CFP archaeological and historical networks session at EUSN Mainz

February 7, 2017


The European social networks conference will host its third edition in Mainz. Historical and archaeological networks have been represented every time, and it’s a good venue to get technical feedback on your work. This year a session on historical and archaeological networks will be chaired by Aline Deicke, Martin Stark, and Marten Düring. I can definitely recommend presenting your work there.

Deadline CFP: 31 March 2017

CfP: EUSN 2017 in Mainz with session on historical and archaeological networks, deadline: March 31st
Organized session at the 3rd European Conference on Social Networks at Johannes
Gutenberg-University Mainz, 26.-29. September 2017
Call for Presentations
“Networks in Archaeology and History”
Over the last decades, network analysis has made its way from a fringe
theory to an established methodology in archaeological and historical
research that goes beyond a purely metaphorical use of the network term. A
substantial number of studies on different topics and periods have shown
that network theories and methods derived from other disciplines (e.g.
sociology, economics, physics) can be fruitfully applied to selected bodies
of historical and archaeological sources. Yet in many of these initial
studies, important methodological concerns regarding the underlying sources,
missing data, data standardization and representation of networks in space
and time have not been adequately acknowledged and sometimes even completely
In recent years, archeologists and historians – often in collaboration and
in exchange with scholars from other disciplines – have taken on the
challenge to address these methodological concerns and to adapt and refine
network methods and network theory for archaeological and historical
research. The aim of this session is to further develop such
transdisciplinary collaboration between historians, archaeologists and the
EUSN research community.
The session invites contributions from researchers applying methods of
formal network analysis in archaeological or historical research. A special
emphasis of the session will be on the unique challenges that arise in the
domain- specific application of these research methods. We welcome
submissions on any period, geographical area or topic. The authors may be
historians or archaeologists as well as scholars from other disciplines
working with historical or archeological data.
Abstract submission:
Please hand in your abstract via the conference website (http:// and indicate the name of the session: “Networks
in Archaeology and History”.
Abstract submission deadline is March 31st.
Session organizers:
Aline Deicke (Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz)
Martin Stark (ILS Research Institute, Aachen)
Marten Düring (University of Luxembourg)

CFP 4th Historical Network Research Conference

January 30, 2017

turkuDelighted this amazing series of conferences will have its fourth edition already. It’s a cornerstone of those of us archaeologists and historians mad about networks. The call for papers is out now and I strongly recommend presenting and attending the event. It is an inspiring conference series with a friendly and constructive atmosphere.

Where? Turku, Finland

Deadline CFP: March 31 2017

We are very happy to announce the 4th international HNR conference, this year in Turku, Finland together with the annual conference of Finnish historians.

We are particularly grateful to Kimmo Elo for the conceptualisation and organisation of the conference.



4th Historical Network Research Conference

University of Turku, Finland

17-18 October 2017 (pre-conference workshops)
19-20 October 2017 (conference)

The Historical Network Research group is pleased to announce its 4th annual conference. Following conferences in Hamburg in 2013, Ghent in 2014, and in Lisbon in 2015, the 4th conference will be held at the University of Turku in Turku, Finland, on 17-20 October 2017 (see

The 4th Historical Network Research Conference seeks to further strengthen and foster the awareness of historians for the possibilities of network research and create possibilities for cross- and multidisciplinary approaches to the networked past by bringing together historians, social scientists and computer scientists.

The organisers welcome proposals for individual contributions discussing any historical period and geographical area. Topics might include, but are not limited to: historical social netwoks, policy networks, kinship and community, geospatial networks, cultural and intellectual networks, and methodological innovations.

The deadline for submissions of proposals is March 31, 2017.

For more information, please visit

Networks session at EAA, few slots left

January 26, 2017

maastrichtAn archaeological networks session at the European Archaeology Association conference has become an annual thing. That makes me happy! This year, a discussion session is organised focusing on archaeological networks and social interaction. Carl Knappett will be the keynote presenter, and there are still a few slots available to present, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with the organisers.

