HelRaw: Tero Alstola 3.4.2023

Network Approaches to the Ancient World: Texts and Prosopographies

Dear all,

This year’s third Helsinki Research on the Ancient World seminar (HelRaw) takes place with Tero Alstola (University of Helsinki) on 3rd of April. You are warmly welcome to join our speaker on Metsätalo or Zoom.

The topic of Alstola’s talk is “Network Approaches to the Ancient World: Texts and Prosopographies”.



The wealth of cuneiform sources from first-millennium BCE Mesopotamia invites the use of quantitative and digital methods. Network analysis in particular has proven useful for analyzing and visualizing large textual and prosopographical datasets. At the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires, we have used network approaches to study the relationships among various entities, including words, deities, and people. The semantic similarity of words can be calculated using methods such as PMI and word embeddings, and the results are well-suited for being analyzed and visualized as semantic networks. We have also used a similar approach to study ancient perceptions of the divine, by creating networks of gods and goddesses based on their co-occurrences in texts. Finally, the rich prosopographical data in cuneiform documents allows detailed analysis of ancient social structures, ranging from the networks of the elite to those of rural communities.


Topic: HelRaw: Tero Alstola

Time: Apr 3, 2023, 05:15 PM Helsinki

Where: at Metsätalo, room. 7. (Unioninkatu 40)




Meeting ID: 669 2015 8281

Passcode: 521581

Join by SIP



Join by H.323

Meeting ID: 669 2015 8281

Passcode: 521581


About the Speaker:

Tero Alstola (PhD, Leiden University) is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Easter Empires at the University of Helsinki. His dissertation focused on migration and immigrants in Babylonian society in the first millennium BCE. Afterwards, he has worked in a multidisciplinary research team that developed and applied language technological methods and network analysis to the study of Akkadian cuneiform texts. He currently works on network analysis of Babylonian rural communities and is involved in creating a digitized text corpus of Neo-Babylonian cuneiform texts.



Everyone is welcome to join our seminar!