Our goals:

This project aims to aggregate, parametrise, and synthesise primary datasets that inform the evolution of societies in the Ancient Mediterranean (ie. examine the links between social connectivity and complexity manifest in material and textual evidence). In the process, the team will develop a suite of digital approaches and tools, inspired by large-scale ecological projects like Ocean Health Index (Lowndes et al. 2017). The two mains outputs of this project will be

  • a comparative study of proxies for evolution of social complexity in the Ancient Mediterranean
  • digital tools, workflows and processes that scale and that historians and archaeologists can use in their own research.

In its digital aim, this project will deliver the next component of a digital ecosystem for ‘small-data’ domains like the humanities, namely research infrastructure for combining 'messy' and heterogeneous legacy data with 'clean' digitally born data, allowing for their streamlining and analysis in a collaborative environment.

In its empirical mission, this project will evaluate existing hypotheses of Ancient Mediterranean dynamics by aggregating and synthesising available digital datasets.


The Social Dynamics in the Ancient Mediterranean (SDAM) research group is supported by the the Aarhus University Research Foundation in 2019-2022.

  • Building the infrastructure

    Hello, dear reader! The project has officially started in the beginning of September 2019 and we are already fully immersed in building the digital infrastructure of the new project! After a careful consideration we have mutually agreed on our official name “The Social Dynamics in the Ancient Mediterranean” research group. We will get back to the name in some of the future posts but it appears you can’t really start doing anything, unless you have a name! Even Rome wasn’t built in a day… and so wasn’t the digital infrastructure of a research project. It does not only include to...