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.

Submit your paper to CAA, deadline Monday

The CAA is my favourite conference 🙂 And it will be hosted online from Cyprus this year. The deadline to submit your papers is Monday the 1st of March. So go ahead and submit those excellent papers on computational archaeology. You can find the full list of 35 sessions here, covering all possible topics. And I want to point out the following two sessions in particular:

S28. Computational modelling in archaeology: methods, challenges and applications (Standard)

S18. Urban Complexity in Settlements and Settlement Systems of the Mediterranean (Standard)

S28. Computational modelling in archaeology: methods, challenges and applications (Standard)

Convenor(s):
Iza Romanowska, Aarhus University
Colin D. Wren, University of Colorado
Stefani A. Crabtree, Utah State University 

The steady stream of publications involving archaeological computational models is a clear sign of the discipline’s dedication to the epistemological turn towards formal theory building and testing. Where hypotheses used to be generated verbally in natural language as possible explanations, they are now increasingly often expressed as GIS, agent-based modelling (ABM) or statistical models and meticulously tested against data. The session will showcase the breadth of applications, the ingenuity of researchers deploying new or adapted methods and the depth of insight gained thanks to computational modelling.

With increasing numbers of archaeologists becoming proficient in computer programming it seems that some of the technical and training-related hurdles are being overcome. In general, while some methods in archaeological computational modelling are well established and widely deployed, others (e.g., ABM) are still an emerging subfield with many exciting and fresh applications. 

 We will structure the session upon the three major questions: :

  • The current landscape of computational modelling: what are the strong versus the weak areas? Are certain topics, time periods, types of questions more often modelled than others? If so, why is that?
  • Potential areas for growth: what are the obvious methodological and archaeological directions for computational modelling? Are technical skills still an impediment for a wider adoption?
  • Disciplinary best practice: the need for open science is well recognised among computational archaeologists, but are there other ways in which we can make it easier for members of other branches of archaeology to engage with the computational modelling?

We invite archaeological modellers to present their current case studies, discuss new methods and issues they have encountered as well as their thoughts on the role of computational modelling in general archaeological practice. Computational modelling is meant broadly here as any digital technologies that enable the researcher to represent a real-world system to test hypotheses regarding past human behaviour. 

S18. Urban Complexity in Settlements and Settlement Systems of the Mediterranean (Standard)

Convenor(s):
Katherine A. Crawford, Arizona State University
Georgios Artopoulos, The Cyprus Institute 
Eleftheria Paliou, University of Cologne 
Iza Romanowska, Aarhus University

The application of quantitative methods to the study of ancient cities and settlement networks has seen increased interest in recent years. Advances in data collection, the use of and integration of diverse big datasets, data analytics including network analysis, computation and the application of digital and quantitative methods have resulted in an increasingly diverse number of studies looking at past cities from new perspectives (e.g. Palmisano et al. 2017; Kaya and Bölen 2017; Fulminante 2019-21). This barrage of new methods, many grounded in population-level systemic thinking, but also some coming from the individual, agent-based perspective enabled researchers to investigate the structural properties and mechanisms driving complex socio-natural systems, such as past cities and towns (e.g. MISMAS; The CRANE Project; Carrignon et al. 2020). These advances have recently opened new possibilities for the study of cities and settlement systems of the Mediterranean, an area with some of the longest known records of urban occupation that could be key for studying a wide range of urban complexity topics (e.g. Lawrence et al. 2020) .

This session invites papers that deal with the applications of computational and digital methodologies, including agent-based modelling, network analysis, urban scaling, gravity and spatial interaction models, space syntax, GIS, and data mining. We look for a diverse range of studies on the interactions between cities, complex meshworks of information flow, simulations of social and socio-natural activities, as well as analyses of groups of cities and their environment (the ecosystem of resources) in the Mediterranean basin. We are especially interested in papers that use agent-based modelling to adopt a comparative and diachronic perspective to studying transformations and transitions of urban and settlement systems and works that focus on the area of Eastern Mediterranean, in particular. Potential topics of consideration include but are not limited to:

  • Settlement persistence,
  • Multi-scale spatial patterns within urban complexes and across settlements,
  • Inter and/or intra urban settlement dynamics & interactions,
  • Transitions and diachronic transformations of urban/settlement patterns,
  • Urban network interactions and modelling,
  • Urban-environmental processes; the impact of climate disturbances on cities and their resources,
  • Formal analysis of cities development of time,
  • Processes involved in urban centres formation and abandonment.

