Simulating the past: submit your book proposals now

February 19, 2016

springerSimulation approaches are slowly becoming more mainstream in our discipline, rightly so! This trend will very much be supported by a new book series published by Springer: “Simulating the Past”. I would love to see some network/simulation books in the series. Have an idea for a book in this series? Get in touch with the editors! 1000229 [at] uab [dot] cat

More details here:

In collaboration with Springer Verlag, we are planning a new book series  (“Simulating the Past”) to publish relevant research on the methodological and theoretical aspects of computer simulation in archaeological and historical contexts. Our goal is to adress the theoretical,  technichal and technological aspects of social sciences explanation, in special those aspects related  with historical time, in order to promote deeper understanding and collaboration in the study of past human behavior and history. We would like to find good monographs, PhD dissertations, or ideas for edited volumes from different disciplinary backgrounds: history, ecology, archaeology, anthropology, sociology, computer science and complex systems.  Contributions are welcomed on all subjects (from Anthropology, Archaeology, Geography and Political or Economic History) using different approaches to social simulation and presenting case studies from any region of the world and any prehistoric or historic period. Theoretical aspects of social and cultural evolution are also encouraged.
The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

• Applications of computational modeling in archaeology and history
• Social organization and change
• Cultural transmission and evolution
• Long term socio-ecology
• Human adaptation and climate change
• Cooperation and social interaction
• Trade and exchange
• Hunter-Gatherers
• Origins of State
• Origins of Agriculture
• Economic History
• History of War and Conflict
• Paleolithic, Neolithic , Ages of Metals
• Greek and Roman History
• Medieval History
• Modern History

If you have an already written text, or do you plan to write such a text in the next two years, we would like to read it and consider for publication with the imprint of Springer Verlag.

The provisional Editorial Board has the follwoing experts in the field:

Series Editor: Juan A. Barceló (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona),

Editorial Board:   Michael Barton (Arizona State University), Claudio Cioffi-Revilla (George Mason University), André Costopoulos (McGill University), Sergey Gavrilets (University of Tennessee), Marco Janssen (Arizona State University), Tim Kohler (Washington State University), Steven Shennan (University College, London), Flaminio Squazzoni (University of Brescia), William J. Turkel (Western Ontario University, Canada).

Trade dynamics session at EAA Vilnius

February 12, 2016

vilniusTrade is a massive research topic in archaeology and one of my favourites. But I am very convinced that the study of trade in archaeology in particular could benefit greatly from the use of new computational methods. At the EAA in Vilnius there will be a session about exactly this, and I can definitely recommend submitting papers to this session if your work falls into this.

Deadline call for papers: 15 February 2016.

Submit abstract online.

You can read more about the session here or below.

Trade is one of the major factors contributing to the complexity of societies. It takes place at various spatial, organisational and temporal scales and is shaped by the interplay of many sociocultural, political and geographical factors. The study of trade dynamics in archaeology is therefore also interdisciplinary, using concepts and data from other disciplines, such as economics, human geography and ancient history.

Understanding trade dynamics is crucial to improve our knowledge of the socio-economic context of past societies. But if we want to make more sense of the complexity of trade, we need sophisticated, integrated computational approaches to analyse and model trade systems through time (such as network science methods, agent-based modelling and Bayesian statistics). These are especially useful to develop new perspectives that cannot be arrived at through isolated, monodisciplinary case studies or by low-level data analysis.

For this session, we therefore invite papers demonstrating and reflecting on the application of computational approaches to trade dynamics of past societies, in particular those dealing with issues of scale and complexity. Papers can focus on theoretical issues, methodological challenges and/or practical applicability in case studies, without any temporal or geographic restriction.

Tom’s Oxford mini-tour

February 9, 2016

oxfordOne of the awesome things about my job is that I get to travel around and talk to people about the stuff I love (read “bore people by ranting about a niche interest”). This week I am in Oxford and I will be giving two talks tomorrow (10 February 2016). So if you are in the neighbourhood and are prepared to be talked to about networks and Romans, come along!

At 1pm I will give a talk at the Institute of Archaeology as part of the Roman Discussion Forum seminar series. The talk is called “Introducing MERCURY: an agent-based network model of ceramic distribution for studying Roman economic integration”. You can get the slides here.

