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,, 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)

Deadline: 30 April 2021

2) Geospatial data analyst

Deadline: 30 April 2021

3) Data scientist

Deadline: 30 April 2021

4) Social scientist focusing on social network analysis

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 ( 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:

Via the University of Helsinki:

The Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires or 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 ( 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


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 ( For more information on Team 3, see…. For more information on the three teams and the work packages, please the ANEE website.


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.


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

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.


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) or the director Saana Svärd (saana.svard(at)

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) 

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:

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.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