References:

S. Carrignon, T. Brughmans, I. Romanowska, (2020). Tableware trade in the Roman East: Exploring cultural and economic transmission with agent-based modelling and approximate Bayesian computation. PLoS ONE, 15, (11), e0240414. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0240414

F. Fulminante (ed), (2019-21). Research Topic: Where Do Cities Come From and Where Are They Going To? Modelling Past and Present Agglomerations to Understand Urban Ways of Life. Frontiers in Digital Humanities https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/7460/where-do-cities-come-from-and-where-are-they-going-to-modelling-past-and-present-agglomerations-to-u#overview

H. Serdar Kaya and Fulin Bölen, (2017). ‘Urban DNA: Morphogenetic Analysis of Urban Pattern’, International Journal of Architecture & Planning, (5), 1, 10-41. DOI: 10.15320/ICONARP.2017.15

D. Lawrence, M. Altaweel, and G. Philip, (2020). New Agendas in Remote Sensing and Landscape Archaeology in the Near East: Studies in Honour of Tony J. Wilkinson. Oxford: Archaeopress.

A Palmisano, A. Bevan, and S. Shennan, (2017). Comparing archaeological proxies for long-term population patterns: An example from central Italy. Journal of Archaeological Science, (87), 59-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2017.10.001

Saad Twaissi, (2017). ‘The Source Of Inspiration Of The Plan Of The Nabataean Mansion At Az-Zantur Iv In Petra: A Space Syntax Approach’, Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, (17), 3, 97-119. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1005494

MISAMS (Modelling Inhabited Spaces of the Ancient Mediterranean Sea), https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/108224/en

The CRANE Project (Computational Research on the Ancient Near East) https://www.crane.utoronto.ca/

CFP: rooted cities, wandering gods

This conference will be of interest to readers of the blog. I do recommend submitting an abstract, it look like an exciting event with a great list of confirmed speakers already. Deadline March 20th.

Via the conference organisers:

Rooted Cities, Wandering Gods

Inter-Urban Religious Interactions

Planned dates: November 19th-20th, 2021 – Groningen

Organisers: Tom Britton & Adam Wiznura

(University of Groningen)

Cult, ritual and belief were crucial components of cohesive collective identities throughout the pre-modern world. Often religious practice is presented as unique, bound to the people and institutions of a single community, in service of such specific identities. Yet cities never existed in a vacuum – rather, urban societies underwent constant change brought on by movement and communication between and within their cities (Garbin & Strhan 2017). Forms and understandings of urbanity were transferred between sites through religious exchanges, often changing dramatically in the process, and their characteristics negotiated through dialogue, diplomacy, rivalry and warfare. How was religious practice bound to a single community, and when did it open up to foster regional cooperation? How could the gods of one city find resonance in another? Where could rituals and sacred sites become the focus of pilgrimage or competition? When were the institutions of a city dependent on recognition from its neighbours? Who set the boundaries of all this communication, and who contested them? This conference will explore religion as part of a web of interactions and a force for the refashioning of cities across the world, with a focus on the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East.

Looking at religion primarily as a social and ritual practice, the conference will examine the impact of religious interactions on urban memory, culture and identity across communities. It will encompass a wide range of religious activities, covering both the inter-urban networks of city-state societies and the connections between cities embedded in larger territorial states. Yet localised sub-communities within the urban frame were also key to establishing links between cities and at numerous scales. We will focus on the groups of worshippers themselves – how their structure and selfrepresentation defined engagement with the pilgrims, migrants, merchants, envoys and epistolaries who facilitated communication. Through these interactions, wider communities of practice were strung together across great distances, forming networks that both incorporated and transcended local identities.

Confirmed speakers for the conference so far include: Anna Collar (Southampton), Judy Barringer (Edinburgh), Matthias Haake (Münster), Sofia Kravaritou (Oxford), Rubina Raja (Aarhus), Ian Rutherford (Reading) and members of the project “Religion and Urbanity” (Erfurt).

We invite those interested in participating to submit papers exploring networks, movement, connectivity, religion and identity in an urban context. These should ask how interactions between cities shaped religious practice, and how cult and worship in turn affected communication. Topics may include, but are certainly not limited to:

● Pilgrimage – travel between cities for religious purposes, both by private individuals and organised by civic authorities. Who felt the need to travel in order to worship? How did this change their standing within urban communities? How did citizens facilitate and profit from the journeys of pilgrims?

● Materiality – the physical environment in which interactions took place, and the ways in which it might be differently experienced. Where were religious institutions situated in the urban landscape? How was “foreign” cultic material mapped on to the city?

● Identity – the reimagining of civic identities through religious interactions, and the creation of supra-civic communities of shared religious practice. When did new cults and ideas impact people’s self-perception as citizens and as worshippers? Did engagement with cult abroad threaten communal cohesion, or strengthen it?

● Communication – the use of shared places and practices of worship to circulate information among cities. How were political, philosophical and technological ideas transmitted and transformed through urban religion? Which interactions rested on common understandings of worship, and which required radically new ways of thinking?

