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  • Pau de Soto (Main Researcher)
  • Daniel Alves (Supervisor)


From the project website (accessed 2023-05-15):

Mercator-e is designed to analyse the social, political and economical repercussions of the construction of transport infrastructures during several periods in the Iberian Peninsula. An integrated approach joining multi-proxy analysis (SNA applied to the network centrality, TNA to analyse transport costs & times, demography studies, interpolation and map algebra) and the study of archaeo-historical sources will be applied in different historical periods. The Iberian Peninsula is a perfect territory for analysing the impact of infrastructures due to its geographical morphology. This is because it is sufficiently extensive and in turn, only connected to the rest of the continent through a restricted zone that makes it a virtually isolated territory and shaped in itself. Historically, the Iberian Peninsula has had periods with very different political ideologies about the role and needs of infrastructure that will be analysed in this project: 1) The Roman era, a remote metropolis with clear intentions of economic exploitation. 2) The Middle Ages with great political fragmentation, territorial consolidations and periods of war, the so called ‘Reconquista’ and between the several newly emerged kingdoms. 3) The Modern Era, where Spain and Portugal conquered and dominated much of the overseas territories in America and in Africa and where large centralised royalties appeared. 4) The XIXth Century and the emergence of a new means of transport, the railroad.

The main objective of this project is to understand the role of infrastructures in the social, political and economical evolution of the Iberian territories, from the dichotomy that can be established between the connectivity of the cities and the costs and time of transport. All these new processes that will help us to understand the historical evolution of transport are inserted in the search for new methodologies to quantify in different ways, and with current tools, aspects of the Historical Economy.