Two-year Postdoctoral Position: Simulation Studies of the Roman Economy

Updated: 9 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 28 Feb 2022

The School of Culture and Society, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University invites applications for a two-year postdoctoral position at the Centre for Urban Network Evolutions. The position is full-time and is expected to begin on 1 September 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

In its pursuit of academic excellence, the Faculty of Arts is committed to creating an inclusive working environment and therefore encourages all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of personal background, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity, etc.

Applicants are expected to contribute to the department’s academic environment. We emphasise the importance of good working relationships among colleagues and with our students.  

Research context 

The postdoc will be part of the research project ‘MINERVA: Understanding the centuries-long functioning of the Roman economy ’,headed by Principal Investigator Associate Professor Tom Brughmans and funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF). MINERVA is an interdisciplinary project that draws on classical archaeology, network science and complex systems simulation.

The archaeology of the Roman Empire offers us a unique glimpse into the way in which large integrated economies can evolve over centuries. However, understanding how centuries-long economic changes emerge from the day-to-day behaviour of individuals requires new methods and vast amounts of data. This project will combine for the first time state-of-the art computer simulation techniques from complexity economics, the integration of newly available large ceramics evidence from hundreds of sites across the Empire needed to test hypotheses, and the first highly detailed model of the Roman road network offering the medium for flows of goods and information.  

The position 

We are looking for an intellectually flexible and dedicated researcher with a background in digital humanities, computer science, archaeology, economics, economic history, ancient history or classical archaeology, preferably with a specialisation in simulation, and with strong interests in computational methods in the humanities and archaeology.

The successful applicant and the PI will share responsibility for Work Package 4 of the project, which aims to apply simulation approaches from complexity economics to study the long-term functioning of the Roman economy. The applicant will review literature and computer code on macroeconomic simulation models, with a particular focus on agent-based models in complexity economics. They will design computational simulation experiments to explore hypotheses concerning the structuring effects of the Roman transport system and large population centres on the distribution of ceramics, and concerning the centuries-long functioning of a large integrated economy. Experiment design and Roman parametrisation of the models will be supervised by the PI and Prof. Andrew Wilson (University of Oxford), and simulation data analysis and model validation will be supervised by the PI and Dr Adéla Sobotkova (Aarhus University). The successful applicant is expected to collaborate on disciplinary and interdisciplinary publications with MINERVA team members on the topic of simulation studies and the Roman economy. The successful applicant needs good social and communication skills in order to engage in cross-disciplinary cooperation with project team members.


28 February 2022  

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