EF5 – Concepts of Change in Historical Processes



Evolution Models for Historical Networks

Project Heads

Benjamin Ducke (DAI), Max Klimm (TU), Guillaume Sagnol (TU)

Project Members

Maximilian Stahlberg (TU)

Project Duration

01.04.2021 − 31.03.2024

Located at

TU Berlin


We study the evolution of historic and prehistoric networks using appropriate mathematical models. In archaeology, foundations and artifacts bear witness of past human settlements and the daily lives of their inhabitants. While artifacts can also provide proof of trade and social interaction between settlements, the exact trade routes and the development of social networks over time can rarely be recovered from the physical evidence alone. We would like to propose graph-theoretic models that generate plausible hypotheses of network formation, which may be used to explain the social or economic status of individual settlements or to discover likely contacts that could not be observed in the field.

External Website


Selected Pictures


Construction of a maximal planar network (rightmost figure) formed between archaeological sites under the assumption that all were mutually connected along least cost paths through a suitable model of the terrain. We would like to study the properties of such a network in relation to the travel cost surface to then revisit old and develop new methods for extracting the most likely movement corridors and their potential evolution over time.