A thousand worlds: sci-fi networks in archaeology

Rune Rattenborg presenting at 'A Thousand Worlds' in Durham
Rune Rattenborg presenting at ‘A Thousand Worlds’ in Durham
Here is a common plot in sci-fi literature and movies (based on a popular physics model): the world you know is but one in an endless range of parallel universes, where each one is slightly different. Who would ever have thought this would be a good starting point for archaeological discussions? Yet the meeting in Durham I recently attended showed that parallel universes might have more in common with archaeology than we think.

(this review was originally published as a guest post on Electric Archaeology, please join discussion there)

I was invited by Rune Rattenborg to join a workshop in Durham called ‘A Thousand Worlds: Network Models in Archaeology’. This concept of a thousand worlds can be interpreted in an archaeological research context in different ways. On the one hand, and most similar to the sci-fi parallel universes plot, you could think about the many different reconstructions of past realities that could all explain a single archaeological pattern. Literally thousands of hypotheses could be raised to explain a certain pattern, each of them suggesting different mechanisms driving human behaviour and ultimately its expression in the archaeological record. On the other hand, you could think about the many academic perspectives archaeologists find useful for understanding the past. Perspectives ranging from highly quantitative (you can place me in that camp) to very qualitative, from local to global, from scientific to philosophical, and from an explicitly present-day perspective to attempting to recreate past perspectives. Each one of these is a valid way of thinking about past human behaviour and behavioural change (or rather every configuration or combination of these perspectives).

Both of these interpretations motivated Rune to title his workshop ‘A Thousand Worlds’. He noticed that archaeologists interested in questions of past connectivity and those of us using network perspectives often address the challenges we are faced with in very different ways. The only common ground of most network perspectives seems to be that the relationships between entities are considered crucial to understanding the behaviour of these entities. For example, the romantic relationship between two individuals will affect the decision to stay in and watch a Hugh Grant romantic comedy or to go out for a beer with the guys. But Rune also noticed that each perspective allows for a wide variety of reconstructions of past realities. These two issues seem to confuse archaeologists who might be interested in using such a network perspective in their archaeological research. I totally agree with Rune’s motivation to create some order in this chaos. The main questions of this workshop therefore were: what different network perspectives are out there? What rules govern them? What do they allow us to do that we could not do before? And what are their limitations?

To some extent the meeting was successful in addressing these questions. A number of very different perspectives were discussed by selected proponents: I introduced an extremely formal network science approach, which was discussed rather more pragmatically by Anna Collar; Michelle de Gruchy highlighted some interesting challenges in a geographical context; another group of presenters (Kristoffer Damgaard, Eivind Heldaas Seland, Sofie Laurine Albris, Rune Rattenborg) used the concept of connectivity and explored how it could be reflected in archaeological and literary sources. Finally Ronan O’Donnell introduced the actor-network theory (ANT) perspective through a fascinating case study on a post-Medieval landscape in Northumberland, UK, from which the strong difference between the aims of the ANT and network science research perspectives became particularly clear.

Nevertheless, by the end of the meeting it became clear that we were not entirely successful in addressing the many questions we set out to answer. Eivind Heldaas Seland skilfully summarised each paper and formulated three key questions that require more attention: how can these different perspectives and approaches usefully work together? What is the added value of some of these compared to a more traditional description of our sources? How can we better use these perspectives in the future? The fact that we were unsuccessful at addressing these questions shows how complex and non-trivial they are (and we also ran out of discussion time). But for what it’s worth, I take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts on these questions, combined with some of the points I picked up from others during the discussion.

First of all, I believe the first question presents the false impression that the different network perspectives can and need to work together. I would argue that, many network perspectives do not need to and most of them do not work well together at all. This is because some of them (like ANT and network science) are designed to address very different questions. But even those approaches that have more in common, like the quantitative vs. qualitative use of network science, don’t necessarily need to be combined into an almighty network approach. There is no need for a great unifying theory or method in archaeology, not even for one that just focuses on questions of connectivity. Rather, I consider the different network perspectives as tools that function according to certain rules, and once these rules are known the tools have a potential to make small but crucial contributions to our knowledge of the past. I believe that if we are to ever achieve the full potential of these exciting new approaches for archaeology we will need to first critically explore them in isolation.

