Snyder, University of Edinburgh;

Dr Catharine Hof, Technische Universität, Berlin;

Dr Simon Barker, Universität Heidelberg;

Dr Emanuele Intagliata, UrbNet, Aarhus University.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, the participants should be able to:

  • Have an understanding of the benefits and limits of traditional and innovative approaches to the study of large-scale infrastructural projects.
  • Critically discuss and assess case studies.
  • Consider and assess the application of new approaches in their own work.


For program updates, please visit:

Modelling the Roman Limes. Present in our session

There is a conference dedicated to the study of the Roman Limes, you know, that region between the Roman Empire and “the rest”. My colleagues and I love this as a study region for exploring interactions but also for the highly specialised investments by the Roman government and the impacts this had on the people living in this border zone. And of course we do this with computers.

We will host a session on this at the Limes conference which will be held 22-28 August 2021 in Nijmegen.

Do submit your work and spread the word!

Submission deadline 1 November.

Simulating the Limes. Challenges to computational modelling in Roman Studies

Philip Verhagen

Affiliation: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Session Abstract: The increasing availability of large digital data sets requires archaeologists and historians to develop or adopt new analytical tools in order to detect and understand socio- economic and cultural patterns and to compare these at wider spatial and temporal scales. Simulation and other types of computational modelling are rapidly becoming a key instruments for this type of research. They are used to bridge the gap between theoretical concepts and archaeological evidence. These models can be of an exploratory nature, or attempt to closely emulate historical dynamics, and enable us to understand the mechanisms underlying, for example, e.g. population changes or economic systems.

Despite having access to large amounts of high-quality data, Roman studies have so far been relatively slow in adopting computational modelling, and Limes studies are no exception. The Limes is a particular case since each border region has its own characteristics, environmental setting, cultural background and specific relationship with the ‘core’ but also shares common features derived from being at the ‘outskirts’ of political, economic and cultural life. The interaction between these two dimensions is highly complex. Thus, the Limes constitutes an arena where formal modelling methods have particularly high potential. However, key challenges to this approach are i) the proper integration of archaeological and historical data sets; ii) a good understanding of what proxies to use, and iii) the computational power needed for modelling at larger scales.

We invite papers that showcase examples of modelling within the broader thematic setting of the Limes, taking these challenges into account. uggested topics of interest are the economy of the Limes, urbanisation and settlement dynamics, demography, military campaigns, and relationships between the Limes, the rest of the Roman Empire and the zones beyond the frontier. Statistical modelling, GIS, simulation (e.g., Agent-based modelling), network models and other types of formal approaches are all welcome. Comparative studies are especially welcomed.

An enchantment of digital archaeology

Dreamers, necromancers and modellers in archaeology rejoice: an enchantment of digital archaeology is published.

Shawn Graham’s new book is about simulation, agents, gaming, AI and archaeology. What? I was sceptical as I started reading, but the huge value of Shawn’s enchantment message dawned on me half way through the first chapter. I’m allowed to wonder, to be in awe, to dream, whilst doing good computational archaeology. In fact, Shawn argues we should do more of it. At the very least, we should avoid the disenchantment that can be invoked by traditional data collection and analysis, which we do just because we feel we have to as ‘serious’ academics.

Raising the Dead with Agent-Based Models, Archaeogaming and Artificial Intelligence

by Prof. Shawn Graham

Here are my thoughts on the book.

This book discusses and illustrates how digital archaeology can and should be enchanting. The focus on enchantment justifies the many personal thoughts and stories throughout the book: it is really the personal experience of and engagement with digital experiments that leads to enchantment. The author does a great job in transmitting his enthusiasm and is not afraid to highlight his failures. Indeed, in many parts of the book failed experiments take centre stage to showcase that the scholars’ learning process and surprise matters hugely when doing digital archaeology. But also that the author’s engagement with traditional data collection and attitudes to doing archaeology led to disenchantment. Many readers of this book might share this disenchantment: they will find in this book inspiration and encouragement to pursue those ideas they previously discarded as wacky, frivolous or “not academic”; they are allowed to play, fail and be enchanted. There is huge value in this message.

