Building Cyberinfrastructure from the Ground Up for the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization: Introducing the cyberNABO Project
Colleen Strawhacker (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, United States)
The cyberNABO Project is designlocked to solidify a developing multidisciplinary community through the development of cyberinfrastructure (CI) to study the long-term human ecodynamics of North Atlantic, a region that is especially vulnerable to ongoing climate and environmental change. It builds build upon prior sustained field and laboratory research, rich and diverse datasets, and a strong involvement by local communities and institutions. cyberNABO is currently hosting a series of workshops and hackathons aimed at taking these collaborators and stakeholder communities to a new level of integration and to develop capacity for building CI and visualizations in subsequent funding cycles. Research on the long-term sustainability in the Arctic requires compiling data from over thousands of square miles, hundreds of years, and multiple disciplines, from climatology to archaeology to folklore. The complexity of datasets of this scale presents a unique challenge to create a CI system that results in interoperability and accessibility of data – a task that needs an explicit plan and extensive expertise from a variety of fields. Investing in a comprehensive CI system provides the opportunity to integrate collaborators and data from the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities, thus providing the opportunity for a holistic approach to long-term human ecodynamics in the context of rapid social and environmental change and for the creation of digital tools for expanded northern community involvement in global change research. In order to address questions of this scale, however, this collaborative group needs to integrate multiple sources, types, and formats of data to address multidisciplinary questions and provide effective support for visualization and modeling efforts that can connect knowledge systems. This session will bring together the core cyberNABO team to present their ongoing projects that add to the greater aims of cyberNABO to fully discover, integrate, and visualize varied datasets from this region.
Using GIS Modeling to Solve Real-World Archaeological Problems
Kelsey M Reese (Southwest Archaeological Consultants, Inc., United States)
Kathryn Harris (Washington State University, United States)
Jade d’Alpoim Guedes (Washington State University, United States)
The theme “Oceans of Data” is appropriate in addressing a fundamental disparity between modeling and the empirical world. Data is collected from every archaeological project, public or private, and stored with the intent of utilizing the myriad of information to solve a future question—whether it broad-scale or finite. However many in the realm of dirt-archaeology are wary of using large-scale analyses that utilize computer modeling, and further wary to apply the results as legitimate answers for archaeological problems. This session aims to address those issues and provide several case studies in which large data is utilized by geographic information systems, network analysis, and other statistical analyses to help answer real-world archaeological problems, in a manner that is sufficient to withstand academic scrutiny, and present the range of computing power in geographic and spatial analyses that can be utilized by the larger archaeological discipline.
Exploring Maritime Spaces with Digital Archaeology: Modelling navigation, seascapes, and coastal spaces
Emma Slayton (Leiden University, NWO Island Networks Project, Netherlands)
Crystal Safadi (University of South Hampton, Centre Maritime Archaeology, United Kingdom)
The use of GIS and modelling techniques for the study of maritime landscapes and seafaring is a growing theme in both maritime archaeology and in computational approaches to analyzing archaeological spaces. With the recent availability of large datasets, increasingly more detailed and accurate weather records, and advances in GIS applications and simulations, our understanding of seascapes, coastal landscapes, and navigation is expanding. Evaluating both the use of the water’s surface and the interaction between seascapes and adjoining land based sites is essential for understanding the use and meaning of maritime spaces in the past. Digital archaeology is crucial to the investigation of these spaces, as the archaeological record supports the existence of sea travel without any clear evidence of the specifics of this movement and computer based analysis can be used to fill in these gaps. This session may also focus on the use of water-based navigation extending to the analysis of navigation of lakes or rivers. Similarly, coastal landscapes and harbour sites may be included as they provide essential archaeological information on the connection of seascapes and landscapes, through visibility studies, database records, or analysis of coastal mobility.
This session welcomes papers on a variety of topics that make use of GIS and modelling methods to investigate these maritime spaces, e.g. seafaring and voyaging, harbour studies, coastal landscapes, seascapes and islandscapes, surveying techniques, maritime cultural landscapes, databases, web-applications, etc. Through this session we aim to share and explore different approaches to analyzing maritime spaces that would highlight their significance.
Databases and archives – how do we handle the digital archives?
Evy Berg (Directorate for Cultural Heritage, Norway)
As the databases grow old and mature, new versions have to be created and published. Often with different technologies than the previous version to enhance user experience. But what happens to the old versions – are they dumped in a digital black hole? For some databases there are rules about how to treat an obsolete version. The National Archives in Norway is responsible for the caretaking of all written materiel, also in the form of digital archives, from the public sector. The deliverance of such data is mandatory. When it comes to a SMR (Sites and Monuments register) the rules are less clear. Also, how should the vast amount of field data from collecting and analysing sites be treated? This includes both written reports, but also all files like GIS, pictures, photogrammetry etc. The file formats keeping the content can be very complex and software – specific. How is this materiel archived for long term storage, and what are the chances that the files could ever be opened in 50 or 100 years’ time? And who is responsible for taking care of them? The museum/research institution where the files where created? Or do they fall in under the responsibility of a National Archive? If so, what rules exist, or should be made, for taking care of the content regardless of file formats?
