Present in our session at the Limes congress in Nijmegen, August 2022

Present in our computational modelling session! Submit your abstract by 1 September 2021. Session 31. More information here and below: https://limes2022.org/call-program/

We draw your attention to the call for papers for the postponed 21st Limes Congress, that (we sincerely hope) will be held in Nijmegen from 21-27 August 2022 (https://limes2022.org/call-program/, submission deadline 1 September). Last year, we submitted a session on computational modelling that we hope will still be of interest to you, either as a presenter, or as attendant (Session 31 – Simulating the Limes. Challenges to computational modelling in Roman Studies).

If you are interested in presenting, please contact us in advance of submitting your paper proposal, so we can try to coordinate things as much as possible. We would also be very grateful if you could spread this call in your own networks,

Looking forward to seeing many of you in Nijmegen,

With best wishes,

Philip Verhagen
Iza Romanowska
Tom Brughmans
Marek Vlach

31. Simulating the Limes. Challenges to computational modelling in Roman Studies

Philip Verhagen

Affiliation: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Session Abstract: The increasing availability of large digital data sets requires archaeologists and historians to develop or adopt new analytical tools in order to detect and understand socio-economic and cultural patterns and to compare these at wider spatial and temporal scales. Simulation and other types of computational modelling are rapidly becoming a key instruments for this type of research. They are used to bridge the gap between theoretical concepts and archaeological evidence. These models can be of an exploratory nature, or attempt to closely emulate historical dynamics, and enable us to understand the mechanisms underlying, for example, e.g. population changes or economic systems.

Despite having access to large amounts of high-quality data, Roman studies have so far been relatively slow in adopting computational modelling, and Limes studies are no exception. The Limes is a particular case since each border region has its own characteristics, environmental setting, cultural background and specific relationship with the ‘core’ but also shares common features derived from being at the ‘outskirts’ of political, economic and cultural life. The interaction between these two dimensions is highly complex. Thus, the Limes constitutes an arena where formal modelling methods have particularly high potential. However, key challenges to this approach are i) the proper integration of archaeological and historical data sets; ii) a good understanding of what proxies to use, and iii) the computational power needed for modelling at larger scales.

We invite papers that showcase examples of modelling within the broader thematic setting of the Limes, taking these challenges into account. Suggested topics of interest are the economy of the Limes, urbanisation and settlement dynamics, demography, military campaigns, and relationships between the Limes, the rest of the Roman Empire and the zones beyond the frontier. Statistical modelling, GIS, simulation (e.g., Agent-based modelling), network models and other types of formal approaches are all welcome. Comparative studies are especially welcomed.

Call for Papers 

The LIMES Congress XXV Scientific Committee is pleased to invite you to submit paper proposals that will present new discoveries and ideas in the field of Roman Frontier Studies. Paper proposals should include the following information:

  • Title of Presentation
  • Speaker information (organization/company, e-mail address)
  • Co-authors information (organization/company, e-mail address)
  • Themed session selection (Please choose general session if paper does not fit in offered session selections) 
  • Abstract of the paper (max 300 words)

Each proposed paper must be submitted online through the LIMES Congress XXV website no later than the 1st of September 2021. Paper proposals will be reviewed by the Session Organisers and the Scientific Committee. The presenter of the paper will be informed by email by mid-February 2022. The congress schedule will be announced by March 2022. Please be aware of the following:

  • To create a well-balanced and diverse congress program only one paper per person is allowed.
  • Presentation time is limited. We advise you to prepare for a ± 15 min presentation. The exact timing and time slot will be communicated once the program is complete.
  • A short Q & A with the audience will be held at the end of each presentation.
  • Session Chairs are also eligible to present one paper or poster.
  • The official congress languages are English, French, and German.
  • In case your paper was not selected for presentation you can be invited to present it in poster format.

