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Department of Archaeology

Thursday, 11 May, 2023 - 16:00 to 17:00
Event speaker: 
Dr Izabela Romanowska, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies

In these times of fragile and moving borders, social and political shifts, and rapid climate change, looking into the past can bring much-needed insights into large-scale long-term dynamics of social and socio-natural systems. The Roman Empire is a case in point as one of the earliest examples of a large-scale integrated socio-economic and political body comprising human groups across diverse environments, multiple languages and subsistence strategies. Its centuries-long history enables us to track the evolution of communities in the face of global social and environmental transformations. 

In this presentation, I will focus on the data, methods, and results of a multiphased interdisciplinary project Reconstructing ancient demographics through archaeological-historical data integration and computer simulation investigating the demographic dynamics of the ancient cities of Palmyra and Forum Hadriani. It showcases how computational modelling methods applied to diverse proxies enable us to gain a fuller picture of the population dynamics of past communities against the background of the global events that affected them. Strong integration of a range of archaeological datasets, including funerary data, built environment, as well as urban and hinterland reconstructions, allowed us to gain significant insights into the fundamental processes behind the urban evolution of these ancient cities. They also hint at more generalised socio-ecological mechanisms that may be driving human groups both in the past and in the present.



Contact name: 
Carmen Ting
Contact email: 
Event location: 
McDonald Seminar Room and online
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