Where? Maastricht, Netherlands

Deadline CFP: March 1st 2017

Dear all,

For our upcoming session at the annual conference of the European Association of Archaeologists, August 30th- September, 3rd 2017 in Maastricht (NL) (see the conference website:, we have a few slots available in our session:

Archaeological networks and social interaction. Towards an application of network analysis and network concepts in social archaeology

The key note lecture for the session will be given by CARL KNAPPETT.

The session’s format is “discussion session”, which means that the participants read the key note paper, that will be made available ca. one month before the conference takes place, and the participants next engage in their own presentation with the issues outlined in the key note paper.

We are seeking contributions that present a case study which applies formal network analysis to study social interaction in the past (see the session’s full abstract below). We are especially interested in studies on the margins of the Classical World/late Antique/Medieval or early modern contexts in or outside Europe.

If you are interested in participating please send an abstract of ca. 500 words plus a short cv listing your most important recent publications to both and BEFORE MARCH 1st 2017 (late submissions will not be considered).

Please note that the session will be published afterwards and that we are seeking original and unpublished work.



Archaeological networks and social interaction. Towards an application of network analysis and network concepts in social archaeology.

Formal network analysis has been increasingly applied during the last decade in archaeology, and made important contributions to understanding a variety of regional phenomena and inter-site interaction. Archaeological sites or contexts form natural nodes and allow 1 for a relatively easy conceptualisation of a research question in network terms. However, as acknowledged in one of the latest major contributions to network analysis in archaeology,2 network studies that focus on interaction between individuals or groups of people, rather than sites or settlements are much more scarce. Most current archaeological network analysis is either spatial in nature, or has a major spatial component in its analysis. Archaeology is, of course, as much a social science as it is a discipline that studies past uses of space and landscape. We claim that, with regards the former , the potential of network analysis to contribute to the study of past societies, past social interaction and social change has not yet been fully explored. We aim to fill the gap by discussing how network analysis can contribute to understanding past human societies. The use of formal network approaches to study larger datasets, e.g necropoleis, settlements, or cultic contexts, allows a move away from the typochronological focus that has dominated archaeology.
However, interaction between humans and of humans with their material world is more complex and cannot be plotted as easily on a map as is normally done for artefact distributions. Assumptions about the meaning of material culture and its role in society need to be made, in order to study the meaning of changes behind their particular configurations.
This session explores the theoretical and practical aspects of using network analysis for studying past human societies, social interaction, power, and social change. Contributors discuss what social questions they are trying to address, what datasets they use, how they translate them into a network, and what conclusions they draw from the analysis of the network. The goal of the session is to pre-discuss contributions that, after revision based on the feedback during the session, will constitute a book – to be published with an international publishing house.

The limits of the Roman limes

December 9, 2016

poster-conference-finding-the-limits-2017Roman studies are all over network science! In particular the team behind the ‘Finding the limits of the Limes’ project at the VU Amsterdam. They’ve been doing some really cool network analyses of Roman socio-economic and transport networks. Next month they will be hosting a major conference. The program is available on the project website, and it includes a whole session on networks. A few seats are still available so don’t hesitate to sign up and attend.

Where? VU Amsterdam

When? 26-27 January 2017

Register here.

Preliminary programme

Thursday 26 Jan 2017, 09:30 – 17:30

Welcome and opening lectures
Nico Roymans (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): Setting the scene: characterising Batavian society at the edge of empire in the Dutch river area
Philip Verhagen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): Modelling the cultural landscape of the Dutch Roman Limes: approach, results and prospects