Submit your micro presentation for CUDAN satellite at NetSci, and I get to keynote yay :D

NetSci is an awesome conference. Everyone interested in network science can find something of interest there. Max Schich and colleagues have established a long tradition of hosting art and humanities satellite events to NetSci: my kinda thing! This year, there will be a cultural data analytics satellite at this virtual event, and I get to do a tiny micro keynote, yay 😀

Submit a single slide by 15/09/2020

Conference date: 20/09/2020

Call, via Max Schich:

Dear Friends of Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks at NetSci,

The CUDAN satellite on Cultural Analysis at NetSci2020 will take the format of an “inverted conference session” to maximize Salon-style personal interaction. To participate, we ask you to submit a single slide by 2020-09-15 to The symposium will happen on Sunday 2020-09-20. Details can be found at The keynote will be presented by archaeologist Tom Brughmans (Arhus University). To participate you need to register for NetSci2020, at least for a day pass:

If you are on Twitter, please spread the word by retweeting this:

PS: This will likely be the last email from this account. I will transfer the AHCN contact list to the CUDAN Open Lab list, where we will post announcements related to our ongoing research on Cultural Data Analytics. The scope will be broader, aiming towards a systematic science of art and culture, including but not limited to NetSci relevant issues. If you are not interested, this is a good moment to unsubscribe from this list. The website of the CUDAN Open Lab is

Greetings, Max

Prof. Dr. Maximilian Schich
ERA Chair for Cultural Data Analytics at Tallinn University &

4 fully-funded PhD fellowships at UrbNet. Come work with us!

I work at a great place: the Centre for Urban Network Evolutions at Aarhus University. It is a world-leading centre for urban archaeology, taking a networks perspective to everything it does. Love it! The centre’s focus on the archaeology of Eastern Mediterranean, Northern Europe and East Africa, using methods as diverse as excavation, networks, and isotopes, mean I am never bored talking to my many international and Danish colleagues.

It would be great to have students with an interest in these topics join us!

We offer 4 fully-funded PhD fellowship, to start on 1 February 2021.

Important: potential applicants are encouraged contact the centre director and vice director ahead of applying to discuss project ideas.

Deadline: 1 October

Application details

More information here:

PhD fellowship in the field of the Urban Societies in Past Worlds (5+3)

The Graduate School at Arts, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, in collaboration with the Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), invites applications for four fully funded PhD fellowships in Urban Societies in Past Worlds provided the necessary funding is available. This PhD fellowships are available as of 1 February 2021 for a period of up to three years (5+3). The candidates who are awarded the fellowships must commence their PhD degree programmes on 1 February 2021. 

Three of the PhD fellowships will be financed by the Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) and one PhD fellowship will be financed by the Graduate School at Arts.

Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) invites applications for 4 PhD fellowships on themes relating to urban societies in the past. We are seeking candidates from the fields of archaeology and related subjects, including geoarchaeology, cultural anthropology, environmental and material sciences and history.

The projects must align closely with UrbNet’s research themes and agendas. Please see

Applications must address the following questions:

  • How can this project generate new knowledge about the evolution of urban societies in the past?
  • How does this project apply novel methods and theory?
  • How the project contribute to interdisciplinary research?
  • How would the findings be interesting beyond the specific case/setting?
  • How does the project make archaeological data and knowledge relevant in the contemporary world?

We strongly encourage potential applicants to contact the centre director and vice director to discuss project ideas.

The PhD student must complete the studies in accordance with the valid regulations for the PhD degree programme, currently the Ministerial Order of 27 August 2013 on the PhD degree programme at the universities:

Description of the graduate school’s PhD degree programme:

Rules and regulations for the PhD degree programme at the Graduate School at Arts:  

The PhD fellow will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Graduate School at Arts, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, with the aim of completing a PhD degree at the Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University.

The PhD student will be affiliated with the PhD programme History, Archaeology and Classical Studies.

The PhD student’s place of work will be the Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University. In general, the student is expected to be present at the school on an everyday basis.

The PhD degree programme is expected to include a lengthy research stay at a foreign institution, cf. Description of the graduate school’s PhD degree programme.

School of Culture and Society’s research programme:

5+3 programme

When you apply for a 3-year PhD fellowship (5+3), you must have completed your two year Master’s degree (120 ECTS) no later than 31 January 2021.

The PhD fellow will be employed as a PhD student at the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University. The terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (see section 6.1.4), as well as with the protocol to the agreement covering staff with university degrees in the state sector (see enclosure 5). The agreement and the protocol including amendments are available online:


If you require professional guidance regarding your application for the PhD fellowship please contact the PhD programme director at History, Archaeology and Classical Studies:

For further information, please contact Professor and UrbNet Director Rubina Raja,, Phone +45 27 18 83 90.

The application must be submitted in English.

All applicants must document English language qualifications comparable to an ‘English B level’ in the Danish upper secondary school (‘gymnasium’). Please see this page for further information:  

Applications for the PhD fellowship and enrolment in the PhD degree programme can only be submitted via Aarhus University’s web-based facility.

Guidelines for the application facility:

Deadline for applications: 1 October 2020 at 23.59 Danish time (CET/CETS).
Reference number: 2020-15

During the assessments, Aarhus University can conduct interviews with selected applicants.