We ask all those interested in contributing a paper to submit abstracts (300 words) for papers suitable for 30 minute presentations. Please send abstracts to:

rootedcities2021@gmail.com

The deadline for abstracts will be March 20th and notification of acceptance will be sent by early April. We would like to receive written drafts of papers soon after the conference as a resulting publication is envisaged, to appear in late 2022 or early 2023.

This conference takes place within the framework of the NWO project Connecting the Greeks at the University of Groningen (see connectingthegreeks.com). It is also held in conjunction with the “Religion and Urbanity: reciprocal formations” project at the University of Erfurt (see urbrel.hypotheses.org ).

2 postdocs and 3 PhDs on Medieval Dissident Networks

If you have an interest in networks and Medieval or religious history, then follow this new ERC-funded Dissident Networks project! They just published a call for applications for two postdocs and three PhDs. Do consider applying. Brno is a fantastic city, and the team is world class!

Via David Zbíral:

The Dissident Networks Project (DISSINET, https://dissinet.cz/) – an ERC Consolidator Grant-funded research initiative based at Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic) – opens a call for five research positions in the computational study of medieval religious dissent and inquisition: (1) two postdoctoral or senior research fellowships, and (2) three Ph.D. studentships.

(1) Two full-time postdoctoral or senior research fellowships

Deadline: 15 March 2021

Duration: 1 September 2021 to 31 August 2026

More information: https://www.muni.cz/en/about-us/careers/vacancies/60734 

(2) Three Study of Religions Ph.D. studentships with a medieval focus

Deadline: 3 March 2021

Duration: 1 September 2021 to 31 August 2026

More information: https://www.muni.cz/en/about-us/careers/vacancies/60674 

Across both calls for applications, we are looking for candidates who have focused on any aspect of medieval or early modern European history or literature. They must have demonstrable competence in Latin and English language and in historical research, and a computer-friendly mindset (tables, digital tools).

Candidates with particular experience in heresy studies, notarial records, medieval religion, late medieval history (c. 1200-1500, especially of France, Germany, Italy and England), social and economic approaches to the Middle Ages, digital humanities, quantitative history or historical network research are particularly encouraged to apply. Nevertheless, we are very open to candidates whose previous research has focused on any aspect, period or region of pre-modern Europe, provided that they have a willingness to engage deeply in DISSINET’s computational approach to the study of medieval religious dissent and inquisition.

The successful candidates will develop their own research direction in consultation with the Principal Investigator (Dr. David Zbíral). They will receive hands-on training, building on their core skills as medievalists through the use of computational techniques (social network analysis, geographic information systems, computational text analysis).

Full-time tenured post Egyptian Archaeology, KU Leuven

Via KU Leuven website. Find the full vacancy here.

VACANCY ARCHAEOLOGY, SPECIALIZATION IN THE DOMAIN OF EGYPTIAN ARCHAEOLOGY
(ref. ZAP-2020-292)
Last modification : Wednesday, December 16, 2020

KU Leuven’s Faculty of Arts has a vacancy for a full-time tenured academic position in the discipline of Archaeology, with specialization in the domain of Egyptian Archaeology. We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with excellent teaching skills, an eminent research record and a sense of societal responsibility, in line with KU Leuven’s mission statement.
Duties
Research
Fundamental research, academic teaching and wider knowledge sharing in the discipline of archaeology, more particularly related to the archaeology of Egypt.


You have achieved important, internationally acknowledged research results in the domain of Egyptian archaeology. In developing your research, you have built up demonstrable methodological expertise of crucial importance for the archaeological discipline, you master strategic themes in computational archaeology and have experience in elaborating multi- and interdisciplinary research trajectories. Based on comparative archaeological research on the trajectories of past societies and/or regional research traditions in archaeology, you are actively involved in the critical contextualization of the intellectual traditions in the domain of Egyptian archaeology.


You can demonstrate leadership qualities in organizing archaeological fieldwork and you value teamwork. You will join the research unit of Archaeology. In close collaboration you support and develop your unit’s (inter)faculty, national and international collaborations and networks. You initiate grant applications to support academic research, actively develop research projects and supervise collaborators at pre- and postdoctoral level.


Education
You provide high-quality education in the bachelor and master programme in Archaeology, with a clear engagement for the quality of the programme as a whole. Your teaching is in accordance to the appropriate academic standards.


Initially, your teaching assignment includes:


– Inleiding in de Archeologie van Egypte (Introduction to Egyptian archaeology), 3 ECTS (1 Ba)
– Archeologie van Egypte (The archaeology of Egypt), 6 ECTS (2-3 Ba; bi-annual)
– Werkcollege Archeologie van Egypte (Tutorial on Egyptian archaeology), 6 ECTS (Ma) 
– A contribution to the Theorie, methode en praktijk van de archeologie (Theory, methods and practices in archaeology) package, to a minimum of 8 ECTS (Ba).