Session 1: Modelling subsistence economy
Session keynote: Wim Jongman (University of Groningen): What did the Romans ever do for us?
Jamie Joyce (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): Simulating the Roman farm
Tilman Baum (University of Basel): Models of Land-use in the Neolithic Pile-Dwellings of the Northwestern Pre-Alpine Forelands (4400-2400 BC)
Antoni Martín i OIiveras (University of Barcelona): The economy of Roman wine. Productive landscapes, archaeological data, quantification and modelling. Case Study Research: “Regio Laeetana-Hispania Citerior Tarraconensis” (1st century BC-3th century AD)
Tyler Franconi (University of Oxford): Cultivating change: Roman agricultural production and soil erosion in the Thames River basin
Maurice de Kleijn (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam):Simulating land-use for the Lower Rhine-Meuse delta in the Roman period
Eli Weaverdyck (University of California, Berkeley): Farmers and Forts in Moesia Inferior: Modelling agricultural strategies on the Lower Danubian Frontier

Session 2: Modelling demography
Session keynote: Isabelle Séguy (Institut National des Études Démographiques, Paris)
Philip Verhagen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): From population dynamics to settlement patterns. Linking archaeological data to demographic models of the Dutch limes.
Wim De Clercq (University of Ghent): The Disastrous Effects of the Roman Occupation!? Population dynamics and rural development on the fringes of the Roman Empire: theories and models.
Chris Green (University of Oxford): Modelling evidence densities: past population variation or modern structuring affordances? The case of England from the Iron Age to the early medieval period.
Antonin Nüsslein (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris): A different vision of ancient settlement dynamics: creation and application of a model of evolution of theAntique habitat of the Plateau Lorrain

Friday 27 Jan 2017 09:30 – 17:30

Session 3: Modelling transport
Session keynote: Dimitrij Mlekuž (University of Ljubljana): The archaeology of movement
Mark Groenhuijzen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): Diverse movement in a dynamic environment: modelling local transport in the Dutch part of the Roman limes
Rowin van Lanen (University of Utrecht/Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands):Shopping for wood during the first millennium AD: modelling Roman and early-medieval long-distance transport routes in the Netherlands using a multi-proxy approach
César Parcero-Oubiña (INCIPIT, Santiago de Compostela): Postdicting Roman Roads in the NW Iberian Peninsula
Katherine Crawford (University of Southampton): Walking Between Gods and Mortals: reconsidering the movement of Roman religious processions

Session 4: Modelling socio-economic networks
Session keynote: Tom Brughmans (University of Konstanz): Network science in Roman studies: the potential and challenges
Mark Groenhuijzen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): Possibilities and challenges in the use of networks to study socio-economic relations in the Dutch part of the Roman limes
Pau de Soto (Universidade Nova de Lisboa): Network analysis to model and analyse Roman transport and mobility
Angelo Castrorao Barba (University of Palermo), Stefano Bertoldi (University of Pisa), Gabriele Castiglia (Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology): Multi-scalar approach to long-term dynamics, spatial relations and economic networks of the Roman secondary settlements in Italy: towards a model?

Final discussion

Love sampling, stats and networks? (really?) Present at our CAA 2017 session in Atlanta!

September 26, 2016

caaThe CAA call for papers and posters is now open until 28 October! The full list of sessions is published here. Among them you will notice a most awesomely appealing title: “Archaeological Networks: Uncertainty, Missing Data, and Statistical Inference”. Fancy nerding out on networks, stats and sampling? Then present a paper in the session Matt Peeples and myself will chair.

