Computers at EAA: submit your papers!

Submit a paper to the CAA @ EAA session, bring your data to our data clinic, or attend our computational archaeology summer school immediately after EAA!

This year the EAA (European Association of Archaeologists) Annual Meeting is taking place between 5-8 September 2018 in the lovely city of Barcelona. We have prepared an exciting set of simulation-complexity-data related events.

During the conference we will be running a standard paper session: CAA@EAA: Computational Models in Archaeology (abstract below) focusing on formal, computational models in archaeology (not exclusively simulation, but we do like our ABMs ;). The abstract deadline is 15 February. You can submit your abstract via the EAA system.

On top of that throughout the conference we will offer Data Clinic – a personalised one-to-one consultation with data and modelling specialists (summary below). In order to give us a head-start with matching archaeologists to data experts we ask participants to submit a short summary outlining their data, research questions and the ideas they may already have via the standard route of the EAA system (please note, that as an alternative format it will not count towards the paper limit imposed by the EAA).

Finally, we are very excited to announce the Summer School in Digital Archaeology which will take place immediately after the EAA, between 10-14 September 2018. A week of hands-on tutorials, seminars, team challenges and intensive learning, the Summer School will provide an in depth training in formal computational models focusing on data modelling, network science, semantic web and agent-based modelling. Thanks to the generous support of the Complex Systems Society we are able to offer a number of bursaries for the participants. For more details please see the School website; we recommend to pre-register as soon as possible (pre-registration form).

Session: #672

CAA @ EAA: Computational Models in Archaeology

Theories and methods in archaeological sciences
Session format:
Session, made up of a combination of papers, max. 15 minutes each

Models are pervasive in archaeology. In addition to the high volume of empirical archaeological research, there is a strong and constant interest among archaeologists and historians in questions regarding the nature, mechanisms and particularities of social and socio-natural processes and interactions in the past. However, for the most part these models are constructed using non-formal verbal arguments and conceptual hypothesis building, which makes it difficult to test them against available data or to understand the behaviour of more complex models of past phenomena.

The aim of this session is to discuss the role of formal computational modelling in archaeological theory-building and to showcase applications of the approach. This session will showcase the slowly changing trend in our discipline towards more common use of formal methods.

We invite contributions applying computational and quantitative methods such as GIS, data analysis and management, simulation, network science, ontologies, and others to study past phenomena concerned with societal change, human-environment interactions and various aspects of past systems such as economy, cultural evolution or migration. Methodological and theoretical papers on the benefits and challenges of quantification, the epistemology of formal methods and the use of archaeological material as a proxy for social processes are also welcome.

Main organiser:

dr Iza Romanowska (Spain), dr Luce Prignano (Spain), María Coto-Sarmiento (Spain), dr Tom Brughmans (United Kingdom), Ignacio Morer (Spain)

Session: #663

Archaeological Data Clinic. Personalised consulting to get the best of your data

Theories and methods in archaeological sciences
Session format:
Discussion session: Personalised consulting to get the best of archaeologial data. We will set up meetings with an expert in data analysis / network science / agent-based modelling.
In the ideal world we would all have enough time to learn statistics, data analysis, R, several foreign and ancient languages and to read the complete works by Foucault. In reality, most researchers artfully walk the thin line between knowing enough and bluffing. The aim of this workshop is to streamline the process by pairing archaeologists with data and computer science specialists.

  • If you have a dataset and no idea what to do with it…
  • if you think PCA/least cost paths / network analysis / agent-based modelling is the way forward for your project but you don’t know how to get started…
  • If you need a second opinion to ensure that what you’ve already done makes sense…

…then this drop-in clinic is for you.

Let us know about your case by submitting an abstract with the following information:

  • A few sentences project outline;
  • Type and amount of data;
  • Research question(s);
  • What type of analysis you’d like to perform? (if known).

We will set up a meeting with an expert in data analysis / network science / agent-based modelling. They will help you to query and wrangle your data, to analyse and visualise it and to guide you on the next steps. They may help you choose the right software or point you towards a study where similar problems have been solved. In a nutshell, they will save you a lot of time and frustration and make your research go further!

Computational Modelling, Statistics, Network Analysis

Dr Luce Prignano (Spain), Dr Iza Romanowska (Spain), Dr Sergi Lozano (Spain), Dr Francesca Fulminante (United Kingdom), Dr Rob Witcher (United Kingdom), Dr Tom Brughmans (United Kingdom)


Networks session at EAA, few slots left

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.

Trade dynamics session at EAA Vilnius

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.

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