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Introduction of Mette Lang Jansen

New PhD student at UrbNet

Mette Lang has been offered and has accepted a PhD position at UrbNet. The project seeks to investigate the changing network dynamics of urban centres in the Roman Near East by focusing on the developments of the transport infrastructure in and around Palmyra and the Decapolis. The project will examine a variety of material including archaeological evidence such as preserved road stretches and milestones, literary sources, water supply maps, and satellite imagery. The project will provide the first highly detailed network representation of the Roman-era road system in Syria and the Decapolis regions, as well as the first formal network study of the urban road infrastructure in Palmyra and Jerash. A combination of the new information on interregional infrastructure in the Roman Near East with modern network science analyses as employed in this project, will provide a visualisation and understanding of the historical process of urban evolution, and enhance our understanding of the role of transport infrastructure in the development of human societies.

Mette has been a part of UrbNet as a student assistant since 2017, first as part of the Palmyra Portrait Project,where she assisted the editing of the project’s database, and later as part of the administration at UrbNet. After graduating with a Master’s degree in Classical Archaeology from Aarhus University in June 2021, she has worked as a research assistant, where she continued her work with the Palmyrene corpus of funerary sculpture. Mette started her PhD position on 1 February 2022.