Archaeological Networks: Uncertainty, Missing Data, and Statistical Inference

Empirical studies of networks based on archaeological data are on a rapid rise. So far, the adoption of network methods from other fields has outpaced the development of new techniques and heuristics for dealing with the sometimes peculiar qualities of archaeological network data. Key among the issues faced by archaeologists interested in using networks are the impact of uncertainty and missing data on the properties of the networks we generate. We often must build networks based on an incomplete universe of nodes (because our units of analysis lack current archaeological information or have been destroyed) as well as incomplete information about the nodes we do have (due to sampling issues, different recording conventions, etc.). Further, we often have no consistent way to estimate how much information we are missing. The prevalence of such known unknowns and unknown unknowns suggest that we must carefully temper inferences drawn from networks defined using archaeological data. Importantly, all hope is not lost and these challenges are not unique to archaeology or network data alone. In this session, we ask contributors to explore the potential impact of missing data on empirical archaeological networks and/or test tools and approaches for identifying robust patterns in archaeological networks despite such challenges. Approaches may include, for example, the use of probabilistic estimates and sensitivity analysis already popular in many other areas of archaeological statistical analysis such as seriation or methods specific to network data drawing on the large body of research focused on estimating the shape and properties of so called “dark” networks (common in studies of covert organizations, epidemiology, and infectious disease). In addition, this session welcomes archaeological applications of network methods in general.

Finding the limits of the Limes: call for papers

September 2, 2016

limesRomans and networks: it’s my thing! So it should not come as a surprise that I recommend presenting at the conference ‘Finding the limits of the Limes‘. It’s the final conference of a project at VU Amsterdam led by Philip Verhagen. The conference has an entire session on network approaches in which I will present an overview. Aside from networks, the conference welcomes other modelling approaches applied to Roman archaeology. So do consider submitting an abstract!

When? 26-27 January 2017

Where? VU Amsterdam

Deadline call for papers: 1 October 2016

Details on the website and below.

On 26 and 27 January 2017, we will organize a conference at VU University Amsterdam to present and discuss the results of our project.

During the conference, we want to focus on four major topics: subsistence economy, demography, transport and mobility, and socio-economic networks in the Roman period. We invite scholars working on these issues to submit a paper in one of the sessions mentioned below.

Please send a title and abstract of max. 300 words to dr. Philip Verhagen ( before 1 October 2016. Paper presenters will be given the opportunity to publish in the project’s final publication.

Hoping to see you in Amsterdam!

Philip Verhagen
Jamie Joyce
Mark Groenhuijzen

SESSSION 1: Modelling the agricultural economy in the Roman world

The necessity of the agricultural economy in the Roman world is undoubted. Most of the population in the Roman world engaged in agriculture- peasants balancing on the edge between famine and sufficiency, obliged not only to support their households but also to supply the state with supplies and manpower. Yet, the adage that our understanding of the classical world is formed largely from the ancient elites is still pertinent. The peasant in the classical world remains largely invisible and so too the economy and subsistence of the vast majority of the inhabitants in the Roman world. Furthermore, whilst we have a broad knowledge of the rural economy in the Roman world such as diet, farming practices and technology, and quantification of agricultural output, we are still missing more detailed understanding in variations across the empire on different scales.

The Finding the Limits of the Limes project has focused on the rural native economy of the Dutch Roman limes zone which was characterised by a mixed agricultural economy in a highly militarised frontier zone. In addition, the project has researched non-food producing activities namely fuel and wood management. We have utilized an agent-based modelling approach to simulate different strategies within the mixed agricultural economy of the region, with a particular interest in interactions between the different activities and the limits on surplus production presented by land and labour costs for these different approaches to agriculture. Furthermore, we have simulated the rural economy over different geographic and temporal scales: from the pre-Roman Iron Age to the Middle Roman Period, from the household to the micro-region.

To complement and contrast with our research in the Dutch Roman limes zone, we invite contributions concerning the rural economy in the Roman world. In particular, we seek papers concerning:

  • Defining the limits of agricultural production within the rural economy (such as animal husbandry, arable farming, and fuel-management) in the northern Roman provinces.
  • Multidisciplinary approaches for the understanding of agriculture in the Roman world incorporating, where applicable, traditional archaeological methods, environmental archaeology and computational modelling.
  • The interactions between consumers and native producers in the Roman world, particularly the supply to and demand from the Roman military

SESSION 2: Modelling demography in the Roman Empire

Demographic studies of the Roman Empire have a long history, but are severely hampered by a lack of reliable written sources. In the absence of such sources, archaeologists routinely rely on survey and excavation data to estimate population densities, but these only provide limited understanding of the underlying principles of human population dynamics that would allow us to confidently predict the size and composition of (parts of) the Roman population. Nevertheless, knowledge of historic population dynamics is extremely important for a better understanding of all kinds of socio-economic issues. In our project, we have used demographic estimates to better understand the potential of the study region for agricultural surplus production: was there sufficient labour force available, and did the forced recruitment of soldiers pose significant problems to the local population? For this, we relied on dynamical models of human reproduction, and confronted the model results with archaeological data and historical evidence.

