CFP networks session Kiel conference

This session on networks will be of interest to readers of this blog. The call for papers is open now.

More information on the conference website.

Session 7: Mediterranean Connections – how the Sea links people and transforms identities

Session organizers: A. Rutter*, E. Loitzou, O. Nakoinz, F. Fulminante, L. Schmidt*, D. Möhlmann, L. Käppel, H. Klinkott

*corresponding chair, stu213017[at], lschmidt[at]

Keynote speaker: tba

Long-term research interest in the Mediterranean has produced a substantial body of data and concepts that make it a fascinating testing ground for new approaches on identity, alterity, and connectivity. For the inhabitants of the Mediterranean, the sea evidently influenced their lives and their thinking in a significant way. (Pre-)history, philology, and archaeology alike can trace the emergence of ancient perceptions of distance and connections as well as the movement of material, people, and ideas. Researchers of these professions have long been irritated by a tendency to define political or cultural entities spatially. The identification of collective identities as networked spheres of interest, however, allows us to progress towards an understanding of processes within the Mediterranean as a dynamic area of common cultures and conflicts. Shared mental maps and networks thus help to understand the collapse of powers, systems, and identities, the emergence of new ones, and the role of possibly persisting parts of a network in such processes.

With contributors from all disciplines dealing with connections, networks, and mental maps, whether they be archaeology, (pre-)history, philology, geography, and sociology, and also the natural sciences, we would like to discuss the following:

  • how the contact area of the Mediterranean influences the (self-)representation of peoples and individuals as well as the formation of identity and alterity
  • what role Mediterranean connections play in cultural, political, and ideological developments
  • how ancient writers and artists form and use Mediterranean connections
  • analyses of the emergence and transformations of connections within the Ancient Mediterranean
  • the conditions under which the physical environment determines the presence or absence of connections
  • how the concept of network layers contributes to an understanding of past events around the Mediterranean seascape
  • new theories and interpretations concerning the role of power, conflicts, and different communities that can be connected to the network approach
  • network modelling between simulations and empirical observations

We particularly invite contributions from a wide range of regions to include as many perspectives as possible from around the Mediterranean World.

The network aspects of this session links with the theoretical approaches of Complexity (Schlicht et al., Session 6), while connectivity and emergence of identity relate to Social Space (Grimm et al., Session 1) and Social Resilience (Yang et al., Session 11). They also form a backdrop to considerations of Territoriality (Schaefer-Di Maida et al., Session 8). The concept of mental maps is also reflected in Urban Knowledge (Chiarenza et al., Session 9).


Let’s do networks AND theory!

I sometimes get a bit annoyed that fellow archaeologists assume I don’t do theory because I use calculators. In fact, network science and all archaeological research is completely useless unless it is explicitly theoretically informed, and I have published this argument loads. Yet I notice that it is rather rare for the theories that archaeologists formulate about relationships to be explicitly recorded in their papers alongside their network analysis results.
So let’s try to change this: here’s a call to be explicit about our theoretical frameworks when doing archaeological network research. This is the topic of a session I co-chair with Paula Gheorghiade at the CAA in Krakow 2019.
Submit your abstract before the 10 October deadline!
We invite abstracts for our session on archaeological network research (S26) at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference, Kraków 23-27 April 2019.
Deadline 10 October.
Archaeological network research: formal network representation of archaeological theories
Paula Gheorghiade (Department of Art, University of Toronto)
Tom Brughmans (School of Archaeology, University of Oxford)
In this session we aim to discuss and encourage the explicit representation of archaeological theories as network data, and the explicit theoretical motivation of network science method selection.
Formal network science methods are increasingly commonly applied in archaeological research to study diverse aspects of past human behaviour. The vast majority of these applications concern the use of exploratory network analysis techniques to study the structure of a network representation of an archaeological dataset, which often lead to a better insight into the structure of the dataset, help identify issues or missing data, and highlight interesting or surprising data patterning.
Less common is the explicitly formulated theoretical motivation of exploratory network analysis tool selection. What tools are appropriate representations of my theorized assumptions? What tools violate my theoretical framework? Equally uncommon is the formal representation of archaeological theories (rather than archaeological data) as network data. What network data pattern do I expect to see as the outcome of a theorized process? What does a theorized past relational phenomenon look like in network terms?
Taking explicitly formulated theories rather than datasets as the starting point of archaeological network research is useful for a number of reasons. It forces the researcher to specify the theory that will enable its formal representation, and possibly improve or modify it through this process. It allows for understanding the behaviour and data predictions of a theory: in exploring the structure of the theorized relationships, the implications for processes taking place on theorized networks, and the evolution of theorized network structure. It facilitates the selection of appropriate network analytical tools that best express the theory or that are appropriate in light of the assumptions inherent in the theory. Finally, it allows for comparisons of data patterns simulated as the outcome of a theorized network process with archaeological observations, to evaluate the plausibility of the theory.
This session welcomes presentations on the following topics:
• Archaeological network research: applications, methods or theories
• Network representation of archaeological theories
• Testing archaeological theories with network science
• Using network configurations, motifs and graphlets for representing theories
• Exponential random graph modelling
• Agent-based network modelling
• Spatial network modelling

Evolution of cultural complexity CFP

I can strongly recommend submitting a proposal to this satellite session as well as attending the conference on complex systems. I went to the previous iteration and it was an inspiring event. Submit you abstract by 1 June 2018! Archaeological papers and network research will be very welcome.

