MERCURY is a multidisciplinary project that will explore the most hotly debated questions about the Roman economy through innovative computational simulation methods: was the Roman Imperial trade market equally integrated as nowadays? How important were social networks for structuring this flow of information? It will address two methodological issues currently preventing scholars from answering these questions: limited use of archaeological big data and the lack of quantitative comparisons of complex hypotheses. MERCURY will combine recent advances in computational network science and simulation methods with increasingly available archaeological big datasets, enabling essential quantitative comparisons between the centuries-long Roman record and modern-day economies with similar logistical limitations.
The project is funded by The Leverhulme Trust as an Early Career Fellowship awarded to Tom Brughmans.