In this session, we invite papers that apply modelling approaches to demographic questions in order to investigate socio-economic issues, such as the production capacity of the countryside, population growth and settlement pattern development, the impact of mortality crises on economic production and military power, or the influence of birth and marriage control strategies on available workforce. We also invite papers dealing with the problems of building reliable and usable demographic models, including their sensitivity to changes in input parameters, the choice of an appropriate temporal and spatial scale, and the problems of testing the outcomes.

SESSION 3: Modelling transport and mobility in the Roman period

Research on transport and mobility in the Roman period has largely focussed on interactions on regional to empire-wide scales. In contrast, we know very little about local-scale movements, which is at least partly the result of a relative lack of archaeological and historical material to work with. The use of spatial modelling techniques has become common to bridge the gap between theoretical notions of short- to medium-distance mobility and the lack of evidence for it. In this session we want to focus on the practical and theoretical implications of using modelling approaches to better understand transport and mobility on the local to regional scales. We specifically invite papers that deal with new approaches to modelling transport or mobility, papers that link transport models to economic models, and papers that discuss the archaeological, anthropological, physiological and/or (socio-)economic theoretical foundations of modelling transport and mobility.

SESSION 4: Networks and the socio-economic structure of the Roman period

Interactions between people are at the core of archaeological research on the cultural landscape and socio-economic structure within the Dutch limes zone. To identify patterns in relationships between archaeological data, network analysis has become an increasingly used tool. In this session we aim to explore how we can better understand the functioning of the economy, transport, and specifically the spatial and economic relations between people, by applying concepts of network science and formal network analysis techniques. We are especially interested in papers that apply network analysis to address these topics in an innovative way, papers that link network models to (socio-)economic concepts, and papers that discuss the theoretical implications and limitations of both the techniques and the data.

Network analysis at CAA NL-FL-DE in Ghent

June 6, 2016

caanlIt’s not often that I get to see network analysis as one of the themes in an archaeological conference! So I’m delighted to see it feature so prominently at this year’s joint meeting of the CAA Netherlands/Flanders and Germany joint meeting. I presented at the conference last year and can definitely recommend it. Do consider submitting an abstract or attending. There’s also a LIDAR workshop for those who are into that.

When? 24-25 November 2016

Where? Ghent, Belgium

Deadline Call for Papers: 1 September 2016

Joint Chapter Meeting CAA-DE and CAA-NL-FL 2016.

Ghent University, November 24th – November 25th, 2016

CAA Netherlands/Flanders is pleased to inform you that the 2016 Joint Chapter Meeting of CAA Netherlands/Flanders and CAA Germany will be held in in Ghent, Belgium, November 24–25, 2016, in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology of Ghent University and the Flemish Heritage Agency. This conference will be the fourth in a row after three successful conferences in Münster (2010), Groningen (2012) and Cologne (2014). Like in previous years, participation is not limited to members of both CAA chapters but open to all interested colleagues. Students are especially welcome to attend.

The aim of the CAA meetings is to bring together academic and commercial archaeologists with a particular interest in using mathematics and computer science for archaeological research. For the 2016 Joint Chapter Meeting of CAA, we kindly invite papers focussing on the following themes (for details see below):

  • Statistical Analysis / Network Analysis in Archaeology
  • Remote Sensing and Landscape Archaeology
  • Digital Archaeology and the Wider Public
  • Archival and Management of (3D) Archaeological Data

The conference will be preceded by a LiDAR-workshop (November 23rd, 2016). During this workshop, participants will learn what LiDAR data is, how to effectively work with LiDAR (e.g. by building digital elevation and surface models and by looking into different LiDAR visualisation and analysis techniques), and how to use it for archaeological research.