Unstable futures/Potential pasts: scenarios for digital archaeology 2020
Gary Lock (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
Agiatis Benardou (Digital Curation Unit, Athens, Greece)
Costis Dallas (University of Toronto, Canada)
Paul Reilly (University of Southampton, United Kingdom)
Jeremy Huggett (University of Glasgow, United Kingdom)
Building on the CAA Siena “Challenging Digital Archaeology” Round Table, the ‘Open Archaeology’ publications stemming from CAA Paris, and the recent Ariadne Expert Forum in Athens, we now ask “what are the plausible digital futures of our [digital] past and how might we prepare for them?”
This session will build on a series of stories or ‘scenarios’, developed using a technique called Scenario Planning, using an expert forum, to drive an action orientated agenda.
In this Round Table we do not attempt to forecast the impact of introducing any particular technology. Our aim is to direct attention to plausible future contexts in which digital technologies are likely to be introduced into archaeology. Scenario planning is not predictive, and unlike forecasting, in which the flow of time progresses linearly from the past through the present to predict a future, time flows can be multidirectional and iterative to reflect plausible, possible, anticipated and probable futures.
After inviting an expert panel to present some grounded scenarios, the key discussion point for this Round Table is: “what do we need to do now to be ready for all scenarios?”
Computer tools for depicting shape and detail in 3D archaeological models
Miguel Carrero-Pazos (Department of History I, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
Alia Vázquez-Martínez (Department of History I, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
Benito Vilas-Estévez (Department of Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, United Kingdom)
Miguel Busto (Department of Art History and Musicology, ZapicoUniversity of Oviedo, Spain)
Archaeology has been long characterized by the interdisciplinarity and the transversality of their approaches and methodologies. In this context, we strongly believe that a proposal of a session that considers the use of the New Technologies (NNTT) on the fields that deal with computer tools for depict shape and detail in 3D archaeological models, and their application in archaeology is necessary. At the same time, we might see the impact that other sciences could have into Archaeology and how it is seen through them.
In the field of archaeological research, the use of the NNTT are widely spread due to their technical profits, as quicker methodologies to obtain archaeological data or carrying out some analysis that will be impossible to conduct manually. We should not forget that the use of these techniques allow us to get greater objectification of the archaeological record.
From this perspective, the possibilities of the application of the NNTT to Archaeology are almost unlimited. In this sense, since its beginning, Processual and Post-processual Archaeology has been joining the benefits of the computer science advancements. Therefore, we are able to consider a strong consolidated research field.
Since the beginning of Informatics’ Era, different branches of archaeological research have been arisen. One of them has been the representation and study of archaeological elements by their virtual reconstruction (3D). From this view, different approaches have appeared, especially since the turn of the century, which put the attention on the development of visual techniques to implement archaeological 3D models.
That is particularly the case regarding the Polynomial Texture Mapping technique, from RTI methodology -Reflection Transformation Imaging- (Malzbender, et al., 2001). Or its counterpart, the virtual RTI, which combines reflection transformation techniques with photogrammetry and no intrusive digitalization, in order to create an advanced level of interaction with the 3D model, and to enhance the topographic surface (Earl, Beale, Martínez, Pagi, 2010). Moreover, the Morphological Residual Model (MRM), a recent technique (currently inaccessible) which also enables a better visualization of 3D model details has to be denoted (Pires, et al., 2014; Correia Santos, et al., 2014; Correia Santos, et al., 2015; Pires, et al., 2015).
On the other hand, with the development of free and open access software like Meshlab, it has been multiplied the contributions to the creation of rendering plugins (or shaders), which analyse some characteristics of the 3D model to enhance them. Perhaps one of the most relevant is the Radiance Scaling (Vergne, et al., 2010), an expressive rendering which enhance the 3D model concavities and convexities.
The application of these techniques to the study of archaeological objects and structures is not new, but it has been steadily increasing since the last decade.
Everything that has been said before show us the framework or context in which our session will take place. Our aim is to show different examples of 3D visual techniques, which have been planned or developed to use with computer tools. In this sense, we will be able to reflect about the advantages and the challenges of the interdisciplinarity and the transversality of our discipline and the use of NNTT in Archaeology.
Nowadays the NNTT are a fundamental part of the development of the archaeological research. In many cases, the future of our discipline is to adapt and absorb new methods and models developed in other scientific fields. The purpose of our meeting will be to learn from those so heterogeneous experiences, and show how the use of other techniques can help Archaeology to plan and resolve different archaeological problems.
Communications, posters and audio-visual material will be accepted, especially those that deal with new computer techniques, to depict shape and detail in 3D archaeological models.
CORREIA SANTOS, M. J., PIRES, H., SOUSA, O., 2014, “Nuevas lecturas de las inscripciones del santuario de Panóias (Vila Real, Portugal)”, Sylloge Epigraphica Barcinonensis (SEBarc) XII, Barcelona, pp. 197-224.