From the third year of your appointment onwards, your teaching assignment will be increased with one to two additional courses, to the amount of 4 to 8 ECTS, preferably in support of the Archaeology programme or possibly of other Faculty of Arts programmes.


You develop your education in line with KU Leuven’s vision on activating, research-based and practice-based education and make use of the opportunities for educational professionalisation offered by the Faculty and the university. You will contribute to the educational project of the faculty by supervising bachelor- and master-papers in Archaeology or related programmes.


Service
You are prepared to shoulder internal administrative and managerial tasks and invest in supporting the network between the programme, various types of authorities and the professional field. When relevant, you participate in societal debates and in the development of the knowledge society. You play an active role in profiling the research unit of Archaeology and the Faculty of Arts with (prospective) students and the wider (professional) field.
Profile
You hold a Ph.D. degree in Archaeology (or an equivalent relevant degree).


You have demonstrable didactic qualities at the level of academic teaching, and you can evince an excellent research trajectory on comparative and computational archaeology applied to the domain of Egyptian archaeology. Your research potential is apparent from your international, scholarly publications of high quality. You have organisational qualities, a collegial attitude and are a team player.


You add a research proposal (max. 2 pages) for the next years and a vision document (max. 2 pages) on the educational approach in the Archaeology programme to your application. Both documents illustrate your critical vision on the position of KU Leuven in the archaeology of Egypt.


The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in administrative meetings. Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch respectively English to the required standard.


Offer
We offer full-time, tenured employment. When, after 5 years, the conditions of the tenure track contract are met, you will be promoted to the rank of associate professor (hoofddocent).
Interested?
For more information please contact Prof. dr. Jeroen Poblome, tel.: +32 16 32 47 49, mail: jeroen.poblome@kuleuven.be. For problems with online applying, please contact solliciteren@kuleuven.be.
You can apply for this job no later than February 22, 2021 via the  online application tool 
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Networks in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM): CfP Networks 2021

I can very much recommend this session at networks2021.net

Via the session organizers:

Session 4. Analysing Networks in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM)

Organizers: John R. Hott (University of Virginia), Francesca Odella (University of Trento)

Primary Organizer: John R. Hott

Abstract: This session aims at discussing approaches in analysing networks in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM) and to provide a view of current projects and results in promoting a network analysis perspective in cross-disciplinary studies.

As artefacts are becoming increasingly digital and/or digitized, there has been an increase in organizing, describing, and storing them in archival and library contexts, as illustrated by many digitalized historical archives. The increasing availability of information about artefacts opens the possibilities to analyse the connections between them in terms of references, creators and actors, as well as in terms of cross-referenced information such as shared themes, location and visitors.

At first, most of the initiatives to establish networked data by organizations and institutions focused on disciplinary perspectives and implemented specialized information classification, such as in the case of historical archival and libraries. In order to progress research, however, it is important that networks from archives, museums, and library sources interconnect and allow multiple standards and cross-classification of their artefacts. Recent undertakings, such as the Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) cooperative, have worked to connect repositories to share descriptions and benefit from the conceptualization of the documents, artefacts, and creators as social-documentary networks. In the European context, similarly, international institutions and organizations (Europeana, Wikidata among them) and historical archives (such as Kalliope), already provide researchers access to common classification sets and relational data sources and are promoting projects to interconnect GLAM contexts.

These initiatives reveal that a shared methodological framework, such as social network perspective in particular, is becoming central for setting guidelines, organizing repertories, and linking data from multiple institutions. Specifically, the possibility to design and perform cross-disciplinary research and to establish new connections across cultures, historical traditions, and forms of knowledge (material and digitized) will be triggered by aligning viewpoints in data organization and data access. Network researchers, in this sense, will have more opportunities to experiment new methodological approaches in their studies, as well as to understand the social contexts of artefacts and their information processing.

Taking inspiration from such reflections and examples we solicit submissions of research works dealing with

– projects aimed at developing a network perspective of galleries, archive, museums and library collections (GLAM)

– results of analysis over networks consisting of GLAM data

– methods and strategies for extracting networked data from GLAM contexts

CfP history/archaeology session at Sunbelt NetSci

Sunbelt is the main Social Network Analysis community, and NetSci is the main complex networks conference. I’ve attended these conferences since 2013 and love them both. Next year they will be held jointly, how great is that 😀 Come present in our session and let’s make it clear archaeology and history are part of network science and here to stay!

Via the HNR newsletter:

The session “Networks and the Study of the Human Past” is part of Networks 2021: a joint Sunbelt and NetSci Conference. The conference takes place in Washington D.C. on July 6-11, 2021. The organisers are planning a hybrid in-person and remote (online) conference.