The venue will take place in the Virginie Lovelinggebouw (VAC) in Ghent, located immediately next Ghent’s main train station (Gent-Sint-Pieters).
Virginie Lovelinggebouw (VAC)
Koningin Maria Hendrikaplein 70
9000 Gent

November 23rd, 14h – 18h: LiDAR workshop
November 24th, 09h – 18h: Conference
November 25th, 09h – 18h: Conference

Abstract Submission Guidelines
We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers on any of the above topics. Abstract in English should be sent to, by (September 1st, 2016). Abstracts will be considered by the committees of CAA NL/FL and CAA DE. Abstract should include name and surname, university, institute or company (if applicable), address and telephone number, e-mail, session for which is applied, and abstract text (max 500 words).


  • Early bird registration: € 30 (students: € 20)
  • Regular: € 40 (students: € 25)
  • LiDAR workshop: € 10

Register early as space is limited.

Important Dates

  • September 1st, 2016: Deadline for Abstract Submission
  • October 1st, 2016: Notification of Acceptance
  • September 15th, 2016 to October 30th, 2016: Early Bird Registration
  • November 1st, 2016: Regular registration

Conference Topics
Statistical Analysis / Network Analysis in Archaeology
Archaeological research relies on large and diverse datasets. Directly analysing or comparing these datasets to detect meaningful trends or patterns is often not ‘easy’ or straightforward. Statistical and quantitative methods can provide valuable methods in this respect, when applied in a critical manner. Apart from such approaches, in recent years also network analysis has risen as a means for examining the structure of archaeological relationships and deciphering the complexity of archaeological datasets.
This session will explore the current state of the art of these methods, and showcase some best practices in applying these approaches to archaeological data.

Remote Sensing and Landscape Archaeology
Archaeology predominantly used to focus on the study of excavations results of ‘sites’, i.e. locations in the landscape with concentrations of past activities. The rise of ‘landscape archaeology’ and the widespread and ever increasing application of remote sensing methods since the 1980’s has shifted this focus to wider geographical frameworks, allowing for a more ‘holistic’ approach regarding the study of past activities in the natural and ‘cultural’ landscapes. In recent years, the amount, quality and resolution of remote sensing datasets (LiDAR, multi- and hyperspectral photography, geophysical techniques…) has increased enormously.
This session focuses on how to cope with these large amounts of remote sensing data and how an integrated and/or innovative approach of these technologies can lead to new insights of past landscapes.

Digital Archaeology and the Wider Public
In the last decades, there is a trend in the archaeological community to increase public awareness and involvement. Even though the connection with one’s past is very clear, public interest in archaeology remains limited.
Digital technologies increasingly introduce new possibilities of communicating with the public. This session focuses on how interactive, 3D and 4D technologies can help in communicating the results of archaeological research to a broad public, help to improve the awareness of archaeological research, and help to improve public engagement or participation in the archaeological community.

Archival and Management of (3D) Archaeological Data
In recent years, the practice of archaeological fieldwork evolved from two-dimensional pen and paper recordings over digital documentation towards full three-dimensional documentation. This challenges not only the application of new practices of fieldwork, but also the way these new digital archives are used and managed. Several problems arise, for example regarding the evolution of software, the durability of digital carriers and data formats. This session aims to deal with the challenges of new ways of data collection and analysis and the consequences for long-term data use, management, archiving and accessibility.

During this preconference workshop, participants will learn what LiDAR data is, how to effectively work with LiDAR (e.g. by building digital elevation and surface models and by looking into different LiDAR visualisation and analysis techniques), and how to use it for archaeological research.