Secondly, the added value of these perspectives is more obvious than how they should be applied. Many in the audience seemed to agree that the concept of the network itself is a powerful tool to think with. It forces us to consider the potentially important role played by relationships between entities (however defined: humans, molecules, parallel universes), which might allow us to ask and answer new questions. For me the added value lies in the recognition that all archaeologists make assumptions about the nature of such relationships when they formulate hypotheses about past phenomena. It can be useful to think about these assumptions in terms of network concepts and, most importantly, there is a real need to be critically aware of their existence and formulate them clearly. Network science can help archaeologists to think about their assumptions of past relationships, to formally express them (in words and/or in numbers), and to evaluate their implications for past behavioural change and its reflection in the archaeological record.

Finally, the “better use” of such approaches and perspectives is not optional, it is necessary if they are ever to become useful within an archaeological research context. However, a critical use and application is not just a critical awareness of the rules that govern them. Rather, an equal if not larger effort should be afforded to the archaeological interpretation of network science results, or the differences in the interpretative process that a networks perspective implies. I believe none of the scholars that attended the Durham meeting would disagree with that. The studies they presented could be roughly divided into two groups: those that THINK through network and those that DO networks. I believe the former is more important than the latter, because there can be no doing without thinking. Although this sounds like an obvious statement it is worth emphasising it because the use of quantitative network analysis is too often treated like a “black box” approach, which it is not. Every network science study in archaeology, no matter how quantitative, aims to better understand (aspects of) past phenomena. When doing so, the scholar formulates a hypothesis, expresses their assumptions about past relationships and their roles, or at least clearly defines what they mean by the network concepts they use. Only after this phase of network thinking can a scholar proceed to network doing, which involves representing hypotheses/assumptions/the archaeological record as network data (points and lines, and what they mean). The ability to use advanced quantitative tools should not be an excuse for the post-hoc imposition of a theoretical framework that fits the results nicely; nor should the appeal of using fashionable network concepts lead to reluctance to formally express what is meant by them and to evaluate their implications for understanding past phenomena.

Even though none of the three key questions about the role of the networks perspective in archaeology can be conclusively answered at this time, I felt that its future is nevertheless bright. The diversity of possible approaches and perspectives is encouraging and will lead to critical research that promises to help archaeologists better evaluate what approach is useful for their studies of past connectivity, and what is not. Some of these approaches might require multi-disciplinary collaboration, especially the more scary and maths-heavy techniques in the network science toolbox. But archaeologists should never be tempted to outsource the network thinking part of the process. Critical knowledge of the archaeological literature and data leads to an awareness of the relevant research questions, and the same knowledge will lead to valuable interpretations of analytical results and research processes. There might be a thousand pasts out there, and there might be a thousand ways of reaching them, but this quest will always need to be undertaken by archaeologists.

Selected relevant publications:
Brandes, U., Robins, G., McCranie, A., & Wasserman, S. 2013. What is network science? Network Science 1(01): p.1–15.
Brughmans, T. 2013.Thinking through networks: A Review of Formal Network Methods in Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory.
Knappett, C. 2011. An archaeology of interaction. Network perspectives on material culture and society. Oxford – New York: Oxford University Press.

Hestia2 in Stanford: visualising complex data

Hestia_logo_whtRemember the Hestia2 event we organised in Southampton in July with The Connected Past? Time for more of that! The Hestia project is pleased to announce its second community event, which will take place at Stanford University on 4-5 November 2013. The two-day workshop, hosted by Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, will tackle the issue of visualizing complex data, and will be of interest to anyone working on network theory and the digital analysis of literature and historical material.

It will include presentations from various local high-tech companies developing complex data analysis and hands-on work with the following humanities projects based in Stanford:
Orbis 2.0, the latest geospatial network model of the ancient world;
Arches, a new open-source geospatial software system for cultural heritage inventory and management;
– Palladio, a new platform for visualizing and analyzing networks of historical data;
– Topotime, a new data model and graphical layout designed specifically to handle the fuzzy temporal bounds and cyclical time of literary narratives.

This two-day event is free for all. We simply ask you to register in advance here.

For more information about the event and about Hestia, please visit our blog.

We look forward to welcoming you in Stanford!