You can find the session “Networks and the Study of the Human” under number 19 in the list of organized sessions for Networks 2021. Deadline for submissions is January 24, 2021.

Networks and the study of the human past 

A growing number of studies in history and archaeology have shown that network research can constructively enhance our understanding of the human past. Moreover, it is becoming clear that archaeological and historical data sources pose interesting challenges and opportunities to social network analysis and network science. How did human social networks change over huge timescales? How can old texts and material artefacts help in answering this question? The aim of this session is to present new findings and approaches within historical and archaeological network research, and promote contacts between the various disciplines that approach past phenomena using methods derived from network analysis and network science.

This session explores the challenges and potential posed by such network studies of past phenomena, including: network modelling of past phenomena; data collection from archival evidence; incomplete and missing data; computer-assisted network extraction from texts; big data analytics and semantic network analysis based on fragmented sources; material sources as proxy evidence for social phenomena; exploration of long-term changes in past systems vs. mid-term or short-term processes; etc.

The session invites contributions from various disciplines applying the methods of formal network analysis and network science to the study of the human past. We welcome submissions concerning any period, geographical area and topic, which might include but are not limited to: migration; interpersonal relations; economy; past revolutions; covert networks of the past; industrialization; transport systems; diffusion processes; kinship; conflict and conflict solving; religion and science.

Session organizers:

Julie M. Birkholz (Ghent University & Royal Library of Belgium), Tom Brughmans (Aarhus University), Marten Düring (University of Luxembourg), Ingeborg van Vugt (University of Utrecht), Martin Stark (ILS Dortmund), David Zbíral (Masaryk University)

New grant to study the centuries-long functioning of the Roman economy through ceramics, road networks and computational modelling

Soooooo happy I got awarded a Sapere Aude research leader grant by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. This is like a Danish starting grant, allowing early career researchers to pursue their research interests for four years under great conditions (roughly 6.2 million DKK: 800.000EUR). This will allow me to do what I think the study of the Roman economy really needs: quantitative identification and description of centuries-long patterns in ceramics data, creation of a high-detail Roman transport network, and formal evaluation of theories that could explain these data patterns. I simply can’t wait to get my teeth into this work! Especially because it’s a collaboration with the amazing Pau de Soto for Roman roads, Vinnie Nørskov for museology and outreach, Andrew Wilson for Roman economy studies, and Adéla Sobotkova for archaeological data analysis. More news about this project will follow (and read our announcement on the UrbNet and DFF websites), but here’s a short description of the project:

MINERVA will explore how a massive integrated economy like the Roman Empire evolved over centuries, by combining archaeological ceramics and the Roman transport network in computational simulation experiments. The project will run for four years from 2021, and will apply UrbNet’s relational perspecitve to the study of the Roman economy.


At its peak the Roman Empire covered an area similar in size to the European Union, uniting almost 100 million inhabitants. But similarities do not end here: the different peoples, languages and religions within the Empire were united under a single political system with the Roman Emperor at its head, they used the same money, followed the same trade regulations, and were subject to the same legal system. Archaeologists uncover evidence that show the ups and downs of this bustling economy. Amphora containers, for example, were used for centuries to move vast quantities of necessities such as grain from Egypt or olive oil from Spain to the capital of Rome and everywhere else in the Empire. For centuries, the flow of goods and traders along the first European transport network went virtually uninterrupted, despite limited means of communication, and transport technology and infrastructure making sea and road voyages slow and dangerous.


The material remains they left behind offer us a unique glimpse at how huge integrated economies can change and evolve over centuries. But understanding how these complex economic processes emerge from everyday behaviour of individual Romans is not a mean feat. To make this possible, this project combines state-of-the-art computer simulations, archaeological ceramics evidence, and a detailed model of the Roman road network for the first time.

MINERVA addresses three challenges related to ceramics data, Roman roads and centuries-long simulations. First, what changes are visible over periods of centuries in the distribution and consumption of Roman plates, cups, bowls and containers? And what do they reveal about the long-term functioning of the Roman economy? MINERVA aims to quantitatively identify such patterns. Second, what was the structure of the Roman transport network through which such goods were distributed? We currently do not have a highly detained model of this network, and MINERVA aims to create this. And third, How does one simulate aspects of a large economy over a period of centuries? This has never been done before because for other large economies, like the integrated markets of the EU or the US, we simply do not have data for such long timespans. This will be an exciting challenge to explore that will benefit from collaboration with economic historians.

6 year Postdoc Classical Archaeology University of Vienna

Read more and apply here.

