The main objective of this project is to understand the role of infrastructures in the social, political and economical evolution of the Iberian territories, from the dichotomy that can be established between the connectivity of the cities and the costs and time of transport. All these new processes that will help us to understand the historical evolution of transport are inserted in the search for new methodologies to quantify in different ways, and with current tools, aspects of the Historical Economy . The general research objectives of this proposal are:

  • RO1. To digitally document the historical transport network in the Iberian Peninsula (by land, river and sea) with all the available resources and creating new digital models, bigger and more precise than previous attempts.

  • RO2. To analyse the connectivity of the Iberian Peninsula networks. The analysis of connectivity is crucial to understand how the territories were configured. All transport networks reflect the political, economical and social significance of the territories. The study of the connectivity of a big territory can show interesting patterns especially when it can be related with areas of special interest.

  • RO3. The functionality of the transportation systems. This project will offer a new perspective to approaching the historical transport systems based on the function of the communication networks in several time periods. It is possible to know the approximate costs and times needed to move some merchandise within territories, and it will give a clear image of the areas and limits of distribution of those products. To establish the cheapest, quickest or most probably used routes for each time periods will offer new perspectives about the mobility and the distribution of some products.

  • RO4. The impact of the Iberian Transport Networks through the time. It will represent the scientific conclusion of the project, with the final results and the historical interpretations of this research. One of the most important objectives in this project will be the analysis of the characteristics of the transport of goods in the Iberia Peninsula during each time period. The comparison of the morphology and functionality of these networks between periods will offer a clearer idea of how these territories were organised and developed. The final results will be the analysis of the evolution of the different models and the reflection on transport infrastructures, their design, implementation, evolution and their impact in the economical, political and social transformation of the Iberian territories.

  • RO5. Diffusion of methodologies and results. In terms of scientific research on transport networks, this project will provide new methodological concepts that will help to better understand the infrastructures configuration. The growing interest in this methodology and especially in the use of Network Analysis in Historical studies (see section 1.1 Originality) makes the dissemination of these methodologies and results very necessary. Meanwhile, the study on trade and economy through several times can also be benefit by the publication and communication of new data that provide different quantified information on transport in historical periods.

The visualisation and analysis of the functioning of transport networks allows us to obtain new data about the historical economic systems. The morphology of these networks can be observed from the connectivity in the wider context of the Iberian Peninsula and it offers a new vision of the changes in the political organisation of this territory along its history. At the same time, the analysis of their functionality based on the transportation times and costs, will be essential to understand the mobility of goods. With all these new data, a reinterpretation of the knowledge about Iberian trade patterns will be held in this great area.