Best wishes

The Hestia2 team

**Hestia2 is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council**

CFP What about the nodes and links?

nodes linksThe following workshop might be of interest “WHAT ABOUT THE NODES AND LINKS? Approaching Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Ottoman and German History through Network Theory”. Organised by Prof. Dr. Katja Patzel-Mattern in Heidelberg 21-22 February 2014. The deadline for papers is 31.10.2013. More info below, on the announcement page, on the event website or contact ws-netzwerk-2014@zegk.uni-heidelberg.de

Prof. Dr. Katja Patzel-Mattern (Professur für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte der Universität Heidelberg); Aysegül Argit, M.A.; Rabea Limbach, M.A.
21.02.2014-22.02.2014, Heidelberg, Historisches Seminar der Universität Heidelberg, Grabengasse 3-5, 69117 Heidelberg, Übungsraum (ÜR) I & II
Deadline: 31.10.2013

WORKSHOP
WHAT ABOUT THE NODES AND LINKS?
Approaching Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Ottoman and German History through Network Theory

21-22 February 2014
History Department, Heidelberg University

With presentations by:
– Prof. Dr. Adelheid von Saldern (University of Hannover)
– Prof. Dr. Christoph K. Neumann (LMU Munich, tbc)

Chairs:
– Prof. Dr. Katja Patzel-Mattern (Heidelberg University)
– Johannes Zimmermann, M.A. (Heidelberg University, tbc)
– Dr. Stefanie van de Kerkhof (University of Mannheim)

The workshop will explore possibilities to use network theory for the historical analysis of political, economic, and social processes. It is our goal to ‘test’ network-theoretical approaches by debating their applicability to selected research projects concerning German and Ottoman history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The workshop will host two prominent guest researchers: Prof. Dr. Adelheid von Saldern (University of Hannover) will give a lecture concentrating on the German context, whilst Prof. Dr. Christoph K. Neumann (LMU Munich,
tbc) will deal with late Ottoman history. We would like to invite historians and social scientists to deliberate the possibilities and limitations of network theory for historical research in this workshop.

In the context of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the German Confederation and the later German Reich, as well as the dominions of the Ottoman State, are particularly interesting research objects for ‘testing’ and applying network-theoretical approaches. In both the Ottoman and the German contexts, researchers find themselves dealing with territories, which were heterogeneous politically, socially, and culturally. Moreover, both political entities were experiencing a time of transition in this period. This transition was characterized by political and economic instability, which went hand in hand with the erosion of institutional arrangements as well as traditional structures.
Viewed in a larger context, such developments can be connected to the fact that both polities were confronted with globally connected ideas and developments that manifested themselves especially in the context of a European vision of ‘modernity’ conceptualized through buzz words such as nationalism, imperialism, and industrialism. What is interesting here is how agents in the Ottoman as well as in the German contexts reacted to and dealt with these notions. When compared to e.g. France as an early nation state or England as a pioneer among industrialized countries, both polities underwent their very own peculiar paths of development. It is this similarity between the Ottoman and German cases which makes a parallel examination of their histories a worthwhile endeavour. Indeed, comparative analysis of the Ottoman Empire and the German territories becomes even more appealing when considering that, despite their similarities, both historical spaces differed significantly in terms of their political and economic configurations.
Finally, an engagement with both spaces is absolutely necessary when addressing research questions which attempt to go beyond German-Ottoman ‘interdependencies'[1] in processes of state building in order to investigate potential parallels on economic and social levels. Here, it is also possible to ask if convergences between the Ottoman and German contexts were supported, or even caused, by particular structures and paths of development within each space.

These research objectives raise questions about the actors and authorities who were active in various political, economic, and social processes and also direct the researchers’ attention to different agents’ ways of interaction and cooperation. In this framework, networks as social or institutional constructions, their emergence, and their functioning become the main focus of analysis. Today, the ‘social network’ as such represents an omnipresent – not to say ‘en vogue’ – concept, which has become part of our everyday language. However, ‘social network’ also refers to a theoretical concept that has gained popularity within historical research during the last two decades.[2] Nevertheless, in order to be able to use the ‘network’ concept as an analytic tool in historical studies, it arguably becomes necessary to formulate a clear definition of the term with respect to the particular research projects. In this regard scholars not only need to delineate the notion of the ‘network’ in order to distinguish it from concepts of other social phenomena, but they also strive to find tailor made ways to operationalize and to adapt theoretical models of interest for the needs of their historical research projects. The workshop will offer an opportunity for discussing such undertakings.

We therefore invite researchers in history and the social sciences undertaking research in German and late-Ottoman history to present their projects and the theoretical and methodological concepts underlying their work. The joint discussions about the projects presented shall serve to address the functionality and utility of network theory by exemplifying models of its operationalization whilst dealing with two culturally and linguistically different spaces – each possessing their very own societal, governmental, and economic characteristics and development processes. Additionally, the workshop aims to discover possible similarities and reciprocities between the German and the Ottoman contexts as a step towards a “histoire croissée” of these two regions. Finally, the focus on these polities will create an opportunity for young scholars of Ottoman and German studies to network.

