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), MoesgÃ¥rd 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)


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.


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:

For more information about the application please contact HR supporter Marianne Birn, e-mail

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.


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:

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.

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


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