This project is based on the use of the latest computer techniques for the collection, management and analysis of data. The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been widely accepted in many disciplines in recent years, even in History and Archaeology[1]. However, the use of network analysis for economic or social studies in History has not been exploited although it has distinguished as one of the main applications in other areas. The main studies based on network analysis have been developed in recent years[2] but it is being in the last 2 or 3 years when their use in Archaeological projects has been dramatically increased[3]

The methodology designed for this project is based on previous projects[4]. For this reason, its use and functioning have already been proved. The main new features in this project represent an increase in the complexity of the models based on Network Analysis and the collection of more detailed transport networks that provide more territorial and historical coherence. In this case, the methodology is closely linked to the evolution of each scheduled phase in the project:

  • M1. Documentation of the historical transport networks. This is the main base of the project. From a major bibliographical research[5], all the information available will be digitised and introduced in a GIS environment. Each road section will be provided with a chronological assignment and will be digitised with the highest possible precision to adapt the routes to its geographical reality. This study will include the land routes, the navigable rivers and canals and the maritime connections. All of this information will conform a GeoDataBase where all the information will be stored. The final result will be the most extensive and detailed historical transport network of the Iberian Peninsula compiled until now.

  • M2. The connectivity of the Iberian Peninsula historical networks. This study of the connectivity is based in the Social Network Analysis. In order to capture, analyse and visualise networks, relational data is organised in the form of matrices (with rows and columns) and visualised in the form of graphs (with nodes and links). From the known transport networks (graphs) it is possible to analyse different aspects of the centrality of the settlements based in various mathematical procedures (Centrality, Closeness or Betweenness Degree). Applying some improvements developed in past projects[6] its possible to evaluate which cities and territories were better connected and which areas were more isolated within this network.

  • M3. The functionality of the transport systems. In this section the infrastructures collected during the first phase of the project (M1) will be used in order to obtain a functional model of the historical transport networks. This is based in the digitisation of the communication networks, the characteristics of vehicles (capacities, costs, speeds) and the capabilities of the Network Analysis systems. The candidate will be able to create a working model that simulates the historical transport systems. In parallel, certain aspects to increase the complexity of the studies will be done. First, the values on transport costs and speeds used in previous projects will also be updated[7]. Secondly, the relief will be considered to more accurately reproduce the dynamics of merchandise moving. In third place, the costs of the exchange of means of transport will also be included in the digital model. With all these calculations, it will be possible to visualise the costs and times areas of distribution of certain products from some cities to the rest of the network.

  • M4. The impact of the infrastructures in the evolution of Iberian territories. To obtain interesting conclusion, some analysis will be performed to achieve a wider vision of the evolution and influence of the infrastructures in the Iberian peninsula. i) Analysis of demographic evolutions in the Iberian peninsula. The data will be compiled for each historical period, extracting information from demographic studies developed in recent times[8]. ii) Distribution of certain products through the time. It will be done through Roman amphorae, and the spread of the commerce of wine and cereals, but also the geographic distribution of fairs, inns, shelters and bridges, that followed the roads for the other periods. Thanks to the candidate’s relationship with Amphorae international projectes[9] and the collaboration with the Institute of Medieval Studies and the Centre of Overseas History within the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Mercator-e will take into account important information and data on historical transport and trade in the Iberian Peninsula based on their projects, data and literature[10].

[1] De Soto, P. 2010. op.cit.; Carreras, C. and De Soto, P. 2010. op.cit.; Carreras, C. and De Soto, P. 2013. op.cit.

[2] There are several studies that will have an impact in this research stage but they can’t be shortlisted in this proposal. Examples about historical gazetteers in Spain or about road building in Portugal could be: Hibberd, R. and Owens, J. B. 2010 “Building a digital historical gazetteer and tracking Iberian placename changes between the first and second global ages”, Washington; Aguiar, A. 2002. As Estradas em Portugal: memória e história, Lisboa, Centro Rodoviário Português (3 volumes).

[3] De Soto, P. and Carreras, C. 2008. “Anàlisi de la xarxa de transport a la Catalunya romana: alguns apunts”. Revista d’Arqueologia de Ponent, 16-17. 177-192; De Soto, P. 2011. “SIG y Network Analysis en el estudio de las redes de comunicación de la Cataluña”. Tecnologías de Información Geográfica y análisis arqueológico del territorio. Anejos de Archivo Español de Arqueología, LIX. pp. 651-665. Carreras, C. and De Soto, P. 2012. ”La red de comunicaciones romana en cataluña: actualización y metodología”. ANAS. Aspectos de la red viaria hispanoromana. 313–333.

[4] Carreras, C. 1994. Una reconstrucción del comercio en cerámicas: la red de transportes en Britannia. Barcelona; De Soto, P. 2010. op.cit.; Pinheiro, M., Lima, N., Paulino, J. 2011 “Espaço, tempo e preço dos transportes: a utilização da rede ferroviária em finais do século XIX”, Ler História, n. 61, 2011, pp. 39–64.; Carreras, C. and De Soto, P. 2013. op.cit.

[5] Carreras, C. 1995. “A new perspective for the demographic study of Roman Spain”. Revista de Historia da Arte e Arqueologia n.2, 1995-1996; pp. 59-82.; Gozalbes, E. 2007. “La demografía de la Hispania romana. Tres décadas después”. HAnt XXXI 181-208.

[6] The availability of the information has been granted by the main director of the project: ex Amphorae Hispania, Collection des Trimbres Amphoriques.

[7] For Contemporary times, one clear example of data source could be: Justino, D. 1989. A formação do espaço económico nacional: Portugal, 1810-1913, 2 vols., Lisboa, Vega.

[8] Gregory, I. and Geddes, A (eds.), 2014. Toward spatial humanities: historical GIS and spatial history, Indianapolis, Indiana Univ. Press, 2014. Lünen, A. and Travis, C. 2012. History and GIS: Epistemologies, Considerations and Reflections. Dordrecht, Springer. Wheatley, DW. and Gillings, M. 2002. Spatial Technology and Archaeology: the archaeological applications of GIS. Taylor & Francis, London.

[9] Keay, S. and Earl, G. 2006. “Inscriptions and social networks in western Baetica”. Sartori, A.; Valvo, A. (eds.) Hiberia Italia, Italia-Hiberia. Acta et Studia 2. Milan. 269-290; Isaksen, L. 2007. “Network analysis of transport vectors in Roman Baetica”. Digital discovery. Exploring new frontiers in human heritage. CAA 2006. Budapest. 75-87; Earl, G. and Keay, S. 2008. “Urban connectivity of Iberian and Roman towns in southern Spain: a network analysis approach”. In Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology. (BAR Int. Series 1230); Isaksen, L. 2008. “The application of network analysis to ancient transport geography: A case study of Roman Baetica”. Digital Medievalist, 8.

[10] Carreras, C. and De Soto, P. 2013. op.cit.; Scheidel, W. 2014. Op.cit.; Scheidel, W. 2015. “Orbis: the Stanford geospatial network model of the Roman world” Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics; J. Preiser-Kapeller and F. Daim 2015 Harbours And Maritime Networks As Complex Adaptive Systems. Mainz.