Four jobs in Brno: dissident networks project

Readers of this blog might be interested in this job opportunity.

Via David Zbíral

Four research fellowships in an ERC project on medieval heresy and inquisition

Perhaps some of you or your contacts might be interested in the following listings in the ERC Consolidator Grant-funded Dissident Networks Project (DISSINET, https://dissinet.cz), using computational methods to make sense of medieval religious dissidence and inquisition. 

All positions are full-time, with a 5-year perspective (based on performance review), and they start with the launch of the project on 1 September 2021 (negotiable).

1) NLP specialist / computational linguist (esp. focusing on Latin)

https://www.muni.cz/en/about-us/careers/vacancies/60994

Deadline: 30 April 2021

2) Geospatial data analyst

https://www.muni.cz/en/about-us/careers/vacancies/61254

Deadline: 30 April 2021

3) Data scientist

https://www.muni.cz/en/about-us/careers/vacancies/61774

Deadline: 30 April 2021

4) Social scientist focusing on social network analysis

https://www.muni.cz/en/about-us/careers/vacancies/61454

Deadline: 17 May 2021

DISSINET studies the social, spatial, and discursive patterns of medieval dissidence and inquisition, especially through social network analysis, geospatial data analysis, and computational text analysis / NLP. Historians in the team transform medieval sources into rich structured data on human interactions in dissident religious cultures of the past, on inquisitorial trials, and on inquisitorial records. These data, with social networks ranging usually from ca. 30 to 1,000 persons, represent a rich source of information on pre-modern social interactions and allow us to test specific hypotheses derived from both social scientific and historical research, and theorize pre-modern social networks as well as the functioning of religion in Europe in the 13th to 16th centuries. The target volume of manually collected data is ca. 20,000 persons, 5,000 locations, 200,000 richly structured statements, and 2,000,000+ individual data points. Another extensive layer of data will be provided by natural language processing.

Job Helsinki: archaeological network research

The Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires or ANEE (https://www.helsinki.fi/anee) at the University of Helsinki is searching for a postdoctoral researcher in archaeological network analysis and modelling and/or Near Eastern archaeology for a fixed term of 18 months.

Application deadline: 30 April.

Apply here: https://www2.helsinki.fi/en/open-positions/postdoctoral-researcher-in-archaeological-network-analysis

Via the University of Helsinki:

The Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires or ANEE (https://www.helsinki.fi/anee) at the University of Helsinki is a cross-disciplinary research centre that focuses on how changing imperial dynamics impact social group identities and lifeways during the first millennium BCE.

Founded in 1640, the University of Helsinki (www.helsinki.fi/en) is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It operates on four campuses in Helsinki and at 15 other locations. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities in Europe and ranks among the top 100 international universities in the world. The University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity.

With almost 40 current members, ANEE offers a dynamic and stimulating research community on the Ancient Near East, with specialists in Near Eastern and Classical archaeology, Assyriology, ancient history, archaeological sciences, heritage studies, Biblical studies, museum studies, and language technology. In terms of empires, our researchers cover the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, and Parthian Empires. ANEE engages with methodologically varied yet integrated research on the long-term processes by which social group identities and lifeways were negotiated. Taken together, the innovations of ANEE are the integrated longue durée approach and the methodological innovativeness of each team (both separately and in collaboration).

ANEE invites applications for

A POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER (1)

in archaeological network analysis and modelling and/or Near Eastern archaeology for a fixed term of 18 months, preferably starting on 1 Sept 2021, with a possibility of up to 12 months extension. 

The successful candidate’s research projects will focus on the tasks and goals of ANEE’s Team 3 “Material Culture and Community Heritage”. The appointed postdoctoral researcher will have proven expertise in at least one of the areas of interest of ANEE, but as the centre is deeply multidisciplinary, competence in more than one field and/or proof of successful scientific collaboration will be considered an advantage. The appointee will focus on analysing archaeological settlement data from the southern Levant through computational approaches, with a focus on the area of northern Jordan and northern Israel, and with an emphasis on Iron Age, Persian and Hellenistic data. Their main duties will include full-time research in collecting and analysing said data in collaboration with other ANEE members, presenting their research in international conferences and peer-reviewed journals, and contributing to organizing of archaeological fieldwork and workshops. Other tasks related to working in a research community, such as teaching or supervising PhD students, are also involved.

Team 3 “Material Culture and Community Heritage” utilizes a material culture perspective to investigate the dialectics of empire in ancient local communities inhabiting the imperial fringes, and seeks to provide a sustainable future for this heritage through local engagement. The team is led by Dr. Antti Lahelma (antti.lahelma@helsinki.fi). For more information on Team 3, see https://www.helsinki.fi/en/researchgroups/ancient-near-eastern-empires/r…. For more information on the three teams and the work packages, please the ANEE website.

QUALIFICATIONS

We are looking for a researcher with strong experience in archaeological network analysis and modelling, preferably using data from the Ancient Near East or similar situations involving complex societies. The selected person should have knowledge of both the sociological tradition of network analysis, as well as computational network science, and this expertise should be demonstrated e.g. in the form of peer-reviewed publications or theses. Proven computer skills, particularly with regard to GIS and analysing remote sensing data, are necessary for the position. Prior knowledge of Near Eastern archaeology is desirable, but not absolutely necessary if the applicant otherwise has excellent skills and has worked with analysing archaeological settlement data.