Please find below the proposed sessions. If you have any questions please contact us at: info@limes2022.org 

NetSci/Sunbelt deadline January 24th

Submit your abstract to our session on archaeological and historical network research at NetSci/Sunbelt 2021 🙂

Deadline January 24th

Submission link: https://networks2021.net

Via the HNR newsletter:

The session “Networks and the Study of the Human Past” is part of Networks 2021: a joint Sunbelt and NetSci Conference. The conference takes place in Washington D.C. on July 6-11, 2021. The organisers are planning a hybrid in-person and remote (online) conference.

You can find the session “Networks and the Study of the Human” under number 19 in the list of organized sessions for Networks 2021. Deadline for submissions is January 24, 2021.

Networks and the study of the human past 

A growing number of studies in history and archaeology have shown that network research can constructively enhance our understanding of the human past. Moreover, it is becoming clear that archaeological and historical data sources pose interesting challenges and opportunities to social network analysis and network science. How did human social networks change over huge timescales? How can old texts and material artefacts help in answering this question? The aim of this session is to present new findings and approaches within historical and archaeological network research, and promote contacts between the various disciplines that approach past phenomena using methods derived from network analysis and network science.

This session explores the challenges and potential posed by such network studies of past phenomena, including: network modelling of past phenomena; data collection from archival evidence; incomplete and missing data; computer-assisted network extraction from texts; big data analytics and semantic network analysis based on fragmented sources; material sources as proxy evidence for social phenomena; exploration of long-term changes in past systems vs. mid-term or short-term processes; etc.

The session invites contributions from various disciplines applying the methods of formal network analysis and network science to the study of the human past. We welcome submissions concerning any period, geographical area and topic, which might include but are not limited to: migration; interpersonal relations; economy; past revolutions; covert networks of the past; industrialization; transport systems; diffusion processes; kinship; conflict and conflict solving; religion and science.

Session organizers:

Julie M. Birkholz (Ghent University & Royal Library of Belgium), Tom Brughmans (Aarhus University), Marten Düring (University of Luxembourg), Ingeborg van Vugt (University of Utrecht), Martin Stark (ILS Dortmund), David Zbíral (Masaryk University)

CFP computational simulation in archaeology

The following session on computational simulation in archaeology will be of interest to readers of this blog.

Dear Colleagues,

The Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Center (STARC; http://starc.cyi.ac.cy/) of the Cyprus Institute (http://www.cyi.ac.cy/) is pleased to announce the dates for the 2nd International Congress on Archaeological Sciences in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East (ICAS-EMME 2): 12-14 November 2019. Abstract submissions are due on 30th of June, with acceptance notifications in mid-June 2019. More details are here: https://icasemme2.cyi.ac.cy/

We would like to bring the following session to your attention:

Computational Simulations in Archaeology: simulating city network dynamics in the Mediterranean basin.

Today it is widely recognised that computational methods can be used in archaeology to help understanding the transformation of urban conditions and phenomena in time by means of emergence, as well as to help testing and assessing research theories and hypotheses, by bringing together archaeological and environmental data with social systems. These approaches build on complexity theory, social science, urban modelling and economics, urban planning and geography, and network science. This session calls for research on the use of computational methods in the study of archaeological data at the urban scale, with a special focus on Mediterranean cities and city networks and interactions in the EMME region.

This session invites papers that seek to examine Mediterranean city networks, city life, and urban structure by using computational methods, such as:

*      complexity theory and use of archaeological data in urban simulations;

*      modelling / mapping of uncertainty;

*      spatial interaction models;

*      urban modelling and space syntax;

*      urban morphology;

*      geo-spatial data and simulation;

*      agent-based modelling, cellular automata, neural networks, swarm behaviour and emergence in archaeological studies;

*      virtual environments and real-time interactive visualisation of urban/spatial data, for immersion, education and interpretation purposes.

We also welcome papers that use digital tools and data analytics to study spatial interactions, flows, urban dynamics and morphology, and interpret urban phenomena, as well as theoretical papers that discuss the prospects and challenges of the science of cities in archaeology.