The workshop is directed primarily, but not exclusively, at doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers, whom we would like to invite to discuss their research projects and their theoretical and methodological concepts in this workshop. It is possible to present projects, which deal with both Ottoman and German history, or which concentrate solely on one of the two polities. If the latter case predominates, the comparative analysis of both polities will take place in the joint discussions. The projects presented may be at an early conceptual stage.
It is crucial, however, that a theoretical and methodological approach, which may be still preliminary in character, has been formulated for each project. Presenters will receive a small allowance for their participation. The organizing team will help you find accommodation and provide directions upon request.

We invite researchers and students interested in presenting their work to send a short outline of their projects (2 pages), including a title for their presentation by

31 October 2013

to ws-netzwerk-2014@zegk.uni-heidelberg.de.

The workshop will be open to those who only wish to participate in discussion, rather than present papers of their own. We kindly request interested attendants to register via email by 31 January 2014.

Venue
Heidelberg University
History Department
Grabengasse 3-5
69117 Heidelberg
Rooms: Übungsraum (ÜR) 1 & 2

The workshop will start on 21 February 2014, at 1.30 p.m. and end on 22 February at 5 p.m. A joint dinner is planned on the evening of 21 February.

Please find further Information on
http://vonknotenundkanten.wordpress.com/

Organisation
The workshop is hosted and funded by the Professorship for Economic and Social History, Prof. Dr. Katja Patzel-Mattern, at the Department of History, Heidelberg University. The organisers, Aysegül Argit, M.A. and Rabea Limbach, M.A. are doctoral students of Prof. Dr. Patzel-Mattern.
Their research projects deal with economic networks of early industrial entrepreneurs in the “Rheinkreis”, a Bavarian province on the left bank of the Rhine in the early nineteenth century (Rabea Limbach), and with communication structures as well as political and societal networks in the late Ottoman Empire (Aysegül Argit).

Contact
Prof. Dr. Katja Patzel-Mattern
z.Hd. Aysegül Argit, M.A. & Rabea Limbach, M.A.
Professur für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte Historisches Seminar der Universität Heidelberg Grabengasse 3-5
69117 Heidelberg
E-Mail: ws-netzwerk-2014@zegk.uni-heidelberg.de

Hurray for workshops!

methodsThe last few weeks of my professional life were nice and hectic, wouldn’t want it any other way of course. There were a lot of events that kept me and my friends quite busy and happy. Here is a short personal review of a few of these: Mathematics of Networks and The Connected Past workshop.

On Monday 16 September there was the Mathematics of Networks meeting in Southampton. This was another one of those excellent multi-disciplinary events that are so popular these days. You obviously don’t hear me complaining, I love these things. But however multi-disciplinary the event, there is always a stronger emphasis on one discipline and you never quite know which one it’s going to be. So in this case it was probably maths/stats. I very much felt like the token humanist offering some light entertainment after lunch. But the questions I and other social scientists got as well as all discussions made it clear that the audience was very much prepared to think about each others problems and provide answers from their respective experiences. What always surprises me is the ability of the more mathsy people among us to come up with algorithms to solve a humanities problem during pub discussions. Love that stuff! I was particularly interested to find out about Jake Shemming and Keith Briggs’ work on Anglo-Saxon communication networks and visibility networks. All slides can be found online.

The pub session of the Mathematics of Networks meeting quickly turned into a promising start for The Connected Past Workshop. Quite a few of the delegates and tutors managed to arrive the evening of the 16th for drinks and dinner, from about ten countries in fact, some as far away as the USA, Canada and Australia. That made me feel a bit nervous, I was really hoping everyone would get out of the workshop what they were expecting. Or even better, some new ideas or research directions they never thought of. As the two days of the workshop passed everything seemed to go smoothly (except for those tiny logistical mistakes that are totally useless but tend to dominate my mind). We had some great discussions, all the delegates and tutors were really switched on, knowledgeable and contributed from their own experiences. What we ended up with (and that was only partly planned) was a set of honest statements by scholars giving their own perspectives on network science in archaeology and history, guiding us through the decisions they made, and sharing their many mistakes and revelations with us. Sometimes it felt very much like being in an Overly Honest Methods meme! Which is great because every academic knows these things actually happen. The best we can do is be aware of them and be honest. And hopefully something useful will emerge at the other end. Many delegates were surprised that we did not sell Network Science as the new hot things to answer all our research questions. Rather the message seemed to be “if it offers the best approach to your research questions then use it, if not then ditch it”. And of course that is exactly how I see network science being useful in our disciplines. We need to be able to understand what it can do for us and evaluate whether it’s the tool we are looking for. No network science in archaeology just for the sake of it, it’s no science if it doesn’t offer anything unique. We decided we will do this workshop again, modified slightly thanks to all the feedback we got. See keep an eye out for future announcements!