An appointee to the position of postdoctoral researcher must hold a doctoral degree in a relevant field. The year of graduation and previous postdoctoral experience do not exclude the applicant from consideration. The appointee must have the ability to conduct independent scientific research, and possess the teaching skills required for the position. Teaching or teaching-related tasks will form 5-10 % of the position. The candidate should have a proven capability to publish in scientific journals, have excellent analytical and methodological skills, and be able to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary scientific community. The successful candidates are expected to have excellent skills in written and oral English. For research purposes, skills in Arabic or Hebrew are considered an advantage. Skills in Finnish or Swedish are not required. The candidate is expected to move to Finland for the duration of the post.

WHAT WE OFFER

We are an equal opportunity employer and offer an attractive and diverse workplace in an inspiring environment with a variety of development opportunities and benefits. ANEE is functioning in the Faculty of Arts (Teams 1 and 3) and in the Faculty of Theology (Team 2), both located in the City Centre Campus in the historic centre of Helsinki. 

Finland is a member of the European Union, has high quality free schooling (also in English), generous family benefits and healthcare, and was recently ranked as the best country in the world for expatriate families. Helsinki also constantly ranks among the world’s top ten most livable cities. Finland and the Helsinki region possess top expertise in sciences in terms of a vibrant talent pool, leading research, strong support services and functioning collaboration networks. For more information about working at the University of Helsinki and living in Finland, please see https://www.helsinki.fi/en/university/working-at-the-university.

The starting salary of the postdoctoral researcher will be EUR 3,480–3,660 per month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. Furthermore, the University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. Relocation costs related to moving to Finland can be negotiated, and ANEE will offer help and information for the practicalities, if needed.

HOW TO APPLY

Applications should consist of the following English-language documents:

(1) Motivation letter (max. 1 page) highlighting research accomplishments and including contact information for two referees.
(2) Select publications or theses (PDF files, max. 3) demonstrating expertise in the field of archaeological network analysis.
(3) CV (max. 4 pages) and a full list of publications.

Professional references or recommendations should not be included. Applicants who are selected for an interview may be asked to provide professional references.

Further information on the position may be obtained from the team leader (antti.lahelma(at)helsinki.fi) or the director Saana Svärd (saana.svard(at)helsinki.fi).

Please submit your application, together with the required attachments, through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link Apply for job. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to send their application via the SAP HR portal. Deadline for applications is 30th of April, 2021.

If you need assistance with the University’s electronic recruitment system or SAP HR portal, please contact rosa.beckmann(at)helsinki.fi. 

Due date

30.04.2021 23:59 EEST

Stanford lecture simulating Roman economies: register now

Want to hear how I simulate Romans? Then consider attending my lecture at Stanford’s Humanities Center, Data Scarcity Workshop. It’s at 10am pacific time, 7pm CET where I am in Europe.

You can register to attend for free via this link: https://stanford.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEtduuprj4jHdUWCtvyW0t8YJ6wcBz_DX0P

And here’s what I will talk about 🙂

Simulating Roman Economies

Computational modelling and especially agent-based modelling (ABM) has been applied in Roman Studies to explore phenomena as diverse as the structure of Roman social networks, the supply of troops on the Limes, flows on the Roman transport system, and the agricultural productivity of regions. This paper will argue that Roman Studies should add modelling approaches as tools of the trade, and will reflect on the potential and challenges of doing so.

The arguments will be illustrated through examples from studies of the Roman economy and my personal experiences as a romanist modeler. I will focus in particular on attempts at explaining the changing distribution patterns of tableware in the eastern Mediterranean. What explanatory factors might be key drivers of this change: the structuring effect of social networks on the flow of information, transport costs, differences in urban population size, the economic strategies of tableware salespeople? A set of increasingly elaborate computational models will be presented to explore the explanatory potential of these factors.

Tom Brughmans is an associate professor at the Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) and Classical Archaeology. His research interests include the study of Roman economic and urban phenomena, past social networks, and visual signalling systems. He performs much of his work by applying computational methods such as network science, agent-based simulation and geographical information systems. His research projects MERCURY and SIMREC developed educational resources and case studies to make simulation studies of the Roman economy more common (Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship and Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship). His ongoing project MINERVA aims to develop a highly detailed network model of the Roman road system, and perform simulation experiments to explore the centuries-long distribution patterns revealed by Roman tableware and amphora data.

Job graduate assistant: network approach to Magdalenian social landscapes

The following Graduate Assistant post on an archaeological network research project at University of North Carolina at Greensboro might be of interest to readers of this blog.

Full details and application link.

Requisition NumberGA00167
Position TitleGraduate Assistant-Social Network Analysis
Position EclassGF – Graduate Flat Pay
Position SummaryThe term Graduate Assistant is the umbrella term that encompasses all types of GA appointments. Graduate Assistants are employed by the University to teach, conduct research, or assist with administrative duties in departments and non-academic units. Every attempt is made to assign Graduate Assistants to positions that are directly related to the student’s field of study or that provide the opportunity to develop transferable, professional skills. Graduate Assistantships are assigned in the department or unit and confirmed by the Graduate School.
Additional DetailsAn NSF-funded archeology project (Title: A network approach to Magdalenian social landscapes) seeks a GA. The project will use Social Network Analysis to examine the distribution of objects of personal ornamentation at the end of the last Ice Age in western and central Europe, ~18,000 to 12,000 years ago. This time period, referred to as the Magdalenian, witnessed both a rapid expansion of human populations from core areas after the last Ice Age and the creation and circulation of an unprecedented abundance and diversity of engraved artifacts. The research team, which includes archaeologists, paleoclimatologists, and computer scientists from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Arizona State University, and Histria Cultural Resource Consulting, will (1) assemble a database of ~200 digital images of these engraved artifacts; (2) construct an open-access, web-based application that uses machine learning and clustering algorithms to identify stylistic patterns among the digital representations of the artifacts; and (3) develop custom plugins for an open-source Social Network Analysis platform to produce visual representations of, and quantitative descriptors for, Magdalenian social networks at multiple scales. Ultimately, the project will explore how geography, environmental uncertainty, population density, and social cooperation/competition influenced how Magdalenian peoples used material culture to construct social networks and navigate the rapidly changing environments of post-glacial Europe.GA Responsibilities
• Design and implement social network analysis algorithms (e.g., clustering and connectivity analysis) based on the extracted features of the artifact images.
• Maintain project data and materials on a server
• Develop and maintain the project’s website and troubleshoot for website users
• Write technical reports and academic papers based on project data
• Present project results at professional conferences
• Collaborate with the faculty and students in the research group
• Other duties as assignedTime Commitment
The position will begin in Spring of 2022. Beginning Spring of 2022 and running through Fall of 2023, the time commitment will be 20 hours/week (including the 2022 and 2023 summer sessions). Specific working hours will be determined in coordination with the Principal Investigators of the project.Compensation*
The position will be compensated $12,000 per academic year and $3,000 for each of the 2022 and 2023 summer sessions for a total of $15,000 per year. The position will also receive a tuition waiver.*Compensation is contingent on final approval from NSF, which is fully expected to occur.
Minimum QualificationsTo be eligible for appointments as a graduate assistant, you must:
• Maintain academic good standing at all times (3.0).
• Be enrolled full-time, which is generally a minimum of 9 credits. 
• Make satisfactory progress toward your degree as defined by your academic program and the Graduate School.
• Meet the requirements to be eligible for employment in the U.S.
Additional Minimum QualificationsTo be eligible for appointments as a GA, you must:
• Apply and be admitted to the MS Program in Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (https://compsci.uncg.edu/graduate/general-information/)Skills and Qualifications
• Well-developed programming skills
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Familiarity with Social Network Analysis preferred
• Undergraduate degree in anthropology, archaeology, or sociology preferred
• Research experience preferred
Special Instructions to ApplicantsDocuments
Required Documents for the MS Program in Computer Science
• Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
• Evidence of English proficiency for non-native English speakersAdditional Documents for the GA Position
• CV/Resume
• Letter of interest
• Contact information for three referencesDeadline
All application materials must be submitted by July 1, 2021.Contact Information
For questions regarding admission to the MS Program in Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, please contact Dr. Shan Suthaharan (s_suthah@uncg.edu). For questions regarding the GA position, please contact the project PI, Dr. Charles Egeland (cpegelan@uncg.edu)
Number of Months per Year12
Org #-DepartmentAnthropology – 12202
Posting Begin Date02/12/2021
Posting Close Date06/30/2021
Open Until FilledNo

Save the date: The Connected Past 2021 Aarhus

Interested in archaeological or historical networks? If you landed on this blog, you probably are. The Connected Past is our long-standing inter-disciplinary community for all those who share these interests. This year the conference will take place at Aarhus University on 29-30 September 2021 in a hybrid format. We have an awesome group of 25 papers on a wide range of topics lined up, and a keynote presentation by Joan Anton Barceló.

So put the dates in your calendar and watch this space for more news. We hope to open registration in a few months, and will provide more information on the conference format closer to the date.

Website

Abstracts

#TCPAarhus

September 29-30 2021, Aarhus University

Artefactual Intelligence

Preceded by a two-day workshop 27-28 September (more information to follow).

Schedule to be announced

Read the abstracts for the 25 accepted presentations here.

Keynote speaker is Juan Barceló on Artificial Intelligence in archaeology. 

Computational models used by archaeologists are becoming increasingly complex. We create and tackle ever larger datasets, include more parameters and make machines learn by themselves. Recent approaches to network theory in archaeology, and the historical sciences more generally, have embraced agents, agency and practice theory. But where does this leave objects? Since the earliest days of the discipline, objects have been at the core of the archaeologist’s enquiry. However, until recently, objects were left heavily undertheorised. With the advance of object-related theories, such as ANT or the New Materialism approaches, agency is extended not just to humans but to the objects and materials they handle as well. Does this mean that digital archaeologists and historians are to move from Artificial Intelligence to Artifactual Intelligence? And if so, how? 

Being a community of scholars interested in recent theoretical and methodological innovations in archaeology and the historical sciences, the Connected Past Conference provides a forum for presenting and discussing ongoing work on the intersection between archaeology,  history, digital approaches and theory. The conference will be preceded by a two-day practical workshop (limited capacity, open call for participants to follow soon). 

This year’s conference focuses specifically on the topic of artefacts, human and material agency, artificial and artefactual intelligence and their place within archaeological and historical network studies. In addition, we also welcome presentations on any topic related to archaeological or historical network research and complexity science. 