We are pleased to announce a call for abstracts for our session on “Evolution of Cultural Complexity” at the annual “Conference on Complex System”. The Conference on Complex System will takes place this year in Thessaloniki, Greece, from the 23rd to the 27th of September. The satellites will take place between the 26th and 27th of September 2018.

Human sociocultural evolution has been documented throughout the history of humans and earlier hominins. This evolution manifests itself through development from tools as simple as a rock used to break nuts, to something as complex as a spaceship able to land man on other planets. Equally, we have witnessed evolution of human population towards complex multilevel social organisation.
Although cases of decrease and loss of this type of complexity have been reported, in global terms it tends to increase with time. Despite its significance, the conditions and the factors driving this increase are still poorly understood and subject to debate. Different hypothesis trying to explain the rise of sociocultural complexity in human societies have been proposed (demographic factor, cognitive component, historical contingency…) but so far no consensus has been reached.
Here we raise a number of questions:

Can we better define sociocultural complexity and confirm its general tendency to increase over the course of human history?
What are the main factors enabling an increase of cultural complexity?
Are there reliable way to measure the complexity in material culture and social organisation constructs, that is?
How can we quantify and compare the impact of different factors?
What causes a loss of cultural complexity in a society? And how often these losses occurred in the past?

In this satellite meeting we want to bring together a community of researchers coming from different scientific domains and interested in different aspect of the evolution of social and cultural complexity. From archaeologists, to linguists, social scientists, historians and artificial intelligence specialists – the topic of sociocultural complexity transgresses traditional discipline boundaries. We want to establish and promote a constructive dialogue incorporating different perspectives: theoretical as well as empirical approaches, research based on historical and archaeological sources, as well as actual evidences and contemporary theories.

Submissions will be made by sending an abstract in PDF (maximum 250 words) via Easychair here: . The deadline for abstract submission is on the 1st of June 2018. The contributions to this satellite will be evaluated by the scientific committee through a peer review process that will evaluate the scientific quality and the relevance to the goal of this session. Notification of accepted abstracts will be communicated as soon as possible.

Please find more details on the following website:
We strongly encourage you to participate

Spread the word

Simon Carrignon and Sergi Valverde

Historical Network Research conference 2018 Brno

The HNR conference series is in its fifth edition now. It’s a great event and a perfect venue for presenting archaeological network research as well.

CFP Deadline 31 March

More info on the conference website and below.

Historical Network Research Conference 2018

Masaryk University, Brno, the Czech Republic

10th September 2018 (pre-conference tutorials and workshops)

11th-13th September 2018 (conference)

Organizing institutions

• Historical Network Research (

• Department for the Study of Religions (

• Czech Association for the Study of Religions (

Program Committee

• Dr. Aleš Chalupa (Masaryk University)

• Dr. Kimmo Elo (University of Helsinki)

• Dr. Ivo Veiga (New University of Lisbon)

• Dr. Martin Stark (ILS – Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development)

• Dr. David Zbíral (Masaryk University)

Call For Papers

The Historical Network Research group is pleased to announce its 5th annual conference. After the previous conferences that which took place in Hamburg in 2013, Ghent in 2014, Lisbon in 2015, and Turku in 2017, the 5th conference will be hosted by Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, on 10th-13th September 2018. The 5th Historical Network Research Conference seeks to foster historians’ awareness of the possibilities of network research and create opportunities for sharing cross- and multidisciplinary approaches to the networked past by bringing together historians, social scientists and computer scientists. The organizers welcome proposals for papers discussing any historical period and geographical area. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Social network analysis in historical research

• Network analysis in archaeology

• Network analysis and text mining in historical research

• Modeling diffusion on historical networks

• Modeling and simulation in historical research

• Religious networks

• Cultural and intellectual networks

• Networks in economic and business history

• Technological and research networks, scientific networks and collaborations

• Social movements and political mobilization

• Social networks in war, conflict, and peacemaking

• Methodological and theoretical issues of the network analysis in historical research

The language of the conference is English. There is no conference fee. Those who wish to participate in the optional social event on 12th September 2018 will be asked for a contribution of 25 € (625 CZK) collected at the registration desk during the conference.

