Not that I was googling myself, but I discovered that some of my work had been cited approvingly in the preface to an issue of the Mediterranean Historical Review (and here for online access), (2007, vol 22 n1) on social networks analysis in terms of ancient history. The entire issue looks absolutely fantastic, and I’m now working my way through it. This might be a great place for a grad student to start, if they’re interested in social networks applied to historical problems. (Another good starting place is definitely the Handbook of Prosopography edited by Katherine Keats-Rohan).
Preface: Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean
1 – 9
Authors: Irad Malkin; Christy Constantakopoulou; Katerina Panagopoulou
Beyond and Below the Polis: Networks, Associations, and the Writing of Greek History
11 – 22
Author: Kostas Vlassopoulos
Network Theory and Theoric Networks FREE ACCESS FREE ACCESS
23 – 37
Author: Ian Rutherford
Did the Delphic Amphiktiony Play a Political Role in the Classical Period?
39 – 56
Author: Simon Hornblower
Pythios and Pythion: The Spread of a Cult Title
57 – 69
Author: J. K. Davies
Cults of Demeter Eleusinia and the Transmission of Religious Ideas
71 – 83
Author: Hugh Bowden
What Travelled with Greek Pottery?
85 – 95
Author: Robin Osborne
Networks of Commerce and Knowledge in the Iron Age: The Case of the Phoenicians
97 – 111
Author: Michael Sommer
Networks of Rhodians in Karia
113 – 132
Author: Riet van Bremen
Libanius’ Social Networks: Understanding the Social Structure of the Later Roman Empire
133 – 147
Author: Isabella Sandwell
Network Theory and Religious Innovation
149 – 162
Author: Anna Collar
Quick note: I just came across Michael Smith’s excellent blog, ‘Publishing Archaeology‘. Today’s post, about how archaeological data is ignored or subverted by scholars in other fields, so archaeologists need to publish outside the archaeological journals to fight this, is fantastic. Go explore his blog now!
I received a message the other day from a rather frustrated 3d-worlds-for-communications designer, who had been taking CAD meshes of archaeological sites and making them ‘real’ using the Unreal engine. He’d been presenting this work to heritage & archaeology folks, and found that nobody was interested in acutally having 3d reconstructions that could be immersive (ie, via an avatar). I wasn’t at that particular conference, but I can well imagine that kind of response. Nobody ever likes changing direction; there are sunk costs, reputations, all sorts of reasons why things continue on in the direction that they’re going.
With archaeology’s natural affinity for exploring and understanding the social impact of built spaces & constructed landscapes, with its tools for exploring the visual symbols and markers of cultures, it seems to me that archaeology would naturally adopt digital immersive worlds as a new tool. I guess that’s not happening though (although I hope to be proved wrong!).
In other, related news…
In this week’s Escapist, there’s a great article about the intersection between video games and research, especially that which is going on at UCL. In the article, there’s also a discussion of movements in games towards non-linear stories, something of which historians should also take note.
Finally, there is another entrant into the burgeoning field of augmented reality, of playing video games in real world places, called Locomatrix. This last has clear application for archaeologists, for them to make what they do accessible & valuable to the public. Locomatrix is based in the UK. I’d love to see somebody make a game featuring a county sites & monuments record with their GPS-based play. They will be having a contest soon:
We will shortly announce a university challenge with a prize of £2,000 for the best game created by a university department. We will also be sponsoring an investigation into outdoor games specifically for girls.
2 000 quid is an awful lot of coin… c’mon UK archaeologists, let’s see what you can do!