Conference organisers:

Lieve Donnellan 
Rubina Raja 
Søren Sindbæk 
Tom Brughmans 

Administrative support: 

Eva Mortensen

Get in touch! connectedpast2020@gmail.com

Schedule (to be announced)

Venue and attendance details (to be announced)

Travel and accommodation (to be announced)

Come work with me :) 2-year full-time Postdoc Roman roads

I am really excited to advertise the first postdoc position on my new project MINERVA! 😀

Aarhus is a beautiful place, our university and centre are world-class inspiring research environments, and the MINERVA team and project are AWESOME 🙂 So if you’re into Roman roads and looking for a postdoc, do consider applying and feel free to get in touch with me (please note all applications need to go through the university’s application system to qualify). You’ll be collaborating a lot with the amazing Pau de Soto and his project Viator-e.

Deadline for application: 30th of March 2021
Planned starting date: 1st of September 2021
Job details and how to apply

More about the job and the project:

The School of Culture and Society, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University invites applications for a two-year postdoctoral position at the Centre for Urban Network Evolutions. The position is full-time and is expected to begin on 1 September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Research context

The postdoc will be part of the research project ‘MINERVA: Understanding the centuries-long functioning of the Roman economy’, headed by Principal Investigator Associate Professor Tom Brughmans and funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF). MINERVA is an interdisciplinary project that draws on classical archaeology, network science and complex systems simulation.

The archaeology of the Roman Empire offers us a unique glimpse into the way in which large integrated economies can evolve over centuries. However, understanding how centuries-long economic changes emerge from the day-to-day behaviour of individuals requires new methods and vast amounts of data. This project will combine for the first time state-of-the art computer simulation techniques from complexity economics, the integration of newly available large ceramics evidence from hundreds of sites across the Empire needed to test hypotheses, and the first highly detailed model of the Roman road network offering the medium for flows of goods and information.

The position

We are looking for an intellectually flexible and dedicated researcher with a background in classical archaeology, ancient history or archaeology, preferably with a specialisation in the Roman Empire, and with strong interests in Roman roads and computational methods.

The successful applicant and the PI will share responsibility for Work Package 2 of the project, which aims at producing the first detailed open digital model of the Roman transport system and its changes throughout the Roman imperial period. The applicant will perform Roman road data collection for the eastern part of the Roman Empire, and add it to the linked open data platform Itiner-e (this is the main task of the post). This work will be supervised by the PI and Dr. Pau de Soto (ICAC Tarragona, expert in Roman road data collection) whose project Viator-e collects roads data for the western part of the empire (Viator-e and MINERVA are collaborative projects). Together with the PI and Dr Pau de Soto, the successful applicant will develop the resulting data into a transport system model, using GIS to derive transport costs and speeds, and estimate financial expenses of travelled distance. He/she will work collaboratively on the creation of a linked open dataset of Roman roads, and is expected to collaborate on disciplinary and interdisciplinary publications with MINERVA team members on the topic of Roman roads and the Roman economy. The successful applicant needs good social and communication skills in order to engage in cross-disciplinary cooperation with project team members and establish external collaborations.

The successful applicant will be based in Aarhus at the Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), Moesgård Allé, 8270 Højbjerg.

The successful applicant will be expected to:

  • Develop their research within the framework provided by the project MINERVA, in cooperation with the PI
  • Oversee the project’s road data collection, in cooperation with the PI
  • Perform research visits at the University of Oxford and other institutions, to support data collection
  • Pursue data collection, preparation, analysis and storage following FAIR principles
  • Work both independently and collaboratively with the PI, experts and other postdocs from other disciplines, in particular classical studies, archaeology, computer science and history, with a view to presenting and discussing empirical data, ideas and results
  • Present their research at international meetings and publish results in peer-reviewed, international scientific journals
  • Contribute to the organisation of research workshops and an international conference hosted by MINERVA towards the middle of the postdoc period
  • Teach at BA and/or MA level (maximum 20%, by agreement, in English or Danish)

Teaching

The position will involve limited teaching (maximum 20%), as agreed upon with the Head of the Department and the project PI.

Knowledge exchange

The successful applicant will be expected to exchange knowledge with various sectors of society and to contribute actively to public debate in areas related to the position. In particular, he/she will be encouraged to contribute to knowledge exchange opportunities at Aarhus University (in particular UrbNet and Classical Archaeology), and to present at international inter-disciplinary conferences.

Qualifications

Applicants must hold a PhD degree or equivalent qualifications in classical archaeology, archaeology, history, geography, network science, economic history or similar subject fields.

Applicants must be able to document a relevant research profile of high research quality.

Applicants must also document:

  • Research experience of studying the archaeology or history of the Roman imperial period
  • A strong interest in or expertise in Roman roads
  • Experience of publication-based data collection in classical archaeology or archaeology
  • Experience of using GIS for landscape archaeology
  • Familiarity with databases, statistics and network methods
  • An interest in developing computational skills (including GIS, linked open data, statistics, network science, simulation)
  • An interest in collaborative, interdisciplinary work. Applicants need good social and communication skills in order to engage in cross-disciplinary cooperation with project team members and establish external collaborations
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • It will be regarded as an advantage if applicants can document language skills apart from English (in particular French, German, Arabic or Turkish), giving them access to literature and helping them to communicate with international colleagues

Applications must be uploaded in English.