The deadline for submissions of abstracts is 31st March 2018. All abstracts are to be submitted through the form in the Registration section. We kindly ask prospective participants without papers to register as well.

The presentations for the conference will be selected, after a peer review process, on the basis of abstracts. Notifications of acceptance/rejection will be announced in the second half of April 2018.

The list of pre-conference tutorials and workshops will be announced in the second half of April 2018. After the announcement, the registration for participation in these tutorials and workshops will be opened.

Types of presentations

• Regular papers (20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion). Regular papers should present a) results of a completed research; b) innovative research methods and their application; or c) a discussion concerning theoretical questions. An abstract should be 300-500 words long.

• Short papers (10 minutes + 5 minutes discussion). Short papers should present ideas, approaches and projects that have started only recently or are currently being prepared (e.g. grant projects, research initiatives etc.). A short paper should be audience-friendly and generate conference participants’ interest in the presented topic and/or attract potential partners for future collaboration. An abstract should be 200-400 words long.

• Posters should inform about completed research, research in progress or present new methods and/or research tools. Posters (format A0 portrait orientation) will be displayed throughout the conference at the venue site and introduced during the poster session. A poster abstract should be 200-400 words long.

• We welcome proposals for pre-conference tutorials and workshops which are to take place on Monday, 10th September 2018 (a day before the conference) in two time slots: 9-12 am and 2-5 pm. Proposals should include the workshop/tutorial title and a short description of its topic + contact information of the lecturer. An abstract should also include the information about a minimum and maximum number of participants, the type of audience (beginners, intermediate, advanced etc.), length and the type of necessary technical equipment participants should have (the organizers can provide only basic infrastructural support, e.g. suitable classrooms with a projector, whiteboard etc., not technical equipment such as laptops, specialized software etc.). The lecturer will be responsible for communicating necessary information to the registered participants. An abstract should be 200-400 long words.

CAA UK 2018 Edinburgh CFP

The UK chapter of CAA hosts a conference each year, a perfect opportunity for UK-based researchers to get in touch with their community of computational archaeology practitioners. It’s been a very good place to showcase archaeological network research in the past, so send in those abstracts.

CFP deadline 23 February 2018.

The organisers of CAA-UK 2018 would like to invite papers and posters for the 2018 meeting, to be held in Edinburgh, at Augustine, 41-43 George IV Bridge, EH1 1EL. On the 26th-27th October.

The use of quantitative methods and computer applications in heritage is an ever-changing discipline, with new software becoming available and new processes being created every day.

We would like to invite the submission of papers and posters related to the general topics of quantitative methods and computer applications in heritage. Topics that could be covered include:

  • Archaeogaming
  • Data management
  • Geophysics & Remote sensing
  • GIS & Geospatial Analysis
  • Integration of scientific and theoretical methods in computing
  • Photogrammetry & 3D Recording
  • Public Engagement
  • Semantic web
  • Social media
  • Simulations
  • Statistical methods
  • Visualisation & 3D modelling
  • Visualisation & Mixed Reality in Archaeology
  • Website development in the heritage sector

Please note that this list is not exhaustive and we will consider submissions on any relevant topics.

Speakers will be allocated a maximum of 20 minutes for presentations. Please send your
abstracts to the organisers at:

The deadline for abstract submission is Friday 23rd February 2018.

Agents, networks and models: CFP for our CAA2018 session

We welcome abstracts from those studying the human past using tools from network science, agent-based modelling and other complexity science approaches.
What? A session at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Techniques in Archaeology (CAA) conference
CFP deadline: 22 October
When? 19-23 March 2018

Agents, networks and models: formal approaches to systems, relationships and change in archaeology

Iza Romanowska
Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain

Tom Brughmans
University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Benjamin Davies
University of Auckland, New Zealand

Even if much ink has already been spilled on the need to use formal, computational methods to represent theories, compare alternative hypotheses and develop more complex narratives, the idea is still far from being firmly established in archaeology.

Complexity Science, the study of systems consisting of a collection of interconnected relationships and parts, provides a useful framework for formalising social and socio-natural models and it is often under this umbrella term that formal models are presented in archaeology. It has a particular appeal for researchers concerned with humans, as it stresses the importance of individual actions and interactions, as well as relations between individuals and wider system elements. Archaeology is a discipline that studies long-term, large-scale shifts in social change, human evolution, and relationships with the environment; how these phenomena emerge through the actions and interactions of individuals are questions that lie at the heart of our interests. Complexity Science offers an arsenal of methods that were developed specifically to tackle these kind of mulitscalar, multifaceted research questions.

This session will provide a forum for archaeological case studies developed using Complexity Science toolkits as well as for more methodological papers. We invite submissions of models at any stage of development from the first formalisation of the conceptual model to presenting final results.

