Re­cent De­vel­op­ments in Digital As­syr­i­ology – Zoom Work­shop, Helsinki, Au­gust 26-27 2020

Presenting on behalf of the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires (Team 1) with PIs Saana Svärd and Krister Lindén, by Heidi Jauhiainen & Tero Alstola on August 27, 16.20-16.40 in Session 2: Prosopographical work

ABSTRACT ”Neo-Assyrian Social Networks: Work in Progress”

In this presentation, we will present ongoing work on studying elite and marginal identities in the Neo-Assyrian period through social network analysis. Rather than studying individual cases, we aim at identifying patterns of contact. Therefore, social interaction and cultural contact between people are studied on a statistical level. We want to find out if social network analysis can help us define marginal people vs elite and whether “centrality” of certain persons in our network can reveal us something about the elite in the empire. Our dataset has been extracted from the published volumes of the Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (PNA) and it contains information on thousands of individuals living primarily in the eighth and seventh centuries BCE. With social network analysis we are capable of mapping the connections between the individuals attested in the dataset. This approach allows us to have an aggregate view of contacts between different individuals and groups. By visualizing our network as graphs, we are able to zoom in and highlight cases worth examining with traditional historical methods.