Georgios Artopoulos, Eleftheria Paliou and Thilo Rehren on behalf of the Organisation Team

Contact: icasemme2@cyi.ac.cy<mailto:icasemme2@cyi.ac.cy>

Contribute to network session for Cambridge Annual Student Archaeology Conference

Amanda Althoff, from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, is preparing a network session proposal for the Cambridge Annual Student Archaeology (CASA) Conference, 13 – 15 September 2019. This year’s theme is ‘New Frontiers in Archaeology’. The conference will be held at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge. For more information, see CASA website:https://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/casa
Please find the session abstract below. If you wish to join this session then don’t hesitate to get in touch with Amanda soon, she aims to submit the session proposal in the next weeks and it would be good to have a few confirmed presentations:

Session Proposal: Interconnected – Network Approaches in Archaeology.

As the modern world becomes more and more entangled, archaeologists are increasingly interested in empirical ways to grasp the interconnectedness of things and people in the past. Network approaches in archaeology have shown their potential to quantify and analyse connectedness, and more ambitious and innovative case studies have entered the world of Archaeology in the past decade. Networks of economy and trade, power relations, communication are well established resources for inquiry, but equally, networks of material entanglement, identities and intra-site specific practices have recently shown their potential. This session invites contributors to explore avenues for incorporating network studies of varying natures into archaeological studies, and highlight their ability to offer new insights into existing data. Possible themes range from the practicalities of software or data collection and management, as well as educational possibilities to introduce archaeology students to network studies, to individual case studies incorporating network approaches. Regional or intra-site specific studies, assemblage-focused studies, or relationality of practice or ontology are highly welcome. More theoretical approaches of entanglement and relationality, such as actor-network theory, may offer further inspiration for structural network studies and are explicitly included in the discussion on the interconnectedness of people, past and present.

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]mail.uni-kiel.de, lschmidt[at]email.uni-kiel.de

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).

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:

1.
Can we better define sociocultural complexity and confirm its general tendency to increase over the course of human history?
2.
What are the main factors enabling an increase of cultural complexity?
3.
Are there reliable way to measure the complexity in material culture and social organisation constructs, that is?
4.
How can we quantify and compare the impact of different factors?
5.
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: https://ccs18.bsc.es/call/ . 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: https://ccs18.bsc.es/
We strongly encourage you to participate

Spread the word

Simon Carrignon and Sergi Valverde

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: http://trac.org.uk/events/conferences/trac-2018/

and send it to hca-trac2018@ed.ac.uk .
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.

CFP archaeological and historical networks session at EUSN Mainz

eusn

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
neglected.
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://
www.eusn2017.uni-mainz.de/) 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)

Present your archaeological networks at CAA Oslo!

caa

Do you have something to say about the way network methods are used in archaeology? Maybe you have some networky research lying around somewhere, begging to be presented. Or maybe you just need an excuse to come to Oslo and hang out with awesome academics! These are all good reasons to submit a paper to our networks session at CAA 2016 in Oslo (although I prefer the first two reasons to the third)! Together with Mereke van Garderen and Daniel Weidele, I will chair a session that aims to work towards best practice in archaeological network science. Since network methods are still very new in our discipline, there is a need to explore how they can be usefully and critically applied and developed to lead to insights that could not have been gained through any other approach. We believe there is a need to develop guidelines for best practice for archaeological network science that will help archaeologists explore the potential use of network science techniques for achieving their own research aims. Come join us and add your thoughts to the discussion!

Deadline call for papers: 25 October 2015
Session code: S16
Abstract below
Dates conference: 29 March – 2 April 2016
More CFP info: CAA website 

For those interested in getting their hands dirty and learning how to use the awesome network science software Visone: we will also host a workshop at CAA Oslo!

