Introducing the simulating complexity blog!

complexThis week a new player was launched in the archaeological computing blogosphere! Let’s welcome simulatingcomplexity. Apart from having a really nice layout, the blog features some pretty awesome content. The blog concerns all things complexity, but focuses in particular on complex systems simulation in the Humanities. The blog’s editors, Stefani Crabtree, Iza Romanowska, and Ben Davies, have provided a very readable introduction for those of us who have never heard of complexity science. In “The tale of complexity science” they mention that “complexity science deals with complex systems. And a complex system is a system consisting of a large number of independent components which interact with each other and sometimes also with the environment, a good example of which is a society, an ant hill or a brain.” Want to know more? Then check out the posts on their blog.

The blog promises to be a useful reference point for news and events concerning complexity science in the humanities. What I find particularly useful is the list of resources they included, which includes an introductory bibliography, some tutorials and case studies. I believe the editors also welcome guest posts, so don’t hesitate and get in touch with them if you have something to say.

Livestream Crabtree seminar Tuesday

crabtree_webNext Tuesday (21-01-2014) Stefani Crabtree will give a talk entitled ‘A Tale of Two Villages: How Food Exchange Led to Aggregation in the American Southwest’ in the Archaeological Computing Research Group here in Southampton. This talk will be livestreamed via this URL, so no reason not to watch this promising talk! Stef’s work will be of interest to all of us who love their networks, adore agent-based-modelling, have a passion for the archaeology of the US Southwest … or those who just enjoy a great talk by an inspiring researcher.

When? Tuesday 21 January 2014 5pm GMT
Where? Southampton and online!
Livestream URL
Stefani’s abstract is attached below, and have a look at the poster for her talk by clicking on the image above.

Want to know more about the research done at the Archaeological Computing Research Group? We’ve been pretty good in sharing our work on our group’s blog lately, so check it out there!

In this talk I use computer simulation to explore the extent to which food-sharing practices would have been instrumental for the survival of Ancestral Pueblo people across the patchy landscape of the Prehispanic American Southwest. Social networks would have created stable bonds among these exchanging individuals, further helping the survival of those individuals and their progeny. Specifically, I engage Sahlins’s notion of balanced reciprocal exchange networks (BRN; when unrelated individuals rely upon reputation building to inform exchange relationships) within the experimental test-bed of the Village Ecodynamics Project’s agent-based simulation.

CFP Digital Classicist London

DCThe Digital Classicist has become a bit of an institution, offering great examples of how and why classicists should not necessariy be afraid to use modern technology. The series is gearing up for another year of seminars, the call for papers is now open with a 9 March deadline. The organisation, audience, venue and presenters are generally awesome, so I can only recommend submitting an abstract. More info below or on their website.

The Digital Classicist London seminars have since 2006 provided a forum for research into the ancient world that employs digital and other quantitative methods. The seminars, hosted by the Institute of Classical Studies, are on Friday afternoons from June to mid-August in Senate House, London.

We welcome contributions from students as well as from established researchers and practitioners. We welcome high-quality papers discussing individual projects and their immediate context, but also accommodate broader theoretical consideration of the use of digital technology in Classical studies. The content should be of interest both to classicists, ancient historians or archaeologists, and to information specialists or digital humanists, and should have an academic research agenda relevant to at least one of those fields.

There is a budget to assist with travel to London (usually from within the UK, but we have occasionally been able to assist international presenters to attend).

To submit a proposal for consideration, email an abstract of approximately 500 words to by midnight UTC on March 9th, 2014.

Further information and details of past seminars are available at:


caaukTime for another CAA UK chapter meeting! This year it wil take place in Oxford on 21-22 March. The call for papers is now out, with a 31 January deadline. The online submissions system will be live on the 15th. So time to start writing those abstracts, let’s get some networky papers in there 🙂

More info below or on the CAA UK website.

The next annual meeting of the UK Chapter of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA-UK) will be held in Oxford on 21st and 22nd March 2014. CAA-UK aims to encourage communication between UK-based archaeologists, mathematicians and computer scientists in order to stimulate research and promote best practice in computational and mathematical approaches to the past.

Computational and statistical approaches have become an essential part of the tool-kit, so much so that they have become de rigueur. Whilst it has often been acknowledged that such ‘tools’ are not theory-neutral, both approaches have struggled to throw off their positivist origins. Papers and posters are encouraged which move beyond abstract models or representations and offer substantive contributions to interpretation of the past.

Suggested topics include:

Spatial analysis;
Remote sensing;
3D modelling;
Network analysis;
Statistical methods;
Semantic web;
‘Social’ media.

Abstracts (350 words maximum) should be submitted via the conference website ( by 31st January 2014. The online submission system will go live on 15th January 2014. Any queries regarding the call for papers should be emailed to

Student Conference Complexity Science

SCCSSouthampton has a great centre for Complexity Science, and this summer they will be hosting the ‘Student Conference on Complexity Science‘! This is the fourth edition of the conference (I think) but this is the very first time with an open call for papers and sessions! The conference is organised in turn by one of the UK Complexity Science Doctoral Training Centres, and it features an extremely eclectic mix of student papers and disciplines. Including archaeology of course. In fact, archaeologist Iza Romanowska is one of the co-ordinators of the event. The SCCS is all over the social-media channels, for more info you can check out their website, Facebook page, follow them on Twitter or Youtube channel. Keynotes include Nigel Gilbert (sociologist, editor of Journal of Social Systems Simulation) and Eörs Szathmáry (evolutionary biologist).

Dates for your calendar:
Call for Sessions: 12 p.m. (UTC) 27th Jan 2014
Call for Papers opens: 17th Feb 2014
Call for Papers: 12 p.m. (UTC) 26th May 2014
Papers announced: 16th Jun 2014

SCCS 2014: 19th-22nd Aug 2014

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