Trade 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.