The Connected Past registration, PhD bursaries, and PhD school

Registration for The Connected Past conference is now open. Moreover, we will award bursaries to six excellent PhD students to attend the conference, and we announce a two-day PhD school and workshop preceding the conference.

The Connected Past conference will feature the best of archaeological and historical network research in 25 presentations and a keynote by Prof. Juan Barceló. The event will take place in-person on 29-30 September 2021 at Aarhus University (Denmark), but virtual attendance is possible (please register for virtual attendance). Registration open now.

We are also delighted to announce that bursaries to cover travel, accommodation and registration are available for six excellent PhD students attending The Connected Past conference in person. Please note that conference registration is a requirement for bursary applicants. Deadline: June 21st 2021 at 23:00 CET. Apply now! 

PhD students who plan to attend The Connected Past conference can register for free for a two-day PhD school (27-28 September 2021) awarding you 1.5 ECTS by Aarhus University. The PhD school will take place on Aarhus University’s Moesgaard Campus, but virtual participation is possible. This two-day workshop teaches you practical skills in network research for archaeologists and historians, with expert advice by practitioners. More information and registration

We hope to see many of you in lovely Aarhus!

The #TCPAarhus team

Tom Brughmans
Lieve Donnellan 
Rubina Raja 
Søren Sindbæk 

Job: senior lecturer Classical and Mediterranean studies Vanderbilt

Rolling deadline.

More info: https://jobs.chronicle.com/job/339032/senior-lecturer-in-classical-and-mediterranean-studies/

The Department of Classical and Mediterranean Studies invites applications for a full-time Lecturer for the 2021-22 academic year starting August 16, 2021.  Possibility of renewal conditional upon performance and enrollment. Responsibilities will include teaching 3 courses per semester. Applicants should be prepared to teach survey courses in Greek, Roman, Mediterranean civilization and/or in Greek myths, as well as introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses in Latin and Greek. Ph.D. and teaching experience are required. 

Dossiers should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, evidence of teaching excellence, a brief writing sample (20 pages) and three letters of recommendation. Candidates should apply via Interfolio at this link: http://apply.interfolio.com/86872 .   Review of applications will begin on 15 May 2021. 

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  Women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

New publication: sensitivity analysis in archaeological simulation

Read about the necessary but terrifying process of having our MERCURY model replicated. How robust were our previously published results? Hilde Kanters’ excellent work! With Iza Romanowska and myself.

Read the open access paper here https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X21001863

Jeroen Poblome and I published the MERCURY model in 2016 https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2016.35… We performed a selected set of experiments that allowed us to explore the model’s behaviour. But how robust were the results that we published there?

Our original experiments suggested that weak market integration (low availability of reliable non-local information), equal production capacities of pottery manufacturers, and equal demands at settlements throughout the roman world were unlikely to explain tableware distributions. We came to these conclusions by performing 34 experiments where we changed the relevant parameters of the MERCURY model that represented key explanatory factors. These experiment settings are shown in detail in our 2016 paper in JASSS: http://dx.doi.org/10.18564/jasss.2953

34 experiments is pretty good for an archaeological model, I tell myself. And certainly they suggest how the model behaves. But they do not reflect the full range of theoretically possible scenarios: we did not originally explore the full possible parameter space.

In comes the fantastic Hilde Kanters, who independently performed a replication of the MERCURY model in Repast Symphony (the original was coded in Netlogo) using only our publications. Her MSc thesis at Leiden University. Imagine my terror/excitement when I heard.

The replication study came to substantively the same conclusions as we did *massive sigh of relief* and made some very critical but constructive recommendations *massive collegial handshake*

This replication study is available open access https://studenttheses.universiteitleiden.nl/handle/1887/68248

The replication was made possible because not only did we publish the technical side of the model in detail in JASSS but mainly because we made the model code openly available on Comses OpenABM https://comses.net/codebases/4347/releases/1.1.0/

We were so impressed with Hilde Kanters’ work and delighted when the opportunity arose for her to do an internship in project MERCURY when I was at UBICS in Barcelona (such a great place to be as a complexity scientist). And Iza Romanowska luckily co-supervised this internship, which really set it up for excellent outputs. But what to do? I had loads of fun ideas to expand MERCURY: transport routes, equilibrium model, pots in spaaaaaaaaaice.

But in the end we knew we needed to do the responsible thing: check how robust the previously published results of MERCURY were by exploring the parameter space. We did a sensitivity analysis! See the results in our new paper in JASR. We now understand the model so much better, and I can be very confident of two key conclusions: the explanatory power of limited availability of reliable non-local information, and of strong differences in production capacity. But crucially, the sensitivity analysis also revealed I should be more cautious about the explanatory power of differences in demand throughout the Roman world: this was a new unexpected result, and will inform how I develop MERCURY in the future for sure.

Another thing that became painfully clear when working on this paper was the sad fact that ARCHAEOLOGISTS DON’T DO SENSITIVITY ANALYSES… But hey, we can help you on your way. We published a script for performing sensitivity analyses of ABM that can be reused by anyone, hurray! https://zenodo.org/record/4741208

Read more in the paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X21001863

Abstract

Computational modelling is increasingly gaining attention in archaeology and related disciplines. With the number of new models growing it is often difficult to evaluate their significance and the generality of the results. This is partially due to the narrow reporting of the model’s results, which are often limited to those directly relevant to the research question posed in the first place. Although this is not an issue per se, models, if explored exhaustively, can provide a much wider perspective on the studied system. Sensitivity analysis is a widely recognised model exploration method for assessing the importance of different parameters on the model’s behaviour. Such systematic exploration helps in unravelling the dynamics that drive the model and enable researchers to establish how robust the presented results are. Here we present a sensitivity analysis of MERCURY, a previously published archaeological agent-based model. The results show that two out of three of the original conclusions drawn on the basis of selective experiment design stand up to scrutiny. By describing in detail and providing a reusable script with detailed description of all steps of the sensitivity analysis we hope to promote this important model exploration technique among modellers and the wider archaeological audience.

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.

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