. Social Sciences
The trade system of the Roman Empire is one of the first recognized networks of interaction and interdependence between the Mediterranean basin and northern Europe and is generally considered to be the first complex European trade network. In the last fifty years, many theories and hypotheses about the organization of the Roman Empire trade system have been proposed but, due to the lack of source material, these theories continue to be speculative.
Among the best archaeological semantic markers available for the Roman Empire are amphorae and their associated epigraphy. Amphorae provide information on geographical origin, transported products, economic transactions and the social positions and relationships between people involved in trade.
At UBICS, researchers model the dynamics of the amphorae trade system during the Roman Empire using geospatial and social network techniques in order to better understand the evolutionary trends of the trading network. The research undertaken is an example of a truly interdisciplinary perspective on trade network studies.