Category Archives: In class exercises

Orbis|Via and Antonine Itineraries

I chose to use the Orbis|Via and Antonine Itineraries to do this little experiment. Orbis shows you the step by step option you can take to do your journey and you are also able to choose how to move forward. Another thing also is that you can choose your starting point. For the other one, you can only choose the map and it will just start off randomly somewhere on the map. The main difference between these two simulations is the starting point of the journey. The Antonine Itineraries is all very random even though it moves so much faster than the Orbis simulation. But Orbis somehow takes up so much time whereas the other simulation works faster. To me, the Orbis simulation shows a better metaphor because of the step by step process you can take even though it takes more time, but for a better view or result of the historical content.

Assignment 2: Gephi

For this exercise I filtered the data of the general period to only show me information from 3rd, 3rd/4th, and 4th century AD Roman. For source I chose ‘Find Spot’ and for target I chose ‘Issuer’, I also included ‘Weight’. I randomly chose Issuer because I ended up with something very weird at first when I chose Denomination, or maybe I did not follow the steps correctly. Either way, when I tried it for the second time, I ended up with a better graph, although the graph is very large. As I look at my graph more closely, it is actually not that interesting, since the graph mainly shows the issuer coming from two main different locations. So it was not that they are really related to each other.

Gephi <- my graph

Assignment 2 – Gephi

I chose to see if there was any relationship between the site a coin was found at and where it was minted. To do this, I used column A, “Find Spot,” as my Source, and column S, “Mint,” as my Target. I filtered out everything “Uncertain” or “Irregular” from column S in order to avoid my data being overwhelmed by inconclusive results – a majority of the coins found seem to have been of unclear origin.

Using a Modularity Class filter, group 0 shows all coins found at Ebbw, group 1 shows all coins found at Abergavenny, and group 2 shows all coins found at Caerwent and links them to the location at which each coin was minted. From this, it can be seen that most of the coins found in Abergavenny were minted in Lyon, with Rome in a close second place, while coins founded in Caerwent were minted in large proportion in Rome, with about half as many having been minted at the Gallic mint and very few having been minted in Lyon.


When viewing the data set as a whole, even more trends emerge. Rome is clearly the dominant mint between the two major locations (Ebbw only has two data points). Beyond this, however, a lack of uniformity emerges: Lyon is important as a mint to Abergavenny, but irrelevant to Caerwent. Similarly, many mints appear only as a source for one of the two cities: coins made in Antioch appear in Caerwent but not Abergavenny, and coins made at London appear in Abergavenny but not in Caerwent. This suggests some link between where a coin was minted and where it ended up.

Voyant Tools

Folks, on THURSDAY this week, as part of our discussion, I want you to try using Voyant Tools to see the differences in the ways historians and archaeologists discuss their ways of knowing. Here are some tutorials and how-tos on using Voyant.

Voyant Tools can be found here.

Start with ‘Getting Started‘ if you’ve never explored Voyant before.

Then, go to JSTOR and download 5 articles related to the ancient history of Rome. Try Greece & Rome or the Journal of Roman Studies. Avoid anything obviously archaeological, at least for now.

Upload them to Voyant Tools, beginning with the earliest and finishing with the latest (this means that the output of Voyant will be chronological, allowing you to see change over time). Make a note of the unique URL for your corpus, and keep it somewhere safe.

Do the same thing again with 5 articles related to Roman archaeology.

Now- with the two corpuses in front of you, what are some patterns in word use that you see? You can respond via the comments to this post; include your corpuses’ urls too.

A video overview for Voyant Tools may be watched here – note how you save the URL for your corpus via the cogwheel icon at the extreme top right of the interface: