Translating Knowledge about Past Societies into Seshat Data

Peter Turchin
Cliodynamics January 2, 2018 Journal Link


The Seshat: Global History Databank was founded in 2011 with the goal of systematically collecting data about social, political, and economic organization of human societies and how they have evolved over time. From the beginning the first guiding principle of the Seshat project was to reflect the current state of knowledge about past societies as accurately as possible within practical constraints (I’ll discuss practical limitations later on). Second, and equally important, our aim for the database was to reflect not only what is known, but what is unknown, or poorly known.
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