Jobs: 3 researcher posts, epigraphy, Oxford

Via Jonathan Prag:

Researcher (3 posts)

Faculty of Classics, Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles, Oxford

Grade 7: £32,817- £40,322 p.a.

The Faculty of Classics invites applications for three Researchers on the ERC Advanced Grant (885040) “Crossreads” reporting to the Principal Investigator Professor Jonathan Prag. Two posts are for a 12 month duration and one post continues into the second year of a 5-year project for a duration of 24 months. Please indicate in your supporting letter which post(s) you would like to be considered for.

‘Crossreads: Text, materiality, and multiculturalism at the crossroads of the ancient Mediterranean’ is a 5-year ERC funded project. Developing and analysing a comprehensive corpus of all the written (epigraphic) documents from the island, the project will offer the first coherent account of the interactions and interplay of linguistic and textual material culture in ancient Sicily over a period of 1,500 years. The project builds upon the initial work of the I.Sicily project ( and and exploits a variety of digital humanities tools and methods. The three posts advertised here are integral to the first work-package, which is intended to complete the development of the comprehensive open-access corpus of epigraphic texts in TEI-EpiDoc, which will in turn underpin the rest of the project.

The successful candidate will have a doctorate, or be close to completion, in a related field; specialist knowledge in the discipline of epigraphic studies and working knowledge of at least one of ancient Greek, Latin or Phoenician.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Monday 3 August 2020.

Contact Person :              Philippa Crowley              Vacancy ID :       146752

Contact Phone :               Closing Date & Time :     03-Aug-2020 12:00

Contact Email :

Further details can be found via the following link:

Pelagios Visualisation Talk with Elijah Meeks

Via Gethin Rees and Elton Barker:
14 July, 9am PST, 5pm BST on Zoom
Elijah Meeks is a co-founder and Chief Visualization Officer at Noteable where he’s developing a new notebook platform with robust data visualization and management capabilities. He is also a co-founder and Executive Director of the Data Visualization Society, an international professional organization for data visualization with over 14,000 members. Prior to that, he worked at Netflix and Apple as a data visualization engineer and consulted with various companies on all aspects of data visualization practice and strategy. Earlier in his career, he worked in digital humanities at Stanford, creating such works as ORBIS and Kindred Britain.
In his talk, Elijah will discuss metric design and how data visualization is key to developing meaningful metrics that help us understand the subject matter rather than just naively present the data.
The talk will be preceded by a short introduction to the Pelagios Visualisation activity and how to get involved.
If you would like to attend please sign up here:
The talk has limited capacity with places allocated to those who sign up first.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Gethin Rees and Elton Barker

Call workshop organisation non-equilibrium systems and/or COVID-19

The below call to organise a workshop in Lausanne can be of interest to readers of the blog. CECAM-Lorentz offer generous funding and great organisational support.

Deadline 1 November 2020.

Call website

CECAM-Lorentz call

CECAM and the Lorentz Center annually organize a call to attract scientists who want to organize a computational science workshop. Every other year the workshop will be held at the Lorentz Center in Leiden or at CECAM in Lausanne.

The CECAM-Lorentz program plans to host a leading-edge workshop in computational simulation and modeling and its applications. Otherwise, the topic is open.

In 2021 the workshop will be held at CECAM HQ, Lausanne, Switzerland.

This year we would especially like to encourage applications in the areas of non-equilibrium systems and/or COVID-19 related scientific challenges.

What we seek
• an innovative scientific programme, that takes us beyond our current boundaries
• an open and interactive format, with few lectures

What we offer
• a 5-day workshop for up to 25 people in the second half of 2021
• travel and accommodation reimbursements and other organisational costs
• a professional support organisation

• a 1-page expression of interest by 1 November 2020
• a full application by 15 December 2020
• final decision mid-January 2021
• submit applications via:

Lorentz Center Evaluation committee

Marjolein Dijkstra, Utrecht University
Eberhard Gross, Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics
Joost Kok, Leiden University / University of Twente
Evert Jan Meijer, University of Amsterdam
Please find answers to several FAQs here
Henriette Jensenius, scientific manager Lorentz Center,
Ignacio Pagonabarraga, director CECAM,

Digital Classicist seminar Berlin call for papers

The next seminar series will run from October 2020 until February 2021.

Abstracts can be sent until 31 July, details below:


We are pleased to announce the call for papers for the seventh series of the Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin, organised by the “Zentrum Grundlagenforschung Alte Welt” of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities together with the Berliner Antike Kolleg. The seminar will run during the winter term of the 2020/21 academic year.
We invite submissions on any kind of research that innovativly employs digital methods, resources or technologies in order to enable a better or new understanding of the ancient world. We especially encourage contributions which show how computer assisted technologies provide answers to questions intrinsic to a field of research or to questions of interdisciplinary interest.