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!

CAA workshop registration open

CAAworkshop_complexity_leafletA while ago I mentioned the workshop in complex systems simulation I will be co-chairing at CAA2013 in Perth. You can now register to attend this workshop via the CAA website. Places are limited so hurry up 🙂

Here is the abstract again, and you can download the programme by clicking on the image.

Dear all,

We would like to draw your attention to a workshop on agent-based modelling in archaeology as part of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) conference

Ever wondered what all this complex systems talk in archaeology is about, or how to design your own sophisticated simulation model? Then this might be for you:

We will organise a workshop on complex systems and agent-based simulations models in archaeology at the CAA Conference in Perth, Australia, this March. Places are still available but Early Bird Registration to the conference ends on Thursday February 7th, so hurry up to get a discount! The workshop itself is free of charge.

The workshop will take place on Monday March 25th and will consist of a morning and an afternoon session. At the end of the day you will be able to design and program your own simulation model to help you answer your research questions in archaeology or related social sciences – guaranteed …

Registration for the conference at:

http://www.caa2013.org/drupal/registration

Registration to the workshop will be announced on the CAA website soon, but you can already reserve a seat by contacting Carolin at cv275@cam.ac.uk

For further information see the abstract below. A flyer with a detailed programme is attached.

Hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Carolin, Iza, Tom and Eugene

Carolin Vegvari (Department of Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge)
Iza Romanowska (Institute for Complex Systems Simulation, University of Southampton)
Tom Brughmans (Archaeological Computing Research Group, University of Southampton)
Eugene Ch’ng (IBM Visual and Spatial Technology Centre, University of Birmingham)

WORKSHOP ABSTRACT

W1: Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology
Chairs: E. Ch’ng, C. Vegvari
Discussants: I. Romanowska, T. Brughmans

Modelling in various forms has always been an integral part of archaeology. In the broadest sense, archaeology is the study of human activities in the past, and a model is a simplified representation of reality. As a map is a useful abstract of the physical world that allows us to see aspects of the world we chose to, so a computational model distils reality into a few key features, leaving out unnecessary details so as to let us see connections. Human societies in their environmental context can be considered as complex systems. Complex systems are systems with many interacting parts, they are found in every hierarchy of the universe, from the molecular level to large planetary systems within which life and humanity with its cultural developments occur. Formal modelling can help archaeologists to identify the relationships between elements within a complex socio-environmental system in that particular hierarchy. Simulating large populations and non-linear interactions are computationally expensive. In recent years, however, the introduction of new mathematical techniques, rapid advances in computation, and modelling tools has greatly enhanced the potential of complex systems analysis in archaeology. Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) is one of these new methods and has become highly popular with archaeologists. In Agent-Based Modelling, human individuals in ancient societies are modelled as individual agents. The interaction of agents with each other and with their environment can give rise to emergent properties and self-organisation at the macro level – the distribution of wealth within a society, the forming of cohesive groups, population movements in climate change, the development of culture, and the evolution of landscape use are among the examples. Thus, the application of Agent-Based Models to hypothesis testing in archaeology becomes part of the question. The ability to construct various models and run hundreds of simulation in order to see the general developmental trend can provide us with new knowledge impossible in traditional approaches. Another advantage of agent-based models over other mathematical methods is that they can easily model, or capture heterogeneity within these systems, such as the different characteristics (personalities, gender, age, size, etc), preferences (coastal, in-land, food, fashion), and dynamics (microstates of position and orientation).

We would like to invite archaeologists new to complex systems and Agent-Based Modelling for an introductory workshop on Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in archaeology. The workshop introduces the concept of Complexity in archaeology, drawing relationships between Information, Computation and Complexity. The practicality of the workshop leads beginners in building simple agent- based models and provides a means to build more complex simulations after. Participants knowledgeable in Complexity wishing to gain insights on real-world applications of Complexity will benefit from this workshop. Participants will get the opportunity to experiment with simple models and draw conclusions from analysis of simulations of those models. Programming experience is not required as the workshop leads beginners from the ground up in modelling tools.

