This year marks the 40th anniversary of CAA. We will celebrate this event with the ‘Personal Histories of CAA’ session to be held at the CAA conference venue on Wednesday 28 March, from 2pm to 4pm. The founders, former chairs and key members of CAA throughout the last 40 decades will share their personal experiences with us. We are honoured that for this event we are able to welcome to Southampton Sue Laflin, Phil Barker, Clive Orton, John Wilcock, Nick Ryan, Paul Reilly and Hans Kamermans, as well as listen to an interview with Irwin Scollar. The session will be moderated by the current chair of CAA, Gary Lock.
Over the last forty years CAA has grown from an annual event at the University of Birmingham to a national and now worldwide conference attracting over 300 participants every year. It also lived through major changes in the role computing played in academia and people’s personal lives, through the availability of computers at academic institutions, the introduction of GIS, the affordability of computers for private use, the rise of user friendly operating systems, and last but not least the emergence and extreme impact of the world wide web. These events have strongly influenced the way archaeologists have used computing and quantitative techniques, and no organisation is a better reflection of this than CAA. The ‘Personal histories of CAA’ session aims to make the current generation of archaeologists aware of such dramatic shifts, and to provide personal perspectives for charting fascinating future research avenues.