At 5pm I will give a talk at Corpus Christi college as part of their classics seminar series. The talk is called ” The potential of network science for archaeology illustrated through a network study of the Roman economy”. You can get the slides here.

CAA call for six Scientific Committee posts and four CAA committee posts

February 3, 2016

caaSubject: call for candidates for six open Scientific Committee posts and four open CAA committee posts

Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) invites applications for one of six open Scientific Committee posts. We also remind CAA members of our previous call for four open steering committee posts: outreach officer, treasurer, publication officer, bursary and student/low income officer.

From 2016 CAA will have a scientific committee to oversee the scientific quality of work presented at its conferences over the coming years. The work of the scientific committee will concern exclusively the scientific quality of the sessions, papers and posters. Candidates do not have to be current CAA members but have experience with the CAA community and conferences. Candidates must express an interest in the posts before 29 February 2016 by sending a CV and motivational statement demonstrating their experience with the CAA conferences to the CAA secretary. The tasks of the scientific committee are listed below. Please contact the CAA secretary if additional information is required.

The current treasurer and publication officer will stand down at CAA2016 in Oslo, the outreach and the bursary and student/low income officers are two new posts. Candidates must be CAA members and applications by all CAA members will be considered. CAA encourages in particular applications from female and non-European CAA members. The tasks associated with these posts are given below. Candidates must express an interest in the posts before 29 February 2016 by sending a motivational statement and CV to the CAA secretary. Please contact the CAA secretary if additional information is required. To become a CAA member, please visit our website.

CAA is a growing international community with an active membership of over 500 academics and professionals with a shared interest in archaeological computing. The CAA has organised annual international conferences since 1973 and has 14 national chapters spread across the globe. As an officer of CAA you will help carry on this strong tradition by coordinating CAA’s organisation throughout the year and by encouraging the continued growth of a diverse and inspiring community.

The outreach officer is a steering committee (SC) post (ex-officio member of the executive steering committee [ESC]) that will be filled by the most appropriate candidate selected by the CAA ESC from all received applications. The other three are ESC Officer posts. ESC officers are elected by CAA members at the Annual General Meeting for terms of three years, and each officer may hold their post for up to two terms. It is then however possible to be elected for a different post. Candidates must be able to commit an estimated equivalent of three weeks of full-time work spread throughout the year to CAA business. Candidates must also be able to attend the yearly conference and an ESC meeting at the conference venue (or sometimes via Skype) usually in December/January before the conference (financial assistance is available for this pre-conference meeting but not for the conference itself). The election of officers for these three posts will happen by CAA members during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at CAA Oslo (29 March – 2 April 2016). If there are multiple candidates for a post, the candidates will be asked to give a short (2 minute) motivational statement at the AGM before the vote takes place.

Scientific committee (ScC)

Candidates for these posts have experience with the CAA community and conferences, but are not required to be CAA members at time of application. The ScC will consist of 13 individuals including a member of the local organising committee of the CAA conference and an ScC chair.

The tasks of the ScC include:

  • The ScC is responsible for overseeing the scientific quality of session, paper and poster proposals, and has the final say on accepting or rejecting contributions.
  • The ScC and its chair will perform their tasks in a consistent and transparent manner
  • The role of the ScC is limited to the conference activities and it is not involved in the quality control of the publications (this is the responsibility of the Editorial Board).
  • The ScC chair is responsible for allocating tasks to ScC members, for coordinating the activities of the ScC with those of the local organiser, and for communicating with the ESC.
  • The local organiser is a member of the ScC and will communicate practical limitations of the conference (e.g. number of rooms, maximum number of parallel sessions, maximum number of sessions) with the ScC chair.
  • The ScC and its Chair will work according to the published responsibilities and guidelines as approved by CAA members at the AGM.

Candidates interested in applying for these posts should send a short motivational statement demonstrating their experience with the CAA conferences and a CV to the CAA secretary before 29 February 2016.

Outreach (NEW CAA steering committee post)

Candidates for this post will probably be young, creative and pro-active CAA members who have experience and interest in communication, social media, and outreach aimed at diversifying communities.

The tasks of this new post will include:

  •          Actively encourage new areas of membership and the diversity of the CAA community
  •          Share news, deadlines, advertising of CAA on selected social media and the CAA website
  •          Responsible for all external communication of CAA, but not to the membership (which is done by the Membership Secretary)
  •          Advise local organisers of social media strategies
  •          Oversee our connection to and collaboration with other conferences and academic communities (UISPP, DH, TAG, WAC). Consultation on conference dates and venues with these communities
  •          Provide an annual report of activities

Candidates interested in applying for this post should send a short motivational statement and a CV to the CAA secretary before 29 February 2016.