Presentations may cover one of the following topics which make the cultural heritage accessible and deepen our understanding of it: machine learning, linked open data and the semantic web, spatial and network analysis, natural language processing, image processing and visualisation, 3D developments, techniques to be used for an open science, digital (critical) editions, and any other digital or quantitative methods. Other and new ideas are very welcome!

Abstracts of 300-500 words max. (bibliographic references excluded) should be sent by midnight (CEST) on 31 July 2020 to Markus Schnöpf ( and will be anonymized in the review process. We do accept abstracts written in English as well as in German, and the presentations can also be held in either language. When submitting the same proposal for consideration to multiple venues, please do let us know.

Seminars will run fortnightly on Tuesday evenings (16:15-17:45) from October 2020 until February 2021. The full programme will be finalised and announced in August. We endeavour to provide accommodation for the speakers and contribute towards their travel expenses.


Wir freuen uns, hiermit den Call for Papers für die siebente Reihe des Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin im Wintersemester 2020/21 bekannt geben zu können. Diese Seminarreihe wird vom Zentrum Grundlagenforschung Alte Welt an der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Berliner Antike Kolleg durchgeführt.

Sie sind herzlich dazu eingeladen, Beiträge einzureichen, welche die innovative Anwendung moderner digitaler Methoden, Ressourcen und Techniken in den verschiedensten Bereichen einer weitgefassten Altertumswissenschaft thematisieren. Wir begrüßen insbesondere Vorschläge, aus denen hervorgeht, wie dank der Anwendung computergestützter Technologien sowohl fachimmanente als auch fachübergreifende Fragen beantwortet werden können.
Die Vorträge können beispielsweise folgende Themenbereiche zur Erschließung und dem vertieften Verständnis des kulturellen Erbes behandeln: Maschinelles Lernen, Linked Open Data und Semantic Web, Raum- und Netzwerk-Analyse, Techniken für Open Science, Bildverarbeitung und Visualisierung, 3D-Entwicklungen, moderne Editionstechniken, maschinelle Sprachverarbeitung etc. Weitere, neue Ideen sind sehr willkommen!

Vorschläge im Umfang von 300-500 Wörtern (bibliographische Angaben ausgenommen) können bis spätestens Mitternacht (MESZ) am 31. Juli 2020 an Markus Schnöpf ( gesendet werden und werden vor dem review process anonymisiert. Ihre Zusammenfassung des geplanten Vortrages kann in deutscher oder englischer Sprache eingereicht werden, die beiden Sprachen sind auch die Arbeitssprachen im Seminar. Bitte teilen Sie uns mit, ob der gleiche Vortrag bereits bei anderen Veranstaltungsreihen oder Konferenzen eingereicht wurde.

Die Seminare werden von Oktober 2020 bis Februar 2021 alle 14 Tage jeweils dienstags um 16.15-17.45 Uhr stattfinden. Das vollständige Programm wird im August bekannt gegeben werden. Die Vortragenden werden so weit wie möglich bei der Finanzierung ihrer Reise- und Unterkunftskosten unterstützt. Nähere Informationen dazu werden bei der Veröffentlichung des Programms mitgeteilt.

Nordic CAA Conference 2020, Oslo, 8-9th October 2020

Submit your abstract now for the CAA Nordic conference. Deadline 10 August 2020. The event will be both virtual and in-person.

Nordic CAA Conference 2020, Oslo, 8-9th October 2020

The conference will be dual format with digital and in-person participation

Call for papers is open until the 10th August 2020.

CAA-Norway are proud to be hosting a Nordic CAA conference in 2020, in collaboration with CAA-Sweden and CAA-Denmark. The conference will take place in Oslo, on the 8-9th of October.

Abstracts of 2-300 words can be submitted for papers on digital solutions in archaeological research and heritage management. Critical reflections, theoretical approaches, new research, and future challenges on a range of fields are welcomed, including remote sensing, 3D solutions, photogrammetry, GIS solutions, big data, field documentation, collections and digital resource management. We would like to see a broad range of approaches represented, so feel free to send in abstracts on themes not explicitly mentioned above.

Abstracts and papers can be in any Scandinavian language, or English.

Abstracts can be submitted using the link below, or by following the link of CAA Norges facebook/ webpage:

Registration for those who would like to attend without presenting is also open:


The Venue

The conference will be held at the University of Oslo’s conference venue, Professorboligen, located in central Oslo. The venue is a short walk from many good hotels, and has excellent transport links nearby.

Further information will be posted on the CAA website and facebook pages. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Contact information: Rebecca J S Cannell ( or

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