Networking the past: Towards best practice in archaeological network science

Mereke van Garderen, Tom Brughmans, Daniel Weidele

The full diversity of network perspectives has only been introduced in our discipline relatively recently. As a result we are still in the long-term process of evaluating which theories and methods are available, the ‘fit’ between particular network perspectives and particular research questions, and how to apply these critically. How can network science usefully contribute to archaeological research by enabling archaeologists to answer important questions they could not have answered through other approaches? In what circumstances is the use of network science techniques appropriate? There is a need to address these questions by working towards guidelines to best practice in archaeological network science. This is a goal that should be achieved by a community of scholars in collaboration, drawing on the lessons learned from applying network science critically and creatively in a diversity of archaeological research contexts.

This session aims to build on the growing interest in and maturity of archaeological networks science to lay the foundations of guidelines for best practice in archaeological network science. It invites papers debating best practice in archaeological network science, addressing methodological and theoretical challenges posed by the archaeological application of network science, or presenting archaeological case studies applying network science techniques. It particularly welcomes papers presenting work in which the use of network science techniques was necessary and well theoretically motivated, and papers applying network science to exploring ‘oceans of data’.

CFP Sunbelt SNA session challenges in archaeological network science

sunbeltI have attended the Sunbelt Social Network Analysis conference only once, in Hamburg two years ago. But it was a brilliant experience and so different from archaeological conferences (and not just because of the traditional two evenings of unlimited open bar). The conference is attended by mainly sociologists and statisticians with a good proportion of mathematicians, computer scientists and physicists. In the last few years there have been annual historical and archaeological network science sessions. So the number of historians and archaeologists attending the event are increasing. I can definitely recommend attending Sunbelt, and of course you should present in our session 🙂

I would like to bring the session ‘Challenges in Archaeological Network Science’ to your attention. The session will be held at the Sunbelt Social Network Analysis conference in Brighton on 23-28 June 2015. We welcome all abstracts that address the challenges mentioned in the session abstract below.

The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2015. Please visit the Sunbelt website for more information and to submit an abstract: http://insna.org/sunbelt2015/?page_id=607

Please ensure to select the session ‘Challenges in Archaeological Network Science’ during the submission process. Feel free to notify us if you decide to submit an abstract.

We look forward to meeting you in Brighton,

Termeh Shafie and Tom Brughmans

ABSTRACT

Challenges in Archaeological Network Science

The application of network analysis in archaeology has only become more common in the last decade, despite a number of pioneering studies in the 1960s and 70s. The use of different techniques for the analysis and visualisation of network data has already led to new insights into past human behaviour. However, this renewed interest in network science is also accompanied by an increasing awareness of a number of methodological challenges that archaeological network scientists are faced with. These include, but are not limited to the following:

– How to deal with spurious data?

Sampling strategies in archaeology are often dominated by the geopolitical and financial constraints of excavation campaigns. Moreover, differences in the preservation of different materials provide a very fragmented picture of past human behaviour. As a result, networks constructed from archaeological data can be very sparse with apparent uncertainties.

– How to introduce more complex assumptions concerning tie dependency in the reconstruction of archaeological networks?

Network modelling is based on hypotheses from archaeological theory which in turn is based on archaeological evidence. A major challenge is how to infer the structure of an archaeological network given a set of assumptions regulating the occurrence of ties.

– How to deal with the poor chronological control of archaeological data?

The contemporaneity of observations and the exact sequence of events are often uncertain. This is problematic for network science techniques that assume node contemporaneity or require knowledge of the order of events.

– How to consider complex socio-spatial phenomena?

Archaeologists commonly study the spatial distribution of their data and evaluate to what extent spatial constraints influenced human behaviour. A limited number of spatial network techniques are currently available and many of these are not or hardly applicable in archaeology (e.g. network analysis of road networks).

This session invites papers that address these or other methodological challenges that network scientists in archaeology are faced with.

