Seshat: Global History Databank

brings together the most current and comprehensive body of knowledge about human history in one place. Our unique Databank systematically collects what is currently known about the social and political organization of human societies and how civilizations have evolved over time. This site is where we release to the datasets that have been collected by Seshat—freely and openly to the public. Currently you will be able to browse a wealth of information on Social Complexity, but this is just a small sample of the data that we have collected to date. All data collected by Seshat will be made publicly available in due course.

How To Use the Databank

Click on an NGA below to find a list of polities—the past societies from that region for which we have collected data. Clicking on a polity will take you to the 'data page' where you can see all of the information, the sources, and descriptions for every variable coded. We invite you to browse the databank to gain a better understanding of our goals and approaches.

Help Us Improve the Quality of Our Data

It is important to bear in mind that all of our data pages are works in progress—we are always looking to improve our databank, update our information with the newest discoveries and represent different points of view. If you notice any errors in our data, or have any useful information on variables that have been left 'uncoded', please let us know by clicking on the red pencil icon beside the datapoint you would like to review and we will consider your feedback carefully. To aid us in this process, please be as explicit as possible, noting the source of evidence (e.g. provide name and page numbers of published articles/books), or the basis of any disagreements about the interpretation of evidence. As our site is still being developed, please also send us an email at: and let us know which polity/ies you have left comments or suggestions on to ensure that we receive it. Please also be patient, as we may not be able to address every comment immediately.

Read More