Networks, agent-based models and the Antonine itineraries: implications for Roman archaeology

2006  “Networks, Agent-Based Modeling, and the Antonine Itineraries”. In The Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 19.1: 45-64.

This paper presents a way of looking at Roman space from a Roman perspective, and suggests ways inwhich this point of view might open up new approaches in Roman archaeology. It turns on one concep-tion of Roman space in particular,  preserved for us in the Antonine Itineraries. Working from a positionthat considers the context of the itineraries as  movement-through-space, this paper presents an investiga-tion using social network analysis and agent-based  simulation to re-animate the itineraries. The itinerar-ies for Iberia, Gaul, Italy, and Britain are considered. The results of  the social network analysis suggeststructural differences in the way that the itineraries presented space to the  reader/traveler. The results of the simulation of information diffusion through these regions following the routes in the  itineraries suggestways that this conception of space affected the cultural and material development of these regions.  Suggestions for extending the basic model for more complicated archaeological analyses are presented.


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