This session is organized by and will be chaired by:

Termeh Shafie, Termeh.Shafie@uni-konstanz.de, Department of Computer & Information Science, University of Konstanz.

Tom Brughmans, Tom.Brughmans@uni-konstanz.de, Department of Computer & Information Science, University of Konstanz.

Call for papers CAA2015 in Siena

caaThe call for papers for the 2015 edition of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference is now open. There are some great sessions and workshops planned, check out the program here.

I want to draw your attention to a number of sessions and workshops I’m involved in or that are of interest if you bothered reading this blog post until here 🙂 I want to invite everyone to consider submitting a paper or attending these! Full abstracts below.

Session 5H: Geographical and temporal network science in archaeology

Session 5L: Modelling large-scale human dispersals: data, pattern and process

Workshop 5: Introduction to exploratory network analysis for archaeologists using Visone

Workshop 8: First steps in agent-based modelling with Netlogo

Roundtable 5: Simulating the Past: Complex Systems Simulation in Archaeology

ABSTRACTS

Session 5H: Geographical and temporal network science in archaeology

Formal network techniques are becoming an increasingly common addition to the archaeologist’s methodological toolbox. Archaeologists have adopted these techniques mainly from the fields of social network analysis, physics and mathematics, where they have been developed and applied for decades. However, network science techniques for the analysis or visualisation of geographical and long-term temporal phenomena have seen far less development than those for social and technological phenomena. Conversely, archaeology has a long tradition of studying long-term change of socio-cultural systems and spatial phenomena, a research focus and tradition that is a direct consequence of the nature of archaeological data and our ambition to use it as proxy evidence for past human behaviour. We believe this spatial and temporal research focus so common in archaeology could inspire the development of innovative spatial and temporal network science techniques.

This session welcomes archaeological applications of formal network science techniques. It particularly encourages elaboration on the geographical and temporal aspects of applications. What are the implications of working on large time-scales for the use of network science techniques and the interpretation of their outputs? How can the study of long-term change of social systems inspire the development of innovative network science techniques? What advantages do geographical network approaches offer over other spatial analysis techniques in archaeology? How can the long tradition of studying spatial phenomena in archaeology inspire the development of innovative network science techniques?

Session 5L: Modelling large-scale human dispersals: data, pattern and process

Archaeology has largely moved forward from the simplistic ‘dots-on-the-map’ and ‘arrows-on-the-map’ approaches when it comes to studying large-scale human movements. Current models regarding spatio-temporal distribution and migration of humans often highlight the complex nature of such phenomena and the limitations that any particular data type impose on the reconstruction, be it environmental (paleoclimate, paleotopography, paleofauna and -flora), archaeological (site distribution, patterns in material culture) and other types of data (genetics, isotopes etc). Similarly the, often very coarse, resolution of the data coupled with the difficulty of integrating different types of information within one framework make the task of researching large-scale human dispersal challenging. Nevertheless, a number of recent applications employing different computational techniques show that this can be achieved. From the data acquisition, cataloguing and storing, to spatial analysis and identifying patterns and distributions in the data to building abstract and semi-realistic simulations of the processes behind the dispersals, computational techniques can aid the process of investigating human movement on various scales and allow researchers to tackle the underlying complexity of the studied systems moving the debate beyond simple intuitive models.

This session aims to summarise the recent progress in the topic, discuss major challenges and provide a base for establishing further directions of research. We invite contributions from researchers studying human movements on the meso- and macro-scale and employing any of the wide variety of techniques and theoretical frameworks within the following three themes:

DATA: spatio-temporal data acquisition and integration (for example, data types, quantifying uncertainty and biases of the data, large-scale databases, cross-platform integration);

PATTERN: spatio-temporal analysis and modelling (statistical modelling, GIS, C14 among others);

PROCESS: modelling of processes and mechanisms underpinning dispersal through simulation (agent-based and equation-based modelling, cellular automata, system-dynamics modelling, (social) network theory) and other techniques.