Applicants must submit:

  • A concise statement of their motivation for applying for the position (maximum two pages)
  • A CV (maximum four pages)
  • A maximum of five publications. Please note that only submitted publications will be assessed: a list of publications is not sufficient. Applications to which no publications are attached will not be assessed
  • For further details on what to upload please read our ‘Formalities’ below.

The research activities will be evaluated in relation to the actual research time. We therefore encourage applicants to specify any periods of leave they may have had without research activities (e.g. maternity/paternity leave), so we can subtract these periods from the span of their academic career when evaluating their productivity.

Professional references or recommendations should not be included. Applicants who are selected for an interview may be asked to provide professional references.

For further information about the position and project MINERVA, please contact the Principal Investigator Tom Brughmans by email: t.b@cas.au.dk

For more information about the application please contact HR supporter Marianne Birn, e-mail mbb@au.dk.

The university is keen for its staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified applicants, regardless of their personal background.

The work environment

The Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet).
The Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) was founded in 2015 as a groundbreaking archaeological research initiative exploring the evolution of urbanism and urban networks from the Hellenistic Period to the Middle Ages. The centre is based at Aarhus University, School of Culture and Society, and is funded as a Centre of Excellence by the Danish National Research Foundation.

UrbNet aims to compare the archaeology of urbanism from medieval Northern Europe to the ancient Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean World, and determine how – and to what extent – urban networks catalysed societal and environmental expansions and crises in the past. The centre is firmly rooted in the humanities but enjoys close, collaborative ties with the natural sciences.

UrbNet aims to advance the understanding of the historical process of urban evolution, and it does so by developing the ability of archaeology to characterise the scale and pace of events and processes. Recently developed scientific techniques afford the potential for archaeology to refine the precision of dates, contexts and provenance ascribed to excavated materials. UrbNet’s key ambition has been to integrate these new forms of data as a new, high-definition approach to the study of global and interregional dynamics.
UrbNet’s work comprises projects that intersect questions and problems concerning urban development and networks in the regions from Northern Europe via the Levant to the East Coast of Africa. It involves elaborate work on empirical material from a number of existing excavation projects, and the centre aims to make substantial contributions to theoretical and methodological developments in the field.
Read more (UrbNet).

School of Culture and Society

At the School of Culture and Society the object of research and teaching is the interplay between culture and society in time and space:

–  From the traditional disciplines of the humanities and theology to applied social research
–  From Antiquity to the issues facing contemporary societies
–  From local questions to global challenges

The school’s goal is to produce compelling research with an international resonance, as well as offering teaching and talent development of high quality. The school has a broad cooperative interface with society, both in Denmark and abroad, and contributes to social innovation, research communication and further and continuing education. 

Qualification requirements

Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent academic qualifications.

Formalities

Faculty of Arts refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities (the Appointment Order).

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here: https://talent.au.dk/junior-researcher-development-programme/

If nothing else is noted, applications must be submitted in English. Application deadline is at 11.59 pm Danish time (same as Central European Time) on the deadline day.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal bagground.

Shortlists are prepared with the candidates that have been selected for a detailed academic assessment. A committee set up by the head of school is responsible for selecting the most qualified candidates. See this link for further information about shortlisting at the Faculty of Arts: shortlisting

Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts is one of five main academic areas at Aarhus University.
The faculty contributes to Aarhus University’s research, talent development, knowledge exchange and degree programmes.
With its 550 academic staff members, 275 PhD students, 9,500 BA and MA students, and 1,500 students following continuing/further education programmes, the faculty constitutes a strong and diverse research and teaching environment.
The Faculty of Arts consists of the School of Communication and Culture, the School of Culture and Society and the Danish School of Education. Each of these units has strong academic environments and forms the basis for interdisciplinary research and education.
The faculty’s academic environments and degree programmes engage in international collaboration and share the common goal of contributing to the development of knowledge, welfare and culture in interaction with society.
Read more at arts.au.dk/en

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University’s website.

Job: 9 month postdoc network modelling Neolithic

A 9-month position on a CNRS project based in Bordeaux, looking for someone with network skills.

Deadline: 15 March

Access the full job post here.

Informations générales

Référence : UMR5199-SOLRIG-006
Lieu de travail : PESSAC
Date de publication : lundi 22 février 2021
Type de contrat : CDD Scientifique
Durée du contrat : 9 mois
Date d’embauche prévue : 1 avril 2021
Quotité de travail : Temps complet
Rémunération : salaire mensuel brut entre 2 648 et 3 768 euros (en fonction de l’expérience)
Niveau d’études souhaité : Doctorat
Expérience souhaitée : Indifférent