Deadline 10/12/2020

From the University of Vienna website:

An der Universität Wien (mit 20 Fakultäten und Zentren, 178 Studienrichtungen, ca. 9.900 Mitarbeiter*innen und rund 89.000 Studierenden) ist ab 01.03.2021 die Position eines/einer 

Universitätsassistent*in (“post doc”) 
am Institut für Klassische Archäologie 

bis 28.02.2027 zu besetzen. 

Kennzahl der Ausschreibung: 11501
Das Institut für Klassische Archäologie der Universität Wien ist eine der größten Einrichtungen dieses Fachs im deutschen Sprachraum und besitzt eine lange Tradition exzellenter Forschung. Wir verstehen die klassische Archäologie als das Studium der materiellen Hinterlassenschaften der antiken Mittelmeerkulturen und der benachbarten Kulturen. 

Die ausgeschriebene Stelle ist im Bereich der Griechischen Archäologie beheimatet und bietet einzigartige Möglichkeiten zur Durchführung interdisziplinärer Forschung und zur weiteren akademischen Qualifikation. Sie sollten während der Assistenz an Ihrem eigenen, unabhängigen Forschungsprojekt arbeiten mit dem Ziel der Habilitation. Sie werden auch zur akademischen Lehre beitragen und den Betrieb der Archäologischen Sammlung unterstützen. 

Ihre Bewerbung sollte auf Englisch oder Deutsch verfasst sein und folgende Dokumente enthalten: 

· Motivationsschreiben 

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· Kontaktadressen möglicher Referenzgeber*innen (diese werden nur kontaktiert, wenn die Bewerbung in der engeren Auswahl ist). 

Dauer der Befristung: 6 Jahr/e 

Beschäftigungsausmaß: 40.0 Stunden/Woche. 
Einstufung gemäß Kollektivvertrag: §48 VwGr. B1 lit. b (postdoc) 
Darüber hinaus können anrechenbare Berufserfahrungen die Einstufung und damit das Entgelt bestimmen.
Ihre Aufgaben: 
Die Stelle erfordert die aktive Teilnahme an Forschung, Lehre und Administration. Dazu gehören: 
• Auf- und Ausbau eines eigenständigen Forschungsprofils; 
• Durchführung eines Habilitations- oder Buchprojektes (‚second book‘); 
• Beteiligung an Forschungsprojekten im Bereich der Griechischen Archäologie; 
• Arbeit in der archäologischen Sammlung des Instituts (z.B. Mitwirkung an der Organisation von Schulworkshops etc.; Mithilfe bei der Betreuung der Sammlung) 
• Projektbeantragung und Drittmittelakquise; 
• Selbständige Abhaltung von Lehrveranstaltungen im Ausmaß der kollektivvertraglichen Bestimmungen; 
• Aktive Teilnahme an Feldforschung und Betreuung von Studierenden im Feld 
• Mitwirkung in der Forschungs-, Lehr- und Institutsadministration. 

Ihr Profil: 
• Abgeschlossene Dissertation in Klassischer Archäologie; 
• Eine starke Forschungsbilanz, die sich aus Veröffentlichungen und Erfahrungen mit internationalen Präsentationen auf einem Niveau ergibt, das Ihrem Karrierelevel entspricht; 
• Erfahrungen in der Feldforschung; 
• Exzellente Deutsch- und Englischkenntnisse; 
• Teamfähigkeit 

• Lehrerfahrung 
• Kenntnis universitärer Abläufe und Strukturen 
• Auslandserfahrungen 
• Grundkenntnisse der altgriechischen Sprache (mit Nachweis) 

Forschungsfächer: 

Hauptforschungsfach Spezielle Forschungsfächer Wichtigkeit 
Geschichte, Archäologie Klassische Archäologie Musskriterium 

Ausbildungen: 

Bildungseinrichtung Ausbildungsrichtung Spezielle Ausbildungsrichtung Wichtigkeit 
Universität Geisteswissenschaften Musskriterium 

Sprachen: 

Sprache Sprachniveau Wichtigkeit 
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Englisch Gute Kenntnisse Musskriterium 

Ihre Bewerbung: 
Wir freuen uns auf Ihre aussagekräftige Bewerbung mit Motivationsschreiben unter der Kennzahl 11501, welche Sie bis zum 10.12.2020 bevorzugt über unser Job Center (http://jobcenter.univie.ac.at/)  an uns übermitteln. 

Für nähere Auskünfte über die ausgeschriebene Position wenden Sie sich bitte an Mac Sweeney, Naoise . 

