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Transport networks and towns in Roman and early medieval England: An application of PageRank to archaeological questions

Brookes, S; Huynh, HN; (2018) Transport networks and towns in Roman and early medieval England: An application of PageRank to archaeological questions. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports , 17 pp. 477-490. 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.033. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper examines the development of a road network through time to consider its relationship to processes of urbanisation in Roman and early medieval England. Using a popular network measure called PageRank, we classify the importance of nodes in the transport network of roads and navigable waterways to assess the relative location of urban places. Applying this measure we show that there is a strong correlation between the status of towns in both Roman and medieval periods and their proximity to transport nodes with high values of PageRank. Comparison between two temporally distinct networks—Early Roman, and that recorded in the Domesday survey of 1086 CE—allows for a discussion about the determinants of urban growth at different times. The applicability of PageRank to other forms of network analysis in archaeology is offered in conclusion.

Type: Article
Title: Transport networks and towns in Roman and early medieval England: An application of PageRank to archaeological questions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.033
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.033
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Roman Britain, Early medieval towns, Transport networks, PageRank, Network analysis
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10038458
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