18. An Introduction to Seshat: Global History Databank

Studying the Religious Mind - Methodology in the Cognitive Science of Religion - Armin W. Geertz

Peter Turchin, et. al. [+-]
University of Connecticut
Peter Turchin is a Professor at the University of Connecticut, External Professor at the Complexity Science Hub-Vienna, and Research Associate in the School of Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He conducts research on the cultural evolution and historical dynamics of past and present societies.


This chapter introduces the Seshat: Global History Databank, its potential, and its methodology. Seshat is a databank containing vast amounts of quantitative data buttressed by qualitative nuance for a large sample of historical and archaeological polities. The sample is global in scope and covers the period from the Neolithic Revolution to the Industrial Revolution. Seshat allows scholars to capture dynamic processes and to test theories about the co-evolution (or not) of social scale and complexity, agriculture, warfare, religion, and any number of such Big Questions. Seshat is rapidly becoming a massive resource for innovative cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary research. Seshat is part of a growing trend to use comparative historical data on a large scale and contributes as such to a growing consilience between the humanities and social sciences. Seshat is underpinned by a robust and transparent workflow to ensure the ever growing dataset is of high quality.

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Turchin, et. al. , Peter. 18. An Introduction to Seshat: Global History Databank. Studying the Religious Mind - Methodology in the Cognitive Science of Religion. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Aug 2022. ISBN 9781800501614. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=43018. Date accessed: 27 Nov 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43018. Aug 2022

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