Missions

La mobilité humaine est un facteur clé pour la propagation des gènes et des cultures, mais elle les affecte de différentes manières. Alors que les gènes se propagent exclusivement par les mouvements de personnes, les traits culturels peuvent se transmettre indépendamment et sur de longues distances par interaction culturelle. L’objectif de ce projet postdoctoral est d’explorer la co-évolution gène-culture en Europe lors de la transition vers l’agriculture en utilisant une nouvelle approche qui permettra d’estimer conjointement la mobilité humaine et la diffusion de la culture matérielle d’un point de vue tant génétique qu’archéologique.
Le projet repose sur l’hypothèse que les sociétés mobiles sont caractérisées par une isolation par la distance relativement faible, tandis que les groupes moins mobiles seront structurés géographiquement. Il est également fondé sur l’idée largement acceptée selon laquelle les similitudes dans la culture matérielle résultent d’interactions répétées entre individus et groupes, favorisées par la mobilité individuelle, l’échange de biens, d’information sociale, de connaissances sur les techniques et des symboles. En d’autres termes, plus la culture matérielle est similaire, plus les liens qui unissent les groupes sont resserrés.
Le rôle de la géographie dans la limitation ou l’amélioration des interactions et des mouvements des populations passées est un facteur majeur à prendre en compte. Le rôle de la distance géographique et des barrières dans la diffusion des traits culturels et des groupes sera étudié dans le but d’évaluer dans quelle mesure la géographie est un facteur conditionnant la diffusion des personnes, des savoir-faire, des symboles et des idées. Les individus peuvent être plus ou moins isolés dans les paysages et ne pas choisir un seul itinéraire optimal en raison de plusieurs facteurs culturels intrinsèques mais aussi externes (disponibilité des ressources….). Plusieurs méthodes, least cost path modeling, resistance distance (McRae et al., 2008), peuvent être utilisées pour explorer la connectivité entre les groupes. 
Cependant, la relation entre la proximité spatiale, culturelle et sociale peut ne pas expliquer à elle seule la géographie culturelle et les contacts entre les groupes, mais la structure du réseau lui-même peut avoir un impact sur les variabilités inter sites. Les méthodes basées sur les réseaux telles que l’analyse des réseaux sociaux (SNA) sont des outils précieux pour documenter et analyser les relations entre les sites archéologiques en fonction de divers attributs culturels. L’accent mis sur les communautés passées dans une perspective de réseaux s’est avéré utile pour aborder un large éventail de questions de recherche, y compris la diffusion et l’adaptation des innovations (Hart et Engelbrecht 2012), les systèmes de croyance (Erickson 1988), l’échange (Markovsky et al.1988) et mobilité (Birch et Hart 2018). La documentation de ces processus est essentielle pour comprendre la diffusion des technologies agricoles.
Dans ce projet, nous souhaitons analyser des données génétiques et archéologiques conjointement et avec des méthodologies comparables. Nous nous concentrerons sur l’Europe à l’aube de l’agriculture, il y a environ 7500 ans, une période et une région pour lesquelles des données génétiques, ainsi que des données sur la culture matérielle, sont disponibles pour les derniers chasseurs-cueilleurs et les premiers agriculteurs. L’ensemble de données génétiques comprend des centaines d’échantillons publiés provenant de toute l’Europe pour la période cible, incluant des données génomiques, mitochondriales et du chromosome Y. L’ensemble des données archéologiques est composé d’une base de données géoréférencée actualisée des objets de parure produits par les derniers chasseurs-cueilleurs et les premiers agriculteurs d’Europe, couvrant 48 cultures archéologiques et recensant des centaines de types de perles différentes provenant de plus de mille sépultures et niveaux archéologiques répartis dans toute l’Europe.
L’analyse combinée de ces ensembles de données permettra de déterminer si les frontières culturelles limitaient les flux de gènes et ralentissaient la propagation du Néolithique dans certaines régions.

Our new publication in JAMT: over half a million pot sherds from Jerash and simulation

Really delighted to announce that our latest paper was recently published open access online in the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. It’s the result of years of collaborating between excavators, ceramics specialists and simulation experts. We analysed over half a million ceramics sherds from Jerash (ancient Gerasa, in Jordan), and identified that over 99% of the stuff was locally produced. What really excited me in this collaboration was the discrepancy between this proportion and the tendency for classical archaeologists (including myself) to always focus on imports.

Read the open access paper here.

The proportion of locally produced, regional and imported pottery for (left: ‘total’) all excavated ceramics (n = 625,063; excludes 133,584 topsoil entries), (middle) three securely dated trenches closed by the earthquake event of AD 749 (K n = 10 006; P n = 2184; V n = 10 614) and (right) three trenches consisting of ancient olive oil press installations filled in with ceramics (B n = 58 751; J n = 144 390; N n = 71 555)

Caption feature image: The Jerash Northwest Quarter excavations with trench letters (© Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project)

Why are there so many locally produced ceramics in Jerash, and so few regional and imported ones? This new publication quantitatively analyses the more than half a million sherds that were recorded by the Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project, and discusses different answers to this question. I applies innovative simulation techniques to evaluate whether personal preference for local Jerash products might have played a role. The result? The authors show that three ways of conceptualising preference for the local product might explain the ceramic data pattern, but other theories of preference are less good explanations.

Abstract

The Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project revealed a robust and striking pattern of the extreme dominance (>99%) of locally produced ceramics over six centuries and across different depositional contexts (in total over half a million pottery sherds). The archaeology of Jerash points towards an exceptional degree of self-sufficiency in craft products: why? The project team implemented a full quantification approach during excavation, manually and digitally recording and counting all pottery and other classes of artefacts. This enabled a full analysis of trends in production and use of ceramics throughout the archaeologically documented history of Jerash and revealed the unexpected pattern of the extreme dominance of local pottery. Archaeologists formulated a set of hypotheses to explain this pattern, and we developed an agent-based model of simple customer preference driving product distribution to evaluate several explanatory factors and their potential interactions. Our simulation results reveal that preference for locally produced ceramics at Jerash might be a plausible theory, but only if its intrinsic value was considered rather high in comparison to other goods, or if it was preferred by a majority of the population, and there was a tendency to follow this majority preference (or a combination of these factors). Here, we present a complete research pipeline of a full quantification of ceramics, analysis and modelling applicable at any archaeological site. We argue that transparent methods are necessary at all stages of an archaeological project: not only for data collection, management and analysis but also in theory development and testing. By focusing on a common archaeological material and by leveraging a range of widely available computational tools, we are able to better understand local and intra-regional distribution patterns of craft products in Jerash and in the ancient eastern Mediterranean.