Free GIS workshop in Lancaster

homepage01The Spatial Humanities team in Lancaster is organising a free two-day workshop in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for postgraduate students and early career researchers. The intensive two-day course does not require any prior knowledge on GIS and will introduce you to its data management, mapping and export functionality. I can definitely recommend attending this workshop, the team in Lancaster is doing some great pioneering work in spatial humanities and will make sure you get excited by GIS too.

Deadline for applications in 1 March.

How to apply?

Places are limited, as part of registering please include a brief description (max 200 words) of your research interests and what you want to gain from the workshop. The deadline for applications is Friday 1st of March.

Please email a booking form to: I.Gregory@lancaster.ac.uk.
You can download a booking form on the event’s webpage.

For more details of this and subsequent events see their webpage or contact Ian Gregory at the above email address.

GIS SOFTWARE FOR THE DIGITAL HUMANITIES: A FREE TWO-DAY WORKSHOP

11-12th April, 2013

Lancaster University

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are becoming increasingly used by historians, archaeologists, literary scholars, classicists and others, however adoption of the technology has been hampered by a lack of understanding of what GIS is and what it has to offer to these disciplines. This free workshop, sponsored by the ERC’s Spatial Humanities: Texts, GIS, Places project and hosted by Lancaster University, provides an introduction to the use of GIS software aimed specifically at researchers from the humanities and arts.

Outline syllabus:

In an intensive two days we will introduce the basics of GIS software from a humanities perspective. The course assumes no prior knowledge of GIS software but a basic competence in computing is needed. We will provide hands-on training in ArcGIS, the most widely used commercial GIS software package. Other software will also be discussed. The course will cover: how GIS software represents geographically features; the basics of GIS functionality; using GIS to produce high-quality maps; using GIS as a database; getting point data into GIS; and exporting data to Google Earth.

Who should come?

This event will provide a short but intensive introduction to GIS software. It will be relevant to post-graduate students and early career academics who can subsequently develop these skills in their own research. It will also be suitable for more senior academics, grant-holders and managers who want a brief introduction to GIS software to allow them to manage GIS projects. Over the summer we will be hosting a four-day summer school (15-18th July 2013) which will allow us to explore topics in more depth and to which participants can bring their own data, we do not recommend attending both events as there will be significant overlap. The workshop builds on a one-day seminar held in Lancaster in November 2012. People who participated in this are encouraged to attend although attendance at this or similar events is not a requirement.

How much will it cost?

The workshop is free and includes lunch and refreshments, all other costs must be borne by the participants. Accommodation on Lancaster University’s campus includes: Guest rooms from 35gbp per night or the Lancaster House Hotel from 87gbp per night. Please do not book accommodation until your place on workshop has been confirmed.

Tom caught on tape!

Last week I presented at a workshop organised by Johannes Preiser-Kapeller in Vienna and Johannes already made the videos of that workshop available! That’s lightning fast academic work for you 🙂

You can watch the videos below. Johannes gave an introduction after which I presented a 40 minute keynote talk. Next up was Mihailo Popović talking about the historical geography of Byzantium, followed by Johannes Preiser-Kapeller and Ekaterini Mitsiou presenting their recent work on social networks of Byzantium. The workshop was hosted at the Institute for Byzantine Studies (Austrian Academy of Sciences) in Vienna and was titled “Connecting the dots. The analysis of networks and the study of the past (Archaeology and History)”.

Here are the videos:

Introduction (Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, IBF)

Tom Brughmans (Univ. Southampton), “Complex Networks in Archaeology: Urban Connectivity in Roman Southern Spain”, part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Mihailo Popović (IBF, Austrian Academy): “Networking the historical geography of Byzantium”

Johannes Preiser-Kapeller (IBF, Austrian Academy): “Social networks of Byzantium (part 1)”

Ekaterini Mitsiou (IBF, Austrian Academy): “Social networks of Byzantium (part 2)”

Workshop historical network research in Saarbrücken

From 26 to 28 May a workshop on historical networks will be held at the Universität des Saarlandes, organised by the people of the ‘Historical network research’ platform. The scope seems pretty wide, covering theoretical papers, geographical networks, software and social, cultural, political and trade networks in historical case-studies. Although there are no explicit archaeological applications, these papers should be extremely relevant to what we are doing as archaeological network analysts.

Read the full list of papers in this programme.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