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On 14-16 November 2017, JIAS hosted a ground-breaking workshop on ‘Understanding the pre-colonial world through computational history’.

The workshop was aimed at assessing the scope for southern African input into the Interactive Global Histories (1205-1533) Project based at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

More specifically, it was aimed at assessing how machine learning techniques could contribute to historical databases on the precolonial world and provide data-driven modelling and simulations to fill a crucial gap in the study of Afro-Eurasian networks, namely sharing primary sources, and making them machine-readable.

The event was of interest to historians and scientists interested in the pre-colonial world, and to those interested in the developing field of the digital humanities.


The presenters included:

  • Andrea Nanetti, Mikhail Filippov and Joty Shafiq Rayhan of NTU;
  • Maarten de Wit of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University;
  • Simon Hall, Abigail Moffett and Nicholas Zachariou of UCT; and
  • Yussuf Adam and Mussa Raja of Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo.
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