Die Universität Wien betreibt eine antidiskriminatorische Anstellungspolitik und legt Wert auf Chancengleichheit und Diversität (http://diversity.univie.ac.at/). Insbesondere wird eine Erhöhung des Frauenanteils in Leitungspositionen und beim wissenschaftlichen Personal angestrebt. Frauen werden bei gleicher Qualifikation vorrangig aufgenommen.DLE Personalwesen und Frauenförderung der Universität Wien 
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Communities of Knowledge (Usaybia.net): Tagging, Prosopography, and Networks

The below virtual conference sounds really interesting (info via Nathan Gibson):

Registration is now open for the virtual forum Jews, Christians, and Muslims as Colleagues and Collaborators in the Abbasid Near East, which will take place as 9 sessions (18 presentations) between October 20th and December 11th. The presentations listed below involve projects working with digital humanities and might be of particular interest to those on this list. Please see https://usaybia.net/forum2020 for the full program of the virtual forum.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 16:00 CET Project DemoCommunities of Knowledge (Usaybia.net): Tagging, Prosopography, and Networks
Nathan P. Gibson, Nadine Löhr, Robin SchmahlUniversity of Munich (LMU)
The project “Communities of Knowledge: Interreligious Networks of Scholars in Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa’s History of the Physicians” aims to examine the social encounters of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish scholars in the Abbasid Near East, broadly defined as 750–1258. While the fact of exchange between scholars of many different communities during this period is well established, and their accomplishments are well known, the ways in which this exchange occurred are not as well researched. Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa’s (1203–1270 AD) biographical dictionary provides rich information about such interactions, which sometimes occurred directly between scholars, but other times involved much larger networks of people, including patrons, patients, family members, rulers, and slaves.The project asks, in general, how Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa depicts these networks, as well as, more specifically, which people, places, and types of communication were involved in them. This project demo will explain the different stages of this analysis. First, we identify and “tag” people and places in the source text. Next, we use these tags to create prosopographical nuggets called “factoids,” which encapsulate many different assertions throughout the text about the people involved and form the basis for mapping their relationships as a network. Finally, we analyze these networks, using quantitative metrics to focus our attention on the persons, places, or features in the network that call for in-depth qualitative study. We anticipate—and our preliminary results suggest—that this process will bring to light specific but underappreciated aspects of interreligious exchange.
The “Communities of Knowledge” project is funded by the “Kleine Fächer – Große Potentiale” program of the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education, 2018–2021.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 16:00 CET Research Paper DiscussionOff the Record: Networks of Lost Arabic Books
Nadine LöhrSaxon Academy of Sciences
Library records and manuscript catalogues are fundamental sources for historians, nevertheless, researchers are aware that a ​transmission process is determined by both the extant manuscripts as well as by a great number of texts which were lost in time. Historians of German literature claim that for every preserved work there are thousands of lost ones. While it is difficult to appreciate the number of lost sources, it is vital to consider the untransferred and lost knowledge in order to understand the exchange of ideas within a community.
To get a better insight into ​once well known scientific Arabic literature​, this article seeks to trace networks evolving around works which were ​produced and circulated between the 8th and 13th century and are ​presumed to be lost today​.
As a starting point, this study will be based on an analysis of the works mentioned in ​Ibn Abī Usaibiʿa​’s ​History of Physicians​. I wish to draw attention to the quantity of missing works still read, or at least heard of by ​Ibn Abī Usaibiʿa​. I examine ​general trends of what kind of books got lost and (if feasible) through what processes. ​Thereby it may be possible to observe certain regional, cultural, temporal or religious trends, and determine what the percentage of lost medical literature from a certain region is.
The second part of this article will ​focus on the afterlife of astronomical and astrological works lost after the 13th c. An analysis of networks evolving around the lost works will be backed up with further resources and literature. I wish to understand who were the authors and owners of books on the astral sciences now lost? Were these books according to ​Ibn Abī Usaibiʿa​’s insights shared, studied and discussed within various communities or were they held in so-called “small world communities”?

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Friday, December 11, 2020, 16:00 CET Research Paper DiscussionLabeling Religious Affiliation in Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa’s History of Physicians: A QuestNathan P. GibsonUniversity of Munich (LMU)     
The biographical dictionary of Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa (1203–1270 AD), titled The Best Accounts of the Classes of Physicians (Arabic, ʿUyūn al-anbāʾ fī ṭabaqāt al-aṭibbāʾ) or History of Physicians for short, is perhaps unequaled in the extent to which it details the social interactions of scholars from many different religious communities. Ṭabaqāt literature in general tends to provide a kind of Who’s-Who resource collecting information about personages in particular categories, such as hadith transmitters or poets. Normally authors tended to make these categories applicable to a certain religious tradition, but Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa’s project broke the mold by outlining a profession (medicine and related areas) in which collaboration and exchange among communities was typical. The History of Physicians is thus an ideal target for large-scale analysis of interreligious exchange, as the project “Communities of Knowledge” is in the process of doing.
Nevertheless, incorporating “religious affiliation” as a factor in analyzing Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa’s text is fraught with complexity. First is the looming issue of what religion even means in this context. Second is the question of which terms or phrases the author uses to intentionally signal a particular affiliation. Third, which other characteristics may be taken to indicate religious affiliation, as perhaps certain titles, professions, actions, or (very cautiously) names? Finally, what should be done with mixed indications, whether these are due to inaccurate sources, ambiguous affiliation, or conversion?
I will present a case for recording these textual indications using the prosopographical tool of “factoids,” which can support a more nuanced analysis than simply recording a single affiliation for each person. Each factoid, representing an assertion by Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa or his sources, is one of several markers of religious affiliation, which may point toward different affiliations for the same person. The strength of these markers and their agreement or variance for a particular person provide specific data points that can be used to reconstruct networks of communities while also allowing for alternate scenarios.
The “Communities of Knowledge” project is funded by the “Kleine Fächer – Große Potentiale” program of the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education, 2018–2021.

