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Dear List-Folks,

I'm interested in doing social network analysis on an Egyptian tax
register. The text in question has some 450 names, many of which repeat at
various points throughout. I am interested in exploring whether there is
any discernible pattern to the names in the text, and to the pairings and
groupings therein. This might help me learn whether the text was compiled
by going door-to-door, and thus represents a topographical source, or
whether it was compiled in order of payment, which might mean something
else entirely.

Turning the document into a usable data-set is easy enough. Rows for the
names, columns for the line-numbers they appear in. It seems to me that to
find patterns, I must also link each entry to its neighbor, giving (for
instance) the name in line 10 an artificial link to the names in lines 9
and 11 as well. All of this will, in essence, give me a data-set from
which the text itself could be recreated.

Here, I reach my intellectual limit! What questions do I now want to ask
of this data-set? If I want to look for patterns, for groups, for
tell-tale sequences, what ought I do? If the order of names in the text do
in fact represent topographical groupings (and therefore, who lived next
to whom) how do I probe this data-set to find out?

Any thoughts you all might have are greatly welcome,

Giovanni Ruffini

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