Possible topics include but are not limited to applications or discussions of the following approaches:

  • Complexity science,
  • Network science,
  • Agent-based and equation-based modelling,
  • System dynamics,
  • Long-term change in social systems,
  • Social simulation in geographical space,
  • Complex urban systems, space syntax, gravity models.

Complex Systems and Change, session at Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference

Calton-Hill-2-CAMWe invite papers for a session on complexity science/advanced data analysis/formal modelling at the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference (TRAC, Edinburgh, 12-14 April 2018). Please find the abstract below. This is a double session, the first part ‘Exploring Complex Systems’ will focus on finding patters, defining relationships and exploring past complexity, while the second part ‘Understanding Change’ will showcase applications of formal methods to understand social and economic processes and change.

To submit an abstract (300 words), please complete the submission template available here:

and send it to .
Deadline: 6 October 2018.
If you would like to discuss your paper before submitting, please feel free to contact us (see cc).

Tom Brughmans, John W. Hanson, Matthew J. Mandich, Iza Romanowska, Xavier Rubio-Campillo

Call for papers, session at Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, Edinburgh 12-14 April 2018:

Formal Approaches to Complexity in Roman Archaeology: Exploring Complex Systems and Understanding Change

Part 1: Exploring Complex Systems
Part 2: Understanding Change

Session Organisers: Tom Brughmans (University of Oxford) – John W. Hanson (University of Colorado) – Matthew J. Mandich (University of Leicester) – Iza Romanowska (Barcelona Supercomputing Center) – Xavier Rubio-Campillo (University of Edinburgh)

In recent years archaeologists have increasingly employed innovative approaches used for the study of complex systems to better interpret and model the social, political, and economic structures and interactions of past societies. However, for the majority of Roman archaeologists these approaches remain elusive as a comprehensive review and evaluation is lacking, especially regarding their application in Roman archaeology.

In brief, a complex system is made up of many interacting parts (‘components’ or ‘agents’) which form a whole that is more than the sum of its parts – i.e. the interactions of these parts lead to emergent behaviors or outcomes that cannot be (easily) predicted by examining the parts individually. While such systems are characterized by their unpredictable, adaptive, and/or non-linear nature, they are (often) self-organising and governed by observable rules that can be analysed via various methods. For example, many past phenomena, such as urbanism or the functioning of the Roman economy, are complex systems composed of multiple interacting elements and driven by the diverse processes acting upon individuals inhabiting the ancient world. Thus, they can be explored using the approaches and methods of complexity science.

The study of complex systems has primarily been undertaken in contemporary settings, in disciplines such as physics, ecology, medicine, and economics. Yet, as the complex nature of ancient civilizations and their similarity to present-day  systems is being steadily realized through ongoing analysis, survey, and excavation, archaeologists have now begun to use methods such as scaling studies (e.g. settlement scaling theory), agent-based modeling, and network analyses to approach this complexity. Since these methodologies are designed to examine the interactions and feedback between components within complex systems empirically, they can provide new ways of looking at old data and old problems to supply novel conclusions. However, such methods have only been applied sporadically in ancient settings, and even less so in a Roman context or using Roman archaeological data.
Thus, in this two part session we aim to bring these methods, and the Roman archaeologists using them, together by offering a critical review of the theoretical and empirical developments within the study of past complex systems and their interplay with existing ideas, before investigating how we might capitalize on the new opportunities afforded by them in the future. Part I of this session, ‘exploring complex systems’, is concerned with examining and unraveling the underlying structures present in the archaeological record using the formal tools provided by the complex systems framework. Part II, ‘understanding change’, will focus on applications exploring the dynamics of change that generated the patterns observed in existing evidence. In particular, we invite contributions using formal methods including computational modelling and simulation, GIS, and network analyses, as well as diverse theoretical approaches to better understand ancient complex systems.

Historical network research conference: registration and program

The fourth HNR conference will take place in Turku, Finland, from 17 to 20 October 2017. Registration is open now and it’s FREE! Have a look at the programme here: plenty of interesting papers and a number of really useful workshops. I really like this conference series because of its friendly and exciting atmosphere, so I will definitely recommend you to attend if you can.

We are pleased to announce that the registration to the “4th Historical Network Research Conference” is now OPEN. Please go to the following page and proceed according the guidelines:

Please note: there is no conference fee, but if you want to participate in the conference dinner on 19 October 2017 it will cost 50,00 euro. In this case you will be forwarded to the online payment portal.

The preliminary programme is also published and online:

We will update the programme with information on seminar rooms within the next couple of weeks.

Should you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us by sending an e-mail to:

We look forward to seeing you in Turku in October.

Best regards,

Members of the organising committee

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