Tom’s Oxford mini-tour

oxfordOne of the awesome things about my job is that I get to travel around and talk to people about the stuff I love (read “bore people by ranting about a niche interest”). This week I am in Oxford and I will be giving two talks tomorrow (10 February 2016). So if you are in the neighbourhood and are prepared to be talked to about networks and Romans, come along!

At 1pm I will give a talk at the Institute of Archaeology as part of the Roman Discussion Forum seminar series. The talk is called “Introducing MERCURY: an agent-based network model of ceramic distribution for studying Roman economic integration”. You can get the slides here.

At 5pm I will give a talk at Corpus Christi college as part of their classics seminar series. The talk is called ” The potential of network science for archaeology illustrated through a network study of the Roman economy”. You can get the slides here.

Loads of networks in Oxford Classical seminar series


Classics and archaeology are fiercely complimentary disciplines and I love playing a balancing act between the two. This of course means: playing with networks by drawing on both written and textual sources of the ancient world. The use of network science in Classics is really taking off, as much as it is in Archaeology. This is reflected in work by Irad Malkin in his book ‘A Small Greek World‘ and by the HESTIA team including Elton Barker who just published a volume entitled ‘New Worlds from Old Texts‘. Both will present in the series, as will I. So do come along if you can.

When? Weekly 5pm, 27 January – 9 March 2016

Where? Corpus Christy College, Oxford (UK)

Networks in the Ancient World
27th January

Elton Barker (Open): Network thinking: textual maps, conceptual frameworks, scholarly practice


3rd February
Eivind Heldaas Seland (Bergen): Rome and the not so friendly king: The social networks of local rulers in the Roman Near East

10th February
Tom Brughmans (Konstanz): The potential of network science for archaeology illustrated through a network study of the Roman economy

17th February
William Mack (Birmingham): Social Networking for Poleis

24th February
Irad Malkin (Tel Aviv): title tbc

2nd March
John Tully (Cardiff): Social Proxenoi: SNA in the Hellenistic Cyclades

9th March
Esther Eidinow (Nottingham): ‘What Will You Give Me?’: Networks, Narratives and the Sacred

For a printable poster for the series or any other enquiries please contact:

Digital approaches and the ancient world


Classical studies, ancient history, classical archaeology: it can all do with more digital approaches! These are thriving disciplines that address challenging questions and through a wealth of diverse data types. But they are not always perceived as being on the forefront of theoretical and methodological innovations. Time to change that!

This themed issue of the Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies titled ‘Digital Approaches and the Ancient World’ promises to do just that. Consider sending in a paper by the deadline of January 31 2016.

*Digital Approaches and the Ancient World*
A themed issue of the _Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies_
Gabriel Bodard (University of London)
Yanne Broux (KU Leuven)
Ségolène Tarte (University of Oxford)
Call for papers:
We invite colleagues all around the world and at all stages of their careers to submit papers on the topic of “Digital Approaches and the Ancient World” to a themed issue of the Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies. The topic is to be construed as widely as possible, to include not only the history, archaeology, language, literature and thought of the ancient and late antique Mediterranean world, but also of antiquity more widely, potentially including, for example, South and East Asian, Sub-Saharan African or Pre-Columbian American history. Digital approaches may also vary widely, to include methodologies from the digital humanities and information studies, quantitative methods from the hard sciences, or other innovative and transdisciplinary themes.
Papers will be fully peer reviewed and selected for inclusion based not only on their research quality and significance, but especially on their ability to engage profoundly both with classics/history academic readers, and scholars from digital or informatic disciplines. We are keen to see papers that clearly lay out their disciplinary and interdisciplinary methodological approaches, and present and interpret the full range of scholarly and practical outcomes of their research.
We encourage the use of and direct reference to open online datasets in your papers. BICS is not currently an open access publication, but self-archiving of pre-press papers is permitted, and the editors believe in the transparency and accountability that comes with basing scientific work on open data.
To submit an article to this themed issue, please send your full paper of 4,000–8,000 words in Microsoft Word doc, docx or rtf format, to <>, along with a 150 word abstract, by January 31, 2016. You do not need to follow BICS style for the initial submission, but please note that the final version of accepted articles will need to be formatted to adhere to our style guide (
If you have any questions about this issue, please feel free to contact any of the editors informally.

CFP Digital Classicist Berlin

dcbTime for the next edition of Digital Classicists Berlin. The previous editions have attracted some great talks, most of which are available on the seminar’s website with slides and everything. It’s a great resource. So if you want to see your work up there, go and submit something by the 1 August deadline! Submit a talk using this form.
We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the third series of the Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin [1]. This initiative, inspired by and connected to London’s Digital Classicist Work in Progress Seminar [2], is organised in association with the German Archaeological Institute and the Excellence Cluster TOPOI. It will run during the winter term of the academic year 2014/15.
We invite submissions on any kind of research which employs digital methods, resources or technologies in an innovative way in order to enable a better or new understanding of the ancient world. We encourage contributions not only from Classics but also from the entire field of “Altertumswissenschaften”, to include the ancient world at large, such as Egypt and the Near East.
Themes may include digital editions, natural language processing, image processing and visualisation, linked data and the semantic web, open access, spatial and network analysis, serious gaming and any other digital or quantitative methods. We welcome seminar proposals addressing the application of these methods to individual projects, and particularly contributions which show how the digital component can facilitate the crossing of disciplinary boundaries and answering new research questions. Seminar content should be of interest both to classicists, ancient historians or archaeologists, as well as to information scientists and digital humanists, with an academic research agenda relevant to at least one of these fields.
Anonymised abstracts [3] of **300-500 words max.** (bibliographic references excluded) should be uploaded by **midnight (CET) on 01 August 2014** using the special submission form [4]. Although we do accept abstracts written in English as well as in German, the presentations are expected to be delivered in English (when submitting the same proposal for consideration to multiple venues, please do let us know via the submission form). The acceptance rate for the first two seminar series was of 41% (2012/13) and 31% (2014/15).
Seminars will run **fortnightly on Tuesday evenings (18:00-19:30)** from October 2014 until February 2015 and will be hosted by the Excellence Cluster TOPOI and the German Archaeological Institute, both located in Berlin-Dahlem. The full programme, including the venue of each seminar, will be finalised and announced in September. As with the previous series, the video recordings of the presentations will be published online and we endeavour to provide accommodation for the speakers and contribute towards their travel expenses. There are plans to publish papers selected from the first three series of the seminar as a special issue of the new open access publication from TOPOI [5].
[3] The anonymised abstract should have all author names, institutions and references to the authors work removed. This may lead to some references having to be replaced by “Reference to authors’ work”. The abstract title and author names with affiliations are entered into the submission system in separate fields.

