Dr Michael Loy is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Classics. His project, entitled ‘Cargo and conflict: Aegean networks after the Persian Wars’, uses GIS, network analysis and ABM to model economic exchange patterns in the fifth century BC, exploring, in particular, the distribution of transport amphoras in the archaeological record – pottery vessels used to carry grain, olive oil and wine. This builds on the methodology developed in his first monograph, Connecting Communities in Archaic Greece. Exploring economic and political networks through data modelling (Cambridge University Press, 2023).
Over a hundred years of archaeological fieldwork in Greece has generated huge volumes of material data. A large part of Michael’s work concentrates on synthesising big databases of these excavated objects from print publications and from archival resources, assembling old data to look at ancient landscapes in new ways. Michael is particularly interested in the conceptual and methodological challenges of harmonising non-equivalent data: for example, of comparing object distributions from two archaeological sites that have been excavated, studied and published in completely different ways. As co-director of the West Area of Samos Archaeological Project, Michael is responsible for designing and implementing a ‘paperless’ data collection strategy for the British School at Athens’ pedestrian field survey on the island of Samos (2021–2025).
In his previous position as Assistant Director of the British School at Athens, Michael collaborated with CDH on digitisation and digital resource projects run by the Fitzwilliam Museum and by the Archives of the Faculty of Classics and Pembroke College.