Data Science, Human Science, and Ancient Gods: Conversations in Theory and Method


Sandra Blakely; Megan Daniels; Jennifer Larson; Maggie Popkin; Jacob Latham; Sebastian Heath; Lindsey A. Mazurek; Kathryn A. Langenfeld; R. Benjamin Gorham; Sarah Murray; M. Willis Monroe; Dan-el Padilla Peralta; Ian Rutherford


The studies in this volume share a focus on religion in the ancient Mediterranean world: How ritual, myth, spectatorship, and travel reflect the continual interaction of human beings with the richly fictive beings who defined the boundaries of groups, access to the past, and mobility across land and seascapes. They share as well the methodological exploration of the intersection between human sciences—the integration of numerous disciplines around the study of all aspects of human life from the biological to the cultural—and the study of the past. In so doing, they continue a long dialogue that engages with critical models derived from specializations within history, philology, archaeology, sociology, and anthropology, and addresses, increasingly, the potentialities and pitfalls of quantitative and digital analyses. Many of the threads in this long conversation inform these chapters: the comparative project, human social evolution, disciplinary reflexivity, religion as an embedded, functional, and structural system, and the role for agency, networks, and materiality.


Cover for Data Science, Human Science, and Ancient Gods


June 8, 2023