PhD school and workshop

PhD students who plan to attend The Connected Past conference can register for free for a two-day PhD school (27-28 September 2021) awarding you 1.5 ECTS by Aarhus University. The PhD school will take place on Aarhus University’s Moesgaard Campus, but virtual participation is possible. Register here. This two-day workshop teaches you practical skills in network research for archaeologists and historians, with expert advice by practitioners (see the programme below).


Registration for the conference is separate from PhD school registration. Register for the conference separately here.

The venue for the PhD school is on a different campus than the conference: find venue and travel instructions here.

Those who are interested in attending the workshop but are not currently PhD students are encouraged to express an interest by emailing:


Network research refers to the use of networks data (nodes and links) to visualize and explore historical or archaeological sources, or to represent relational theories about past phenomena. The approach is now firmly established in archaeology and history, with an increasing number of case studies published each year. But dedicated training in this technical specialism is very rare in archaeological and historical postgraduate education.

This PhD course offers an overview of historical and archaeological network research, what makes the approach different, and how to apply it in practice. It combines lectures by practitioners that illustrate the advantages and challenges of the approach in a relatable way, with computational tutorials that develop the technical skills needed to perform network research independently. Students will learn how to prepare their archaeological and historical sources for computational network studies. How do you import, visualize and analyse archaeological and historical networks?

How do you critically interpret the results of these computational analyses? Three software packages will be taught (The Vistorian, Visone and Pajek), allowing students to compare the features present in each.

The course will include lectures by subject specialists, discussion opportunities, and hands-on tutorials. Participants will be supported throughout with computational questions and issues by the lecturers. The PhD students will also actively participate in this research-led course, by developing their own case-study ahead of the course, modifying it and presenting their thoughts about it after having worked with network research for two days.


This course aims to offer PhD students:

  • an introduction to network research, and how it has been applied in the Humanities;
  • practical computational training in network research in archaeology and history;
  • a critical perspective of theoretical considerations and challenges in network research;
  • the ability to critically evaluate existing network research, and to independently perform network research in their own studies.


The use of network research in history and archaeology; the advantages and challenges of the approach; technical computational skills to visualize, explore and analyze networks.

Target group:

PhD students




The course is offered as a combination of lectures, computational tutorials, and critical discussions. Module 1 provides an introduction to network research, examples, and the basic skills to visualizing and exploring network data. Module 2 will provide more advanced skills in network visualization, exploration and analysis, and a critical discussion of theoretical considerations and challenges. In module 3 the registered participants present their own case studies.

Additional information:

Each participant is required to register via and to submit the following documents by August 1st, 2021:

  • A case study of 3-4 pages (including bibliography), which deals with the topic of the course. The cases can relate to a personal research project, previous experience, or a case inspired by academic literature. These will be pre-circulated among the participants of the course by September 17th, 2021. In addition, they will be reviewed by the course organising team and discussed in Module 4.
  • A max 2-page CV;
  • A max 1-page cover letter, motivating the reasons for participation.

Student presentations:

The participants will be required to present their case study in Module 4. The presentation will last approximately 10-15 mins (depending on the number of participants) and will be followed by a 10-15 mins Q&A session in which the students will receive feedback by the lecturers and their peers.


1,5 ECTS


Associate Professor Tom Brughmans (Centre for Urban Network Evolutions/Classical Studies, Aarhus University) –

Professor MSO Søren Sindbæk (Centre for Urban Network Evolutions/Archaeology, Aarhus University) –

Professor Rubina Raja (Centre for Urban Network Evolutions/Classical Studies, Aarhus University) –

Dr Lieve Donnellan (Lecturer in Classical Greek Archaeology, University of Melbourne) –

Dr Fiona Coward (Principal Academic In Archaeological Sciences, Bournemouth University) –

Dr Anna C. F. Collar (Lecturer in Roman Archaeology, University of Southampton) –

Dates and time:

27 – 28 September 2021 at 9 am – 16.30 pm


Blended format: participation is possible online or in-person at Moesgaard Museum, Moesgård Allé 15, 8270 Højbjerg, Denmark.

Provisional timetable

Monday 27 September 2021

Module 1

10:00-12:15: an introduction to network science in archaeology and history. Key concepts, methods, and history of research (Tom Brughmans).

12:15-13:00: lunch break

13:00-14:00: The Vistorian tutorial: import network data, visualization, exploration (Tom Brughmans).

14-14:30: coffee break.

14:30-16:30: Applied examples of network research: personal experiences, advantages, pitfalls

Lecture by Rubina Raja

Lecture by Anna Collar

Lecture by Fiona Coward.

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Module 2

9:00-11:00: exploratory network analysis with Visone. Import archaeological data as network, network visualisation, network analysis (Tom Brughmans)

11:00-12:00: network research: challenges and theoretical considerations (Lieve Donnellan).

12:00-13:00: lunch break

13:00-14:00: discussion (Søren Sindbæk)

14:00-14:30: coffee and tea break

Module 3

14:30-16:00: Presentations by PhD students and discussions of pre-circulated papers

16:00-16:30: concluding discussion (Søren Sindbæk)