Network science can be used to illuminate the laws of history

Austrian Academy of Science computational historian and Seshat contributor Johannes Preiser-Kapeller was recently interviewed by Technology Review on the use of network science in historical research. Network science can help us understand processes of very different natures that share the same network structure (the way that nodes are connected by links). Examples include the spread […]

Continue Reading

Garbage in? How we can improve the quality of historical data

A week ago the urban archaeologist Mike Smith wrote a scathing post about a new article in Nature.com’s journal Scientific Data. In the article, Meredith Reba and coworkers report on how they “spatialized” the dataset on urban settlements, based on previous publications by Tertius Chandler and George Modelski. As Smith writes in his blog, “The […]

Continue Reading

Why is political turbulence rising in America? An interview with Peter Turchin

The patterns of history can provide important clues for future political turmoil and the potential collapse of an empire. Seshat principal investigator Peter Turchin recently spoke to the IB Times about elite overproduction in the United States and what it means for the current political landscape. Elite overproduction is a phenomenon in which rapidly growing […]

Continue Reading

Trinity College Dublin welcomes the Seshat team: 3 days of meetings at Ireland’s oldest university

Members of the Seshat project had a busy and productive few days in Dublin, Ireland this past week. The 2nd Computational History and Digital Humanities Workshop was held on May 25 at Trinity College Dublin. The workshop was followed by a two-day meeting of members of the Seshat project. Seshat and ALIGNED research assistant Odhran […]

Continue Reading

Reconstructing the Past: the “Prince of the Lilies” and the “Minoan Peace”

Over the previous weekend the Seshat project ran a workshop on Cretan history and archaeology. We met in the Villa Ariadne, which the first excavator of Knossos, Sir Arthur Evans, built for himself right next to the great Minoan Palace at Knossos. Several times during the workshop the discussion among the experts and Seshat people […]

Continue Reading

The link between ant agriculture and early social complexity

Farming was invented independently by ancient humans at least nine times in different regions throughout the globe. The invention of farming is linked by experts to the evolution of early social complexity. Here is a visualization of the original ancient centers of agriculture production: Millions of years before the first humans began farming, ants had […]

Continue Reading

Seshat contributors teach Academy Award winning actor about the origins of religion

In National Geographic’s The Story of God, host Morgan Freeman travels to Çatalhöyük, a Neolithic proto-city settlement in Anatolia, Turkey to investigate whether early farming civilizations believed in God. At the Çatalhöyük site, Freeman interviews two members of the Seshat: Global History Databank team, founding editor and University of Oxford anthropologist Prof. Harvey Whitehouse and […]

Continue Reading

Seshat’s Alessio Palmisano featured in news doc “Isis and the Missing Treasures.”

As the war in Syria continues, Isis reaps profits from the illegal sale of antiquities looted from Syria and Iraq. Syrian and Iraqi antiquities are now on sale in London, the second largest antiquities market in the world. In Channel 4’s Dispatches news documentary “Isis and the Missing Treasures”, journalist Simon Cox assembles a team […]

Continue Reading

“Once upon a time”: when did works of fiction appear around the world? Interrogating Seshat to make global historical comparisons.

Stories have seemingly always inspired people — examples such as the epic of Gilgamesh, 13th century Icelandic sagas, or Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey show us their apparently ubiquitous character. To what extent is storytelling a core part of the human experience? “If we begin to look at the emergence of written fiction in a comparative […]

Continue Reading

ALIGNED receives Cliodynamics funding from the Irish Research Council

ALIGNED has received funding from the Irish Research Council to help build the Cliodynamics research network. ALIGNED received an award from the Irish Research Council’s New Foundations scheme for “Cliodynamics Research Network Ireland II”. This award will support the building of an international interdisciplinary network of researchers who are interested in Cliodynamics – the study […]

Continue Reading