Bursary and student/low income officer (NEW CAA executive steering committee post)

The tasks of this new post will include:

  •          Coordinate student/low-income bursaries
  •          Chair the bursary committee
  •          Coordinate handing out of bursaries
  •          Coordinate Nick Ryan bursary
  •          Coordinate the student/low-income representation
  •          Liaise with local organisers regarding affordable fees/accommodation

The creation of this new ESC post is subject to the acceptance of a modified CAA constitution incorporating this post, which will be proposed at and voted on during the Annual General Meeting in Oslo before the officer’s elections.

Candidates interested in applying for this post should send a short motivational statement and a CV to the CAA secretary before 29 February 2016. Candidates are invited to get in touch with the current student/low income SC officer (John Pouncett, to find out more about the responsibilities and future duties.

Treasurer (CAA executive steering committee post)

The Treasurer deals with all financial activities of CAA, including:

  • Keeping a detailed overview of finances
  • All CAA related bills apart from those directly linked to conference organisation
  • Organise annual auditing
  • Managing bank accounts
  • Primary contact for financial information regarding CAA
  • Reporting all this to the officers and membership

The treasurer is also a member of the bursary committee, which is responsible for deciding which applicants will receive bursaries to attend the conference. Any incoming bursary application is decided by this committee on the basis of a set of rules, which will be published on the CAA webpage.

Candidates interested in applying for this post should send a short motivational statement and a CV to the CAA secretary before 29 February 2016. Candidates are invited to get in touch with the current treasurer (Axel Posluschny, to find out more about the responsibilities and future duties of the CAA treasurer.

Publication officer (CAA executive steering committee post)

The Publication Officer is responsible for ensuring and organizing the publication of the annual conference proceedings. S/he will be supported by an Editorial Board, consisting of other members of the SC, including co-opted ex officio members and the CAA Review College. Any member of CAA can be co-opted as an Editorial Board member by the ESC upon request from the Publication Officer.

Tasks of the publication officer include:

  • Communication with publishers
  • Communicating with and directing local organizers where it concerns the publication process
  • Occasionally communicating with Editorial Board to discuss relevant issues
  • Occasionally answering questions on publication issues from members
  • Maintaining publication guidelines
  • Maintaining Review College database and communicating with its members
  • Digital archiving of Proceedings
  • Continue the new publication plan for 2016 and beyond, including digital proceedings and the CAA journal

Candidates interested in applying for this post should send a short motivational statement and a CV to the CAA secretary before 29 February 2016. Candidates are invited to get in touch with the current publication officer (Philip Verhagen, to find out more about the responsibilities and future duties.

Loads of networks in Oxford Classical seminar series

February 1, 2016


Classics and archaeology are fiercely complimentary disciplines and I love playing a balancing act between the two. This of course means: playing with networks by drawing on both written and textual sources of the ancient world. The use of network science in Classics is really taking off, as much as it is in Archaeology. This is reflected in work by Irad Malkin in his book ‘A Small Greek World‘ and by the HESTIA team including Elton Barker who just published a volume entitled ‘New Worlds from Old Texts‘. Both will present in the series, as will I. So do come along if you can.

When? Weekly 5pm, 27 January – 9 March 2016

Where? Corpus Christy College, Oxford (UK)

Networks in the Ancient World
27th January

Elton Barker (Open): Network thinking: textual maps, conceptual frameworks, scholarly practice


3rd February
Eivind Heldaas Seland (Bergen): Rome and the not so friendly king: The social networks of local rulers in the Roman Near East

10th February
Tom Brughmans (Konstanz): The potential of network science for archaeology illustrated through a network study of the Roman economy

17th February
William Mack (Birmingham): Social Networking for Poleis

24th February
Irad Malkin (Tel Aviv): title tbc

2nd March
John Tully (Cardiff): Social Proxenoi: SNA in the Hellenistic Cyclades

9th March
Esther Eidinow (Nottingham): ‘What Will You Give Me?’: Networks, Narratives and the Sacred

For a printable poster for the series or any other enquiries please contact: