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Please note that the session will be published afterwards and that we are seeking original and unpublished work.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

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.