Results of different simulation experimental setups. Each boxplot represents how close the simulated proportions of local, regional and imported ceramics are to the archaeologically observed ceramics (100 repetitions; 500 time steps; 100 agents)

Submit your paper to CAA, deadline Monday

The CAA is my favourite conference 🙂 And it will be hosted online from Cyprus this year. The deadline to submit your papers is Monday the 1st of March. So go ahead and submit those excellent papers on computational archaeology. You can find the full list of 35 sessions here, covering all possible topics. And I want to point out the following two sessions in particular:

S28. Computational modelling in archaeology: methods, challenges and applications (Standard)

S18. Urban Complexity in Settlements and Settlement Systems of the Mediterranean (Standard)

S28. Computational modelling in archaeology: methods, challenges and applications (Standard)

Convenor(s):
Iza Romanowska, Aarhus University
Colin D. Wren, University of Colorado
Stefani A. Crabtree, Utah State University 

The steady stream of publications involving archaeological computational models is a clear sign of the discipline’s dedication to the epistemological turn towards formal theory building and testing. Where hypotheses used to be generated verbally in natural language as possible explanations, they are now increasingly often expressed as GIS, agent-based modelling (ABM) or statistical models and meticulously tested against data. The session will showcase the breadth of applications, the ingenuity of researchers deploying new or adapted methods and the depth of insight gained thanks to computational modelling.

With increasing numbers of archaeologists becoming proficient in computer programming it seems that some of the technical and training-related hurdles are being overcome. In general, while some methods in archaeological computational modelling are well established and widely deployed, others (e.g., ABM) are still an emerging subfield with many exciting and fresh applications. 

 We will structure the session upon the three major questions: :

  • The current landscape of computational modelling: what are the strong versus the weak areas? Are certain topics, time periods, types of questions more often modelled than others? If so, why is that?
  • Potential areas for growth: what are the obvious methodological and archaeological directions for computational modelling? Are technical skills still an impediment for a wider adoption?
  • Disciplinary best practice: the need for open science is well recognised among computational archaeologists, but are there other ways in which we can make it easier for members of other branches of archaeology to engage with the computational modelling?

We invite archaeological modellers to present their current case studies, discuss new methods and issues they have encountered as well as their thoughts on the role of computational modelling in general archaeological practice. Computational modelling is meant broadly here as any digital technologies that enable the researcher to represent a real-world system to test hypotheses regarding past human behaviour. 

S18. Urban Complexity in Settlements and Settlement Systems of the Mediterranean (Standard)

Convenor(s):
Katherine A. Crawford, Arizona State University
Georgios Artopoulos, The Cyprus Institute 
Eleftheria Paliou, University of Cologne 
Iza Romanowska, Aarhus University

The application of quantitative methods to the study of ancient cities and settlement networks has seen increased interest in recent years. Advances in data collection, the use of and integration of diverse big datasets, data analytics including network analysis, computation and the application of digital and quantitative methods have resulted in an increasingly diverse number of studies looking at past cities from new perspectives (e.g. Palmisano et al. 2017; Kaya and Bölen 2017; Fulminante 2019-21). This barrage of new methods, many grounded in population-level systemic thinking, but also some coming from the individual, agent-based perspective enabled researchers to investigate the structural properties and mechanisms driving complex socio-natural systems, such as past cities and towns (e.g. MISMAS; The CRANE Project; Carrignon et al. 2020). These advances have recently opened new possibilities for the study of cities and settlement systems of the Mediterranean, an area with some of the longest known records of urban occupation that could be key for studying a wide range of urban complexity topics (e.g. Lawrence et al. 2020) .

This session invites papers that deal with the applications of computational and digital methodologies, including agent-based modelling, network analysis, urban scaling, gravity and spatial interaction models, space syntax, GIS, and data mining. We look for a diverse range of studies on the interactions between cities, complex meshworks of information flow, simulations of social and socio-natural activities, as well as analyses of groups of cities and their environment (the ecosystem of resources) in the Mediterranean basin. We are especially interested in papers that use agent-based modelling to adopt a comparative and diachronic perspective to studying transformations and transitions of urban and settlement systems and works that focus on the area of Eastern Mediterranean, in particular. Potential topics of consideration include but are not limited to:

  • Settlement persistence,
  • Multi-scale spatial patterns within urban complexes and across settlements,
  • Inter and/or intra urban settlement dynamics & interactions,
  • Transitions and diachronic transformations of urban/settlement patterns,
  • Urban network interactions and modelling,
  • Urban-environmental processes; the impact of climate disturbances on cities and their resources,
  • Formal analysis of cities development of time,
  • Processes involved in urban centres formation and abandonment.