Workshop 5: Introduction to exploratory network analysis for archaeologists using Visone

Network science techniques offer archaeologists the ability to manage, visualise, and analyse network data. Within different archaeological research contexts, network data can be used to represent hypothesised past social networks, geographically embedded networks like roads and rivers, the similarity of site assemblages, and much more.

A large number of software programs is available to work with network data. Visone is one of them and offers a number of advantages:
• Free to use for research purposes
• A user-friendly interactive graphical user interface
• Innovative network visualisations
• Exporting publication-quality raster and vector files
• The incorporation of statistical modelling techniques

This workshop introduces the basics of network data management, visualisation and analysis with Visone through practical examples using archaeological research questions and datasets. The workshop is aimed at archaeologists with no required previous experience with network science.

Participants should bring a laptop with Visone installed (download Visone: http://visone.info/ )

Maximum 20 participants.

Workshop 8: First steps in agent-based modelling with Netlogo

Following on the success of the simulation workshops at CAA2012 in Perth and CAA2013 in Paris, we would like to continue the beginner course in NetLogo – an open-source platform for building agent-based models. NetLogo’s user-friendly interface, simple coding language and a vast library of model examples makes it an ideal starting point for entry-level modellers, as well as a useful prototyping tool for more experienced programmers. The first part of the workshop will be devoted to demonstrating the basics of modelling with NetLogo through a set of worked examples. This should give each participant enough skills and confidence to tackle the second exercise: building an archaeologically-inspired simulation in a small group. Finally, the last two hours will consist of a ‘drop-in’ clinic for anyone who would like to discuss their ideas for a simulation, needs help developing a model, or would like direction to further resources for modellers.

No prior knowledge of coding is required but we will ask the participants to bring their own laptop and install NetLogo beforehand: https://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/

Roundtable 5: Simulating the Past: Complex Systems Simulation in Archaeology

In the last few years approaches commonly classified as computational modelling (agent-based and equation-based modelling, and other types of simulation etc.) are becoming increasingly common and popular among the archaeological computing community. Almost all research activity could be termed ‘modelling’ in some sense, for example, in archaeology we create conceptual models (hypotheses, typologies), spatial models (GIS), virtual models (3D reconstructions) or statistical models to name but a few. Most of them, however, investigate either the elements of the system (individual pots, skeletons, buildings etc.) or the pattern produced by the system elements (cultural similarities, settlement distribution, urban development etc.) and only theorize about the possible processes that led from the aggregated actions of individual actors to population-level patterns. In contrast, simulation allows us to approach such processes in a formal way and tackle some of the past complexities. It helps us to create ‘virtual labs’ in which we can test and contrast different hypotheses, find irregularities in the data or identify new factors which we would not suspect of having a significant impact on the system. In short, complexity science techniques have great potential for diverse applications in archaeology and may become a driving force for formalisation of descriptive models for the whole discipline.

The aim of this roundtable is to discuss the potential and challenges of complex systems simulation, including but not restricted to:
the epistemology of computational modelling (what it can and cannot do);
data integration and its use for model validation;
system formalisation and the role of domain specialists;
replicability and reuse of code;
lessons learnt from other disciplines commonly using simulation (ecology, social science, economics etc.)
communication between modellers and the wider archaeological public;
further directions of research.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to propose the creation of a new Special Interest Group (SIG) under the auspices of CAA (named: ‘CAA Complex Systems Simulation SIG’), and to discuss a preliminary plan of the proposed activities of the SIG and an outline of how the SIG is to be organised.

