Who We Are

Seshat: Global History Databank is governed by the Board of Directors, who are advised by a number of subject matter consultants. Data collection for a specific NGA is coordinated by a Regional Editor, and data entered for a specific polity has been gathered in consultation with expert historians and archaeologists but is continually updated via ongoing expert review (here’s how). The hands-on work of populating the databank is accomplished by the project’s Research Assistants and Postdoctoral Research Associates. We thank all of the hardworking Seshat contributors for their tireless efforts populating our Databank with high-quality historical data.

Working with Collaborators

Since its inception in 2011, the Seshat project has developed and matured, and a growing number of distinguished scholars have agreed to help us with the data collection in their respective fields of expertise with the support of our regional and temporal editors. Our interactions with these domain experts take different forms, including answering a few questions over email to discussions over zoom, participation at workshops, project planning and analysis. We are very open to collaborators being involved in the publications resulting from the analysis of Seshat data. All publications that make use of Seshat data follow conventional social sciences rules regarding authorship and thus use a format that distinguishes between first (or lead), second, third, etc. authors. This structure reflects the collaborative nature of the Seshat project and allows for recognition of major intellectual and time commitments by contributing experts. Generally speaking, members of the core team are responsible for taking a lead on publications that analyze the database as a whole, but experts who contributed heavily to the analyzed data can be invited as co-authors. Furthermore there is considerable scope for papers comparing a particular polity or society to a set of other polities/societies (however defined), or analyses focusing on a particular region and period (e.g., Ancient Mediterranean, Early-Modern Southeast Asia, etc.). Experts are very welcome to head an authorial team of other experts and Seshat core team members and to become lead authors of the resulting papers.

Scholarly contributions are recognized both on the database website and as a formal publication. Because our database is essentially an electronic encyclopedia, we are planning to use the following form of citation that acknowledges the input of the experts (using one of our early contributors at Yale University as an example):

Manning, J.G. 2013. Egypt, Ptolemaic Kingdom (305 CE – 30 BCE): Social Complexity, Warfare and Military Technology, and Ritual Variables. Seshat: Global History Databank (http://seshat.info/). Evolution Institute, Tampa, FL.

Board of Directors

Prof. Peter Turchin*

Chair; Evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Connecticut and Complexity Science Hub Vienna


For more information about Peter's work, please visit peterturchin.com.



Prof. Harvey Whitehouse*

Anthropologist at the University of Oxford

Harvey Whitehouse is an anthropologist whose research focuses on the evolution of social complexity. One of the founders of the cognitive science of religion, Harvey is well known for his theory of “modes of religiosity,” which explains how the frequency and emotional intensity of collective rituals influence the scale and structure of religious organisations. He is Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford and a Professorial Fellow of Magdalen College.

For more information about Harvey’s work, please visit harveywhitehouse.com.



Prof. Peter Francois*


Historian and evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Oxford

Pieter François is an Associate Professor in Cultural Evolution, and Fellow in Anthropology and Tutor for Graduates at St. Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford. His work focuses on travel and migration in the nineteenth century and on the evolution of social complexity, ritual and warfare. Together with Professor Peter Turchin (UConn) and Professor Harvey Whitehouse (Oxford) he founded the Seshat: Global History Databank in 2011. In 2013 he won the British Library Labs competition with his Sample Generator for Digitized Texts.

For more information about Pieter's work, please visit PieterFrancois.



Prof. Jennifer Larson


Classicist at Kent State University


For more information about Jennifer's work, please visit kent.edu/mcls/profile/jennifer-larson.



Prof. R. Alan Covey

Archaeologist and anthropologist, University of Texas at Austin


For more information about Alan's work, please visit https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/anthropology/faculty/rc39628.



Prof. Kathryn Bard

Professor Emerita of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Boston University

Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr Bard, with Rodolfo Fattovich (University of Naples “L’Orientale”), co-directed excavations at Bieta Giyorgis, Aksum, Ethiopia (1993-2002).
Bard and Fattovich later excavated the Middle Kingdom pharaonic harbor at Mersa/Wadi
Gawasis, Egypt, where they found evidence of seafaring expeditions to the land of Punt,
probably located on the African side of the southern Red Sea. Her areas of research involve the
origins of complex societies and early states in northeast Africa, and the Red Sea trading network in the Bronze and Iron Ages. 
For more information about Kathryn's work, please visit https://www.bu.edu/archaeology/profile/bard/



*Founding Director

Expand All

Dr. Daniel Hoyer, Senior Research Associate & Managing Director
Jenny Reddish, Lead Editor
Enrico Cioni, Lead Research Assistant
Samantha Holder, Lead Historical Researcher

Project Researchers

James Bennett, Senior Data Scientist
Dr. Majid Benam, Data Scientist
Dr. Daniel Kondor, Data Scientist
Dr. Rachel Ainsworth, Research Officer
Dr. Giulia Nazzaro, Research Officer

