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)
Prof. Harvey Whitehouse* (anthropologist at the University of Oxford)
Prof. Pieter François* (historian and evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Oxford)
Prof. Jennifer Larson (classicist at Kent State University)
Prof. R. Alan Covey (archaeologist & anthropologist, University of Texas at Austin)

*Founding Director


Dr. Daniel Hoyer, Project Manager & Senior Researcher
Jenny Reddish, Lead Editor
Enrico Cioni, Lead Research Assistant

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

Samantha Holder
Rania Jaber

Consultants and Contributors

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 Center, CHIA, CSSG): 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, CHIA; CSSG): computational social science

Regional Editors

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

Graduate Students Associated with the Project

Kiran Basava
Rudolf Cesaretti
Alice Williams


Eli Levine
Robert Miller
Olga Turchin (social media)

Past Seshat Project Members