Archaeology session at Sunbelt SNA conference

sunbeltThe Sunbelt series of conferences is the traditional venue for the Social Network Analysis community to showcase their new work. Last year it featured an archaeological session for the very first time, organised by Angus Mol and Ulrik Brandes. At this year’s Sunbelt there will again be an archaeological session, this time organised by Viviana Amati and Termeh Shafie. Let’s hope this will become a tradition! If you happen to be in Florida and have the time, drop by the sunbelt conference: 18-23 February in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

The line-up for this session sounds great. You can download the full schedule on the Sunbelt website. Here is the schedule for the archaeology session:

Friday 21 February, 8:40 – 10:20 AM, Blue Heron room

Emma Blake: Networks and ethnicities in early Italy

Jessica Munson: Sociopolitical networks and the transmission of ritual practices in Classic Maya society

John Roberts, Jr., Ronald Breiger, Matthew Peeples, Barbara Mills: Sampling Variability in Archaeological Network Measures

Jonathan Scholnick: Investigating cultural transmission among historic New England gravestone carvers with social network analysis

Mark Golitko: Procurement and distribution of obsidian in prehispanic Mesoamerica, 900 BC – AD 1520: an economic network analysis

CAA Paris workshops and session

CAA headerMy favourite conference of the year, the CAA, will take place in Paris on 22-25 April 2014! The call for papers has now opened and the organisers put up an impressive list of sessions. I want to advertise three in particular: the ones I am involved in 😉

We will organise a workshop on network analysis for archaeologists, using a cool dataset on the Eurasian Silk Road. Those who missed The Connected Past network analysis workshop might be interested in joining this one in stead!
W11: Introduction to network analysis for archaeologists
Tom Brughmans, Ursula Brosseder, Bryan Miller

Secondly, we will host a cool new concept for a workshop: one hour, one model! The idea is that people get together, discuss a common generic archaeological research topic and spend an hour or so designing multiple computational models representing this topic.
W12: One hour, one model: Agent-based Modelling on-the-fly
Iza Romanowska, Benjamin Davies, Enrico Crema, Tom Brughmans

Finally, we will also host a session on agents, networks, equations and complexity. Exciting!
S25: Agents, Networks, Equations and Complexity: the potential and challenges of complex systems simulation
Benjamin Davies, Iza Romanowska, Enrico Crema, Tom Brughmans

Please find the full abstracts on the CAA2014 website. The deadline for abstract submissions is 31 October 2013. Don’t miss out on this cool event!

Connected Past @ SAA 2013

Screen shot 2013-02-10 at 12.06.10I have some big news! You might remember that last year we organised The Connected Past conference here in Southampton. The event was very well received and it seemed very timely given the increased interest in network approaches in archaeology and history. Some suggested we should build on this momentum to foster a wider community of scholars that could share and discuss network-related ideas at future events. Since then we have been busy setting up an international steering committee and planning future events and publications. I am now delighted to announce the second Connected Past event: a session at the Society for American Archaeologists conference (SAA) 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii. I will chair this session together with Prof. Barbara Mills (University of Arizona), a member of The Connected Past international steering committee who also gave a great presentation about her research group’s network analysis work at last years Connected Past conference. Prof. Ian Hodder (Stanford University) will act as a discussant for the session. His recent book ‘Entangled’ discusses many approaches to relationships between people and material culture, and I am sure he will stimulate a critical discussion at the session.

The abstract of the SAA session can be found below, along with a full list of presenters. More information including all abstract of the presentations can be found on The Connected Past website and on the SAA2013 page of this blog. We are delighted that this list of presenters includes many scholars that were not able to attend last year’s event. The presentations range from practical archaeological case studies, to critical discussions of theoretical and methodological issues.

Session 57: Evening Thursday April 4 at SAA 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii
Download the full SAA programme here.