References:

S. Carrignon, T. Brughmans, I. Romanowska, (2020). Tableware trade in the Roman East: Exploring cultural and economic transmission with agent-based modelling and approximate Bayesian computation. PLoS ONE, 15, (11), e0240414. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0240414

F. Fulminante (ed), (2019-21). Research Topic: Where Do Cities Come From and Where Are They Going To? Modelling Past and Present Agglomerations to Understand Urban Ways of Life. Frontiers in Digital Humanities https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/7460/where-do-cities-come-from-and-where-are-they-going-to-modelling-past-and-present-agglomerations-to-u#overview

H. Serdar Kaya and Fulin Bölen, (2017). ‘Urban DNA: Morphogenetic Analysis of Urban Pattern’, International Journal of Architecture & Planning, (5), 1, 10-41. DOI: 10.15320/ICONARP.2017.15

D. Lawrence, M. Altaweel, and G. Philip, (2020). New Agendas in Remote Sensing and Landscape Archaeology in the Near East: Studies in Honour of Tony J. Wilkinson. Oxford: Archaeopress.

A Palmisano, A. Bevan, and S. Shennan, (2017). Comparing archaeological proxies for long-term population patterns: An example from central Italy. Journal of Archaeological Science, (87), 59-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2017.10.001

Saad Twaissi, (2017). ‘The Source Of Inspiration Of The Plan Of The Nabataean Mansion At Az-Zantur Iv In Petra: A Space Syntax Approach’, Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, (17), 3, 97-119. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1005494

MISAMS (Modelling Inhabited Spaces of the Ancient Mediterranean Sea), https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/108224/en

The CRANE Project (Computational Research on the Ancient Near East) https://www.crane.utoronto.ca/

CFP: rooted cities, wandering gods

This conference will be of interest to readers of the blog. I do recommend submitting an abstract, it look like an exciting event with a great list of confirmed speakers already. Deadline March 20th.

Via the conference organisers:

Rooted Cities, Wandering Gods

Inter-Urban Religious Interactions

Planned dates: November 19th-20th, 2021 – Groningen

Organisers: Tom Britton & Adam Wiznura

(University of Groningen)

Cult, ritual and belief were crucial components of cohesive collective identities throughout the pre-modern world. Often religious practice is presented as unique, bound to the people and institutions of a single community, in service of such specific identities. Yet cities never existed in a vacuum – rather, urban societies underwent constant change brought on by movement and communication between and within their cities (Garbin & Strhan 2017). Forms and understandings of urbanity were transferred between sites through religious exchanges, often changing dramatically in the process, and their characteristics negotiated through dialogue, diplomacy, rivalry and warfare. How was religious practice bound to a single community, and when did it open up to foster regional cooperation? How could the gods of one city find resonance in another? Where could rituals and sacred sites become the focus of pilgrimage or competition? When were the institutions of a city dependent on recognition from its neighbours? Who set the boundaries of all this communication, and who contested them? This conference will explore religion as part of a web of interactions and a force for the refashioning of cities across the world, with a focus on the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East.

Looking at religion primarily as a social and ritual practice, the conference will examine the impact of religious interactions on urban memory, culture and identity across communities. It will encompass a wide range of religious activities, covering both the inter-urban networks of city-state societies and the connections between cities embedded in larger territorial states. Yet localised sub-communities within the urban frame were also key to establishing links between cities and at numerous scales. We will focus on the groups of worshippers themselves – how their structure and selfrepresentation defined engagement with the pilgrims, migrants, merchants, envoys and epistolaries who facilitated communication. Through these interactions, wider communities of practice were strung together across great distances, forming networks that both incorporated and transcended local identities.

Confirmed speakers for the conference so far include: Anna Collar (Southampton), Judy Barringer (Edinburgh), Matthias Haake (Münster), Sofia Kravaritou (Oxford), Rubina Raja (Aarhus), Ian Rutherford (Reading) and members of the project “Religion and Urbanity” (Erfurt).

We invite those interested in participating to submit papers exploring networks, movement, connectivity, religion and identity in an urban context. These should ask how interactions between cities shaped religious practice, and how cult and worship in turn affected communication. Topics may include, but are certainly not limited to:

● Pilgrimage – travel between cities for religious purposes, both by private individuals and organised by civic authorities. Who felt the need to travel in order to worship? How did this change their standing within urban communities? How did citizens facilitate and profit from the journeys of pilgrims?

● Materiality – the physical environment in which interactions took place, and the ways in which it might be differently experienced. Where were religious institutions situated in the urban landscape? How was “foreign” cultic material mapped on to the city?

● Identity – the reimagining of civic identities through religious interactions, and the creation of supra-civic communities of shared religious practice. When did new cults and ideas impact people’s self-perception as citizens and as worshippers? Did engagement with cult abroad threaten communal cohesion, or strengthen it?

● Communication – the use of shared places and practices of worship to circulate information among cities. How were political, philosophical and technological ideas transmitted and transformed through urban religion? Which interactions rested on common understandings of worship, and which required radically new ways of thinking?

We ask all those interested in contributing a paper to submit abstracts (300 words) for papers suitable for 30 minute presentations. Please send abstracts to:

rootedcities2021@gmail.com

The deadline for abstracts will be March 20th and notification of acceptance will be sent by early April. We would like to receive written drafts of papers soon after the conference as a resulting publication is envisaged, to appear in late 2022 or early 2023.

This conference takes place within the framework of the NWO project Connecting the Greeks at the University of Groningen (see connectingthegreeks.com). It is also held in conjunction with the “Religion and Urbanity: reciprocal formations” project at the University of Erfurt (see urbrel.hypotheses.org ).

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