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Friday, December 11, 2020, 17:00 CET Project DemoIndexing a Shared Knowledge Culture from Many Perspectives: Historical Index of the Medieval Middle East (HIMME) as a Tool for Researching Diversity
Thomas A. CarlsonOklahoma State University
The medieval Middle East, at the crossroads of Africa and Eurasia, included more distinct yet intersecting literary traditions in more languages than any other part of the premodern world. While several of these literary traditions were religiously demarcated, others such as Arabic and Persian were multi-religious written cultures. Despite this, the religious diversity of this region is often conceptualized as separate communities who sometimes interacted. Religion was certainly a socially relevant category employed by medieval people to organize their world, and yet people from every religion wrote about the same government, the same society, and largely the same culture as expressed in religious multiplicity.
A new digital research project (HIMME: Historical Index of the Medieval Middle East) is developing a reference tool to demonstrate the shared culture and society of the diverse medieval Middle East. It will provide a union index to selected primary sources in Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Persian, and Syriac, indexing the people, places, and practices mentioned in each literary tradition. The result is that someone interested in, for example, the famous counter-Crusader (and sultan loyal to the Abbasid caliphate) Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn can search a database and discover relevant primary sources in unexpected Hebrew and Syriac as well as expected Arabic and Latin sources, while the later conqueror Timur Lenk is also mentioned in Greek and Armenian texts that might easily be missed. This presentation will offer a preview of the project (to be published officially on August 1, 2021), a discussion of its scope, and an exploration of its implications for the culture of knowledge shared among Jews, Christians, and Muslims of the medieval Middle East.
This project has been made possible in part by the (USA’s) National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this presentation do not necessarily represent those of the (USA’s) National Endowment for the Humanities or of Oklahoma State University.
How it works
The virtual forum is conceived as an opportunity to discuss the state of research on interreligious knowledge exchange. Half-hour project demos will showcase ongoing projects in the area, while one-hour research paper discussions are a chance to interact on a deeper level with researchers who are in the process of formulating approaches to the subject.

  • Students, academics, and anyone else interested may register by clicking on any of the registration links. This will take you to a Zoom page, where you can select any or all of the nine sessions to attend virtually. The number of Zoom participants for each session is limited to 100.
  • Registered participants will be sent drafts of research papers to read and comment on ahead of time. We’ll use the web tool Hypothes.is to do this collaboratively. You can get a free Hypothes.is account here, and you’ll receive an email ahead of the session containing a link to read the paper and another link to join the private Hypothes.is group where you can comment or ask questions.
  • During the live Zoom sessions, you’ll hear two presentations and, for research paper discussions, 1–2 responses from invited participants. The remainder of the time will be open for you to interact with the speaker, so come with questions!
  • Proceedings: Revised papers from the forum will be submitted to a special issue of medieval worlds: comparative & interdisciplinary studies, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal published by the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ISSN 2412-3196).

All times are Central European Time (CET). Logistical support has been provided by Usaybia.net team members Vanessa Birkhahn and Malinda Tolay.                 
Background
From the eighth century to the thirteenth century and beyond, scholars in the Abbasid and neighboring realms pioneered study in medicine, mathematics, the astral arts, and many other disciplines. Scholarly treatises from that era together with biographical sources such as Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa’s History of Physicians and documentary texts from the Cairo Genizah show that this scholarly activity was not isolated to a single community. Instead, it emerged from a rich exchange between scholars affiliated with many different communities: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Samaritan, and others. Sometimes this exchange occurred through books or letters while at other times it was face-to-face in formal, institutional settings, side-by-side in the workplace, or even mediated through patrons, servants, or family members.
In the framework of the project “Communities of Knowledge” (funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research), we are hosting  a series of discussions on the topic of person-to-person knowledge exchange among Near Eastern communities during Abbasid rule.

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