Researcher Joaquín Jiménez, awarded for his innovative study on social networks in recent prehistory

Joaquín Jiménez Puerto, researcher at the Department of Prehistory, Archaeology and Ancient History of the University of Valencia, has received the Almuzara National Award for the Best Doctoral Thesis in Archaeology 2022 for his work -Conectando con el pasado. Redes sociales en la Prehistoria Reciente- (-Connecting with the past. Social networks in recent prehistory-). The jury, formed by full professors of Archaeology, highlighted the study’s innovative approach, depth of research and potential impact in the field of Archaeology.

The research of Jiménez Puerto, Prometheus junior doctoral researcher, challenges the notion that social networks are an exclusively modern phenomenon. His thesis proves that social networks have been a constant in humanity since its origins and constitute the fundamental framework on which human societies are built. Detailed analysis of social network structures in different communities reveals their significant influence on the social, economic and political structures of prehistoric communities.

"Social networks are a distinctive element of human communities of all times, although recently it is related only to the ’virtual social networks’ of the Internet", highlights Jiménez Puerto. His thesis has been directed by Joan Bernabeu and Teresa Orozco.

The award recognises the originality of the approaches presented, the methodological design and the empirical contributions of the thesis and also means recognition of the Department of Prehistory, Archaeology and Ancient History of the University of Valencia, promoting an academic environment conducive to the development and significant contributions in their areas of study.

Joaquín Jiménez Puerto is a researcher in the field of Computational Archaeology, with multidisciplinary training in History and Archaeology (UV) and Computer Science (Polytechnic University of Valencia). His areas of specialisation include the study of the Late Neolithic-Chalcolithic through computational methods applied to Archaeology, especially in Social Network Analysis, artificial neural networks and paleodemographic modelling. He currently works with Artificial Neural Networks (Machine Learning) to classify archaeological artefacts and integrate them into Social Network Analysis studies.

The Almuzara Award for the Best Doctoral Thesis in Archaeology is convened to make visible the excellence of archaeological research at Spanish universities, discover new talents in this discipline and promote the transfer of knowledge.