Next GIAP Seminar : ‘Contextualizing conflict spaces in Julius Caesar’s civil war using connectivity analysis’

Join us in the second 2022 GIAP Seminar!

March 23rd 18-19h CET

Beyond the battlefield: contextualizing conflict spaces in Julius Caesar’s civil war using connectivity analysis

Dr. Xavier Rubio-Campillo
Group leader at DIDPATRI (Universitat de Barcelona) / Ramón y Cajal Fellow / Honorary Fellow at the University of Edinburgh

Access the webinar here:
No registration required. Hosted in Microsoft Teams (no Microsoft/Teams account needed).

Keywords: Digital Humanities; Computational Archaeology; Game-Based Learning; Conflict Archaeology; Cultural Evolution; Socioecological dynamics; Spatial Analysis

The relation between territory and conflict is essential to understand warfare. Landscape shapes both tactics and formations, and it may heavily affect the outcome of any military engagement by providing highly defensible positions, areas where troops can be concealed or prominent locations where to control the battlefield. However, the impact of territory is way broader than the specifics of the event itself: how were logistic routes shaped by the control of the territory? Why were specific regions chosen to face the enemy in battle? How commanders and soldiers perceived this landscape before and after the battle?This presentation will explore the relation between landscape and conflict within the archaeological site of Puig Ciutat (Catalonia, Spain). A garrison deployed at this location was attacked during Julius Caesar’s campaign in Ilerda (49 BC) but the successful assault is not mentioned in any written source. We use here a computational approach combining Circuit Theory and statistical analysis to understand how multiscalar connectivity may help us understand the role of this site and its landscape within the scope of Caesar’s campaign.

About Dr. Rubio:

His original background is a bachelor degree in Computer Science in Universitat Pompeu Fabra (2003), where he graduated with the first rank of his promotion. He did his PhD in Heritage studies in Universitat de Barcelona (2009)

Before joining DIDPATRI (UB), he held a lecturership in Computational Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh (2016-2020) and Team Leader of the Humanities research group at the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (2009-2016). In these positions he participated in several interdisciplinary projects applying computational methods to improve our understanding of the past, such as Consolider SimulPast and ERC Advanced Grant EPNet.

This transdisciplinary experience helped him to establish links between Humanities and Computer Science, with the aim of exploring how computational research methods can foster a critical perspective about the past and its impact on current society.

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Leaflet’s background picture courtesy of X. Rubio. Source: Rubio-Campillo, X., Ble, E., Pujol, À. et al. A Spatial Connectivity Approach to Landscapes of Conflict: Julius Caesar and the Assault to Puig Ciutat (NE Iberian Peninsula). J Archaeol Method Theory (2022).

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