Research Assistants

Rania Jaber

Prof. Jutta Bolt (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen): economic development
Prof. Christopher Chase-Dunn (UC Riverside): settlement and polity sizes and locations
Prof. Thomas E. Currie (University of Exeter): coordinator for resources, agriculture, and population variables
Dr. Donagh Davis (Sciences Po, DataChemist): information technology
Dr. Kevin C. Feeney (DataChemist): information technology coordinator
Dr. Pieter François (Hertfordshire, Oxford): historical coordinator
Prof. Sergey Gavrilets (NIMBioS, University of Tennessee): social and biological evolution, mathematical models
Prof. Jack A. Goldstone (George Mason): institutions, economic and political development
Jill Levine, digital history
Prof. J. G. Manning (Yale): social science history
Prof. Patrick Manning (Pittsburgh, World History CenterCHIACSSG): global historical social science
Dr. Gavin Mendel-Gleason (DataChemist): information technology
Prof. Masaki Yuki (Hokkaido University): relational mobility
Prof. Peter N. Peregrine (Lawrence): archaeology
Dr. Frances Reynolds (University of Oxford): rituals
Prof. Peter J. Richerson (UC Davis): cultural evolution, institutions
Prof. Enrico Spolaore (Tufts): institutions, economic development
Dr. Robert Thomson (Hokusei Gakuen University): relational mobility
Prof. Peter Turchin (UConn, EI): social complexity and warfare coordinator
Prof. Jan Luiten van Zanden (Universiteit Utrecht): economic development
Prof. Romain Wacziarg (UCLA): institutions, economic development
Prof. Douglas R. White (UC Irvine): database development, statistical analysis
Prof. Harvey Whitehouse (Oxford): ritual and religion coordinator
Prof. David S. Wilson (Binghamton): evolutionary science
Prof. Vladimir I. Zadorozhny (Pittsburgh, CHIACSSG): computational social science

Egypt: Prof. J. G. Manning (Ancient); Prof. Andrey Korotayev (Islamic)
Mesopotamia: Prof. Arkadiusz Marciniak (Neolithic)
Eastern Mediterranean: Dr. Johannes Preiser-Kapeller (Late Antiquity)
Mongolia: Prof. Nikolay Kradin
Northern China: Dr. Daniel Hoyer
Latium: Dr. Daniel Hoyer (Ancient)
Lower Mekong Basin: Dr. Miriam Stark
Susiana: Dr. Alessio Palmisano
Oaxaca: Prof. Charles Spencer
Low-Complexity NGAs: Dr. Daniel Mullins
Galilee: Dr. Oren Litwin
Crete: Dr. Kostis Christakis

Kiran Basava
Rudolf Cesaretti
Alice Williams

Eli Levine
Robert Miller
Olga Turchin (social media)

Previous Staff

Brittany Sears (Project Coordinator)
Edward Turner (Data Coordinator)

Past Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Dr. Pieter François
Dr. Daniel Hoyer
Dr. Bojan Božić
Dr. Chris Kavanagh
Dr. Christina Collins
Dr. Stephanie Grohmann
Dr. Marta Krueger
Dr. Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Dr. Daniel Mullins
Dr. Selin Nugent
Dr. Robert Ross
Dr. Patrick Savage
Dr. Alessio Palmisano

Past Research Assistants

Robert Howard
Afra Tayfur
Alice Williams
Anke Marshe
Caroline Ivimey-Parr
Charlotte Field
Erin Petrella
Hiroko Inoue
Heba Hesham Abdelgawad
Jade Whitlam
Jennifer Bates
Joe Figliuolo
Lulu (Po-Ju) Tuan
Marta Bartkowiak
Michael Gantley
Peter Rudiak-Gould
Robert Harding
Rosalind Purcell
Rudolf Cesaretti
Stephen Duane
Dean Junior
Tess Bennett
Thomas Cressy
Veronica Walker
Will Farrell
Eva Brandl
Alessandro Ceccarelli
Greine Jordan
Ana Marin Morales
Hanzi Zhang
Agathe Dupeyron
Chandler Freeman-Orr
Odhran Gavin
Chelsea Thorpe
Samantha Holder
Kiran Basava
Kalin Bullman
Sal Wiltshire

Past Volunteers

Rudolf Cesaretti
Lindsay Grandison
Alec Vulfson
Ekaterina Derbilova
Hugh Bennett
Jacqueline Parziale
Laura Courchesne
Danilo Vaz

Jill Levine, Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre  

Dr. Steph Grohmann: Teaching Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Gavin Mendel-Gleason: Co-Founder and CTO, TerminusDB

Dr. Daniel Mullins: Applications Officer, Birkbeck University of London

Dr. Selin Nugent: Assistant Director Social Science Research, Oxford Brookes University

Dr. Patrick Savage: Associate Professor, Keio Unviersity

Dr. Alessio Palmisano: Senior Assistant Professor, University of Turin

Dr. Alice Williams: Postdoctoral researcher, University of Oxford

Dr. Giulia Nazzaro: Postdoctoral researcher, University of Gent

Dr. Eva Brandl: Reseracher, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Dr. Hiroko Inoue: Reseracher, Unviersity of California, Riverside 

Lulu Tuan: Measurement & Analytics, Google

Alessandro Ceccarelli: Head of LGBTQ+ Policy, Welsh Government

Ana Marin Morales: Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative

Rudolf Cesaretti: Graduate Student, Arizona State University

Thomas Cressy: Graduate Student, Cornell University

Greine Jordan: Graduate Student, University of East Anglia

Agathe Dupeyron: Graduate Student, University of East Anglia

Chelsea Thorpe: Graduate Student, University of Cambridge

Kiran Basava: Graduate Student, University of Oxford

Dr Chris Kavanagh, postdoctoral researcher, University of Oxford

Dr Mick Gantley, Data Science Manager,  DRG Global

Dr Peter Rudiak-Gould, Senior Project  Lead, Cathexis Consulting