Jobs: digital humanities research associates Florence

The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies seeks two Digital
Humanities Research Associates to join a research group working on semantically
enriched digital publications and historical spatio-temporal data.  Applicants
should have a background in Cultural Heritage Informatics and have experience in
semantic web technologies and standards (RDF, SPARQL, OWL), including data
modeling and transformation, preferably with the CIDOC-CRM and related
ontologies. Software development experience in Java and web application
development (Javascript, HTML5 etc.) highly preferred. Research Associates will
collaborate with humanities scholars and other Digital Humanities researchers to
implement a wide range of digital projects, including 3D reconstructions,
geospatial mapping of historical data, and the building of knowledge graphs from
scholarly publications and archival documents.

The appointment is for one year, renewable up to three. The stipend is $5,000
per month, plus a one-time supplement (maximum, $1,500) towards relocation
expenses. DH Research Associates are also offered lunch five days a week, the
computer hardware of their choice, as well as reimbursement for travel to
conferences where they represent institutional projects.

Applicants must be fluent in English. A PhD or Master’s degree in computer
science, library science, data science or other fields relevant to Digital
Humanities research is preferred.

Applicants should upload their CV and a cover letter outlining their research
interests and past experience. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis
and the positions will remain open until they are filled.

Click here to apply (

Roman studies does simulation now! Finding the limits of the limes

To say simulation is not a big thing in Roman studies is an understatement. Although the approach has become more popular in archaeology as a whole, the uptake in classical archaeology has been minimal. I’ve recently started collecting Roman formal modelling and simulation studies in an open Zotero bibliography, and could only find about 15.

All of this has changed now with the final open access publication of the project ‘Finding the limits of the Limes‘, edited by Philip Verhagen, Jamie Joyce and Mark Groenhuijzen. The 15 chapters in this book precisely double the number of Roman simulation studies! (in fact, quite a few of the original 15 were also by the hands of the editors)

Finding the limits of the limes was a pioneering project for Roman Studies. It used a tiny part of the Roman Empire, the Dutch Roman border region, as a testbed for a wealth of formal modelling and simulation approaches. The project bombarded the archaeology of the region with demographic models, network science, least-cost path modelling, predictive modelling, agricultural modelling, foraging models and much more formal goodness. The results are twofold: tested and refined hypotheses for a wide range of past social-natural phenomena in the study area, and examples of how modelling approaches that are commonly used in other disciplines can make constructive contributions to a wide range of phenomena in Roman Studies as well.

I am hopeful that this open access publication will reveal to students and early career researchers in Roman Studies that simulation is just one of those things they do now, alongside text criticism and ceramic analysis. I hope it will inspire them to explore other useful applications of the approaches showcased in this book. Roman Studies is blessed with a wealth of data that allows us to ask highly complex and important questions about the centuries-long history of a world power. Simulation and formal modelling has an important role to play in this. It allows us to specify our theories, to explore how well they are supported by data, to develop new theories and to focus our limited research resources on those theories that are most promising. I look forward to reading the contributions in this book more closely.

Access the entire book here for free.

This open access book demonstrates the application of simulation modelling and network analysis techniques in the field of Roman studies. It summarizes and discusses the results of a 5-year research project carried out by the editors that aimed to apply spatial dynamical modelling to reconstruct and understand the socio-economic development of the Dutch part of the Roman frontier (limes) zone, in particular the agrarian economy and the related development of settlement patterns and transport networks in the area. The project papers are accompanied by invited chapters presenting case studies and reflections from other parts of the Roman Empire focusing on the themes of subsistence economy, demography, transport and mobility, and socio-economic networks in the Roman period.

The book shows the added value of state-of-the-art computer modelling techniques and bridges computational and conventional approaches. Topics that will be of particular interest to archaeologists are the question of (forced) surplus production, the demographic and economic effects of the Roman occupation on the local population, and the structuring of transport networks and settlement patterns. For modellers, issues of sensitivity analysis and validation of modelling results are specifically addressed. This book will appeal to students and researchers working in the computational humanities and social sciences, in particular, archaeology and ancient history.

Discussion forum Bochum: ABM in archaeology

Via Maja Gori & Frederik Schaff

– with apologies for cross-posting –

We proudly announce the first Forum ReSoc “Agent-based Models in Archaeology: Are there Limits? featuring Edmund Chattoe-Brown (University of Leicester) and Marc Vander Linden (University of Cambridge) as key-note speakers.

What is the role of agent-based modelling for archaeology? How does ABM contribute to interdisciplinary work and vice versa, how do different practices in the disciplines affect the way in which ABM is practised?

Following two key-notes by Edmund Chattoe-Brown and Marc Vander Linden, a panel composed by Iza Romanowska (Barcelona Supercomputing Center), Maria Ivanova-Bieg (Heidelberg University) and Michael Roos (Ruhr-University Bochum) will discuss these issues together with the speakers. We also invite the audience to comment and ask questions.

The Forum will be moderated by Maja Gori & Frederik Schaff (Ruhr-University Bochum, ReSoc – Resources in Societies Leibniz Postdoctoral School).

We invite students and researchers of all disciplines as well as the general public to join the event in Bochum on March 21st! Please note that if you will not make it in person, you can watch the live stream of the event on YouTube.

More information at:

Twitter: @ReSocBochum 

See you in Bochum!

Maja Gori & Frederik Schaff

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