Chaired by Tom Brughmans (University of Southampton) and Barbara Mills (University of Arizona)

Discussant: Ian Hodder (Stanford University)

Presenters:
Mark Golitko and Gary Feinman
Herb Maschner, Jennifer Dunne and Spencer Wood
Ethan Cochrane
Shawn Graham
Barbara Mills, Matthew Peeples, Wm. R. Haas, Jr., Lewis Borck, and Jeffery Clark
Tom Brughmans, Simon Keay and Graeme Earl
Tim Kohler, Stefani Crabtree and Michael Berry
Angus Mol, Corinne Hofman and Menno Hoogland
Fiona Coward
Koji Mizoguchi

Session Abstract

Over the last decade the number of published archaeological applications of network methods and theories has increased significantly. This session will build on this increasing interest in networks among archaeologists by highlighting a number of research themes that deserve further exploration. Firstly, it aims to illustrate how particular archaeological research contexts can drive the selection and adaptation of formal network methods from the wide range of existing approaches, where possible through interdisciplinary collaboration. Secondly, papers in this session will address the role archaeological data can play in network methods, the decisions we are faced with when defining nodes and ties, and how our theoretical approaches can be expressed through formal methods incorporating empirical data. Thirdly, the session will address the compatibility of network theories and methods. Lastly, the potential of incorporating materiality within existing network approaches and the study of long-term network evolution will be discussed.

This session will address these themes through methodological or theoretical papers, and will further illustrate the potential of a networks perspective for archaeology in a number of innovative case-studies. It hopes to illustrate that approaches with an interdisciplinary scope but dominated by archaeological research contexts yield the most critical and useful archaeological network studies.

Call for papers Spatial Networks CAA 2012

The CAA 2012 call for papers has just opened! I will be chairing a session with John Pouncett on spatial network approaches in archaeology. Have a look at the abstract below. Please send abstracts of up to 500 words before 30 November to the conference’s submission system.

This session aims to disprove the apparent divide between geographical and network-based methods by providing a discussion platform for archaeological research at the intersection of physical and relational space. This session will welcome contributions addressing the following or related topics: network analysis in GIS, past spatial networks, spatial network evolution, complex networks and spatial models, exploratory network analysis, network-based definitions of spatial structure, agent-based modelling and networks, and space syntax.

ABSTRACT

Geography and-or-not topology: spatial network approaches in archaeology

Archaeologists’ attempts to explore geographical structure through spatial networks date back to at least the late 1960s. Pioneering studies introduced some of the core principles of graph theory which underpin network analysis, principles which are fundamental but yet seldom acknowledged in many recent applications. The introduction of GIS-based network techniques has allowed for easier analysis of the characteristics of spatial structure, particularly with regard to large or complex network datasets, but at the same time has severely limited the diversity and scope of archaeological applications of network analysis. Commercially available GIS-based network software is often limited to a few applications with clear modern-day relevance like the calculation of least-cost pathways and the analysis of hydrological networks. Archaeologists have been forced to adapt these popular tools and have been successful in doing so, but have left a wealth of alternative applications largely unexplored.

It has been argued that the interpretative potential of GIS-based network techniques can be realised by incorporating new views of networks developed in physics and by drawing upon complexity. By doing so it is possible to both move beyond the confines of traditional definitions of space structure and explore the realm of network growth and evolution. A number of archaeologists have taken their work on spatial networks along this route, exploring the dynamics between physical and relational space. Complex network models and methods are ever more frequently used for exploring the complexity of past spatial networks. Dynamic network models, for example, have been developed to explore the hypothetical processes underlying the interactions between past regional communities. Agent-based techniques have been coupled with complex network models or applied to archaeologically attested spatial networks.

These developments do not seem to have influenced GIS technologies, at least not in the discipline of archaeology. In fact, the archaeological use of GIS seems to suggest that formal methods for exploring past topological and geographical spaces are mutually exclusive.

This session aims to disprove the apparent divide between geographical and network-based methods by providing a discussion platform for archaeological research at the intersection of physical and relational space. This session will welcome contributions addressing the following or related topics: network analysis in GIS, past spatial networks, spatial network evolution, complex networks and spatial models, exploratory network analysis, network-based definitions of spatial structure, agent-based modelling and networks, and space syntax.

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