CFP Digital Classicist London

DCThe Digital Classicist has become a bit of an institution, offering great examples of how and why classicists should not necessariy be afraid to use modern technology. The series is gearing up for another year of seminars, the call for papers is now open with a 9 March deadline. The organisation, audience, venue and presenters are generally awesome, so I can only recommend submitting an abstract. More info below or on their website.

The Digital Classicist London seminars have since 2006 provided a forum for research into the ancient world that employs digital and other quantitative methods. The seminars, hosted by the Institute of Classical Studies, are on Friday afternoons from June to mid-August in Senate House, London.

We welcome contributions from students as well as from established researchers and practitioners. We welcome high-quality papers discussing individual projects and their immediate context, but also accommodate broader theoretical consideration of the use of digital technology in Classical studies. The content should be of interest both to classicists, ancient historians or archaeologists, and to information specialists or digital humanists, and should have an academic research agenda relevant to at least one of those fields.

There is a budget to assist with travel to London (usually from within the UK, but we have occasionally been able to assist international presenters to attend).

To submit a proposal for consideration, email an abstract of approximately 500 words to by midnight UTC on March 9th, 2014.

Further information and details of past seminars are available at:

Hestia2 livestream URL

Hestia_logo_whtTomorrow we will kickstart Hestia2 with a seminar at The University of Southampton. If you cannot be there in person, don’t despair! We will livestream the event via the following URL:

In case of technical issues the following backup URL will be used:

Talks will start at 11:30am BST and end at 5pm BST. Please find the complete programme on the event website.

Follow the Twitterstream via #Hestiaproject and @Hestiaproject

All presentations will also be made available online after the event. Hope you will enjoy this as much as we will!

CFP Hestia2 seminar

hestiaThree years ago I attended the conference that concluded the Hestia project. I gave my second presentation ever at that conference and met loads of fascinating people, all of which I am still good friends with. Project Hestia was all about using new computing techniques to explore the use of space in Herodotus’ ‘Histories’. The conference drew an eclectic mix of computer scientists, classicists, historians and archaeologists. As always happens at such multi-disciplinary events, academics with a different background always find common ground that leads to fascinating discussions.

I was glad to hear that the Hestia team managed to get follow-on funding from the AHRC, and even happier that this time round I got to be part of the team. The Connected Past is a partner in Hestia2. We are organising a one-day seminar at The University of Southampton on 18 July on spatial network analysis in archaeology, history, classics, teaching and commercial archaeology. Hestia part 2 is all about public engagement, so expect a mixed crowd and fascinating discussions!

We welcome abstracts for this event, so please go ahead and send yours in now. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in attending. More info on the call for paper can be found below or on the Connected Past website.


HESTIA2: Exploring spatial networks through ancient sources

University of Southampton 18th July 2013
Organisers: Elton Barker, Stefan Bouzarovski, Leif Isaksen and Tom Brughmans
In collaboration with The Connected Past

A free one-day seminar on spatial network analysis in archaeology, history, classics, teaching and commercial archaeology.

Spatial relationships are everywhere in our sources about the past: from the ancient roads that connect cities, or ancient authors mentioning political alliances between places, to the stratigraphic contexts archaeologists deal with in their fieldwork. However, as datasets about the past become increasingly large, these spatial networks become ever more difficult to disentangle. Network techniques allow us to address such spatial relationships explicitly and directly through network visualisation and analysis. This seminar aims to explore the potential of such innovative techniques for research, public engagement and commercial purposes.

The seminar is part of Hestia2, a public engagement project aimed at introducing a series of conceptual and practical innovations to the spatial reading and visualisation of texts. Following on from the AHRC-funded “Network, Relation, Flow: Imaginations of Space in Herodotus’s Histories” (Hestia), Hestia2 represents a deliberate shift from experimenting with geospatial analysis of a single text to making Hestia’s outcomes available to new audiences and widely applicable to other texts through a seminar series, online platform, blog and learning materials with the purpose of fostering knowledge exchange between researchers and non-academics, and generating public interest and engagement in this field.

For this first Hestia2 workshop we welcome contributions addressing any of (but not restricted to) the following themes:
• Spatial network analysis techniques
• Spatial networks in archaeology, history and classics
• Techniques for the discovery and analysis of networks from textual sources
• Exploring spatial relationships in classical and archaeological sources
• The use of network visualisations and linked datasets for archaeologists active in the commercial sector and teachers
• Applications of network analysis in archaeology, history and classics

Please email proposed titles and abstracts (max. 250 words) to: by May 13th 2013.

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