CORREIA SANTOS, M. J., SOUSA, O., PIRES, H., FONTE, J., GONÇALVES-SECO, L., 2015, “Travelling back in Time to Recapture Old Texts. The use of Morphological Residual Model (M.R.M.) for epigraphic reading: four case studies (CIL 02, 02395a, CIL 02, 02395c, CIL 02, 02476, CIL 02, 05607)”, In Acts of Information Technologies for Epigraphy and Cultural Heritage. Proceedings of the first EAGLE International Conference, Europeana Eagle project. Studi umanistici- Antichistica, Sapienza Universitá Editrice, pp. 437-450.
EARL, G., BEALE, G., MARTINEZ, K., PAGI, H., 2010, “Polynomial Texture Mapping and Related Imaging Technologies for the Recording, Analysis and Presentation of Archaeological Materials”. In International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, vol. XXXVIII, Part 5, pp. 218-223.
MALZBENDER, T., WILBURN, B., GELB, D., AMBRISCO, B., 2006, “Surface enhancement using real-time photogrammetric stereo and reflectance transformation”. In Eurographics Symposium on Rendering, pp. 245-250.
PIRES, H., FONTE, J., GONÇALVES-SECO, L., CORREIA SANTOS, M. J., SOUSA, O., 2014, Morphological Residual Model. A Tool for Enhancing Epigraphic Readings of Highly Erosioned Surfaces, EAGLE- Information Technologies for Epigraphy and Cultural Heritage in the Ancient World. Paris, pp. 133-144.
PIRES, H., MARTÍNEZ RUBIO, J., ELORZA ARANA, A., 2015, “Techniques for revealing 3D hidden archaeological features: morphological residual models as a virtual-polynomial texture maps”, The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, volumen XL-5/W4, 2015 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Arquitectures, 25-27 February 2015, Avila, Spain, pp. 415-421.
VERGNE, R., VANDERHAEGUE, D., CHEN, J., BARLA, P., GRANIER, X., SCHILICK, C., 2011, “Implicit brushes for stylized line-based rendering”, Computer Graphics Forum, 30 (2), pp. 513-522.
Integrating 3D photogrammetric data in the field: challenges, implications and solutions
Jens-Bjørn Riis Andresen (Department of Archaeology, Aarhus University, Denmark)
In recent years the proliferation of image based 3D techniques has enabled very detailed archaeological recording at greatly reduced time and cost. However, this requires extensive computation time, and as a consequence the processing and interpretation of the resultant models is often disconnected from the archaeologists on site. This is problematic, as the success of any recording technique is contingent on its ability to validate and interpret data while in the field.
In this session we focus on solving the theoretical and methodological problems involved in closing the gap between excavators and their data . Contributions should explore how we can optimize workflows and enable archaeologists to meaningfully engage with and use 3D data on site.
Modelling approaches to analyse the socio-economic context in archaeology II: defining the limits of production
Philip Verhagen (VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Humanities, Netherlands)
Monica de Cet (Italy)
At CAA2015, we organized a fruitful and stimulating session on spatio-temporal modelling of socio-economic processes in archaeology. At this year’s conference, we want to continue the debate, and in particular focus on the issue of establishing boundaries of production. Past societies, whether they were hunter-gatherers or complex state societies, were all forced to deal with the problem of producing sufficient food and other resources to meet economic as well as social demands.
The debate on the limitations of socio-economic systems for the production of resources is currently more often based on educated guesses than on a good understanding of the processes involved. The interplay between the (potential) availability of resources, and the necessary workforce, technology and socio-economic structures (like land ownership, taxation or access to markets) is a complex field of study, in which significant steps forward are being made through the combined use of GIS, statistical simulation and dynamical systems and agent-based modelling.
We are, however, still far removed from a common modelling approach to these issues that will allow us to easily make cross-regional, multi-scalar and diachronic comparisons. In this session, we want to address questions such as:
– what data sources and variables to include
– what modelling techniques and analysis protocols to use
– what theoretical frameworks to apply
– how to model at different scale levels
– and how to interpret the results of our models.
We therefore specifically want to invite papers dealing with one or more of the following issues:
– demographic processes and their socio-economic impact
– competition for resources at different scale levels, from the household to the state
– settlement patterns, territories, accessibility and control of resources
– the role of socio-economic and cultural constraints
– the utility of ethnographic data and comparisons
– sensitivity analysis of modelling approaches
– modelling with large data sets
Archaeological Information Languages and Notations
César González-Pérez (Institute of Heritage Sciences, Spanish National Research Council, Spain)
Patricia Martín-Rodilla (Institute of Heritage Sciences, Spanish National Research Council, Spain)
Ruth Varela (Institute of Heritage Sciences, Spanish National Research Council, Spain)
Most of the efforts that are made in the realm of information technologies and archaeology are directly related to data or information. The way in which we represent archaeological information, the particular languages that we use, the formalisms that we employ to describe the archaeological record or to convey archaeological meaning, and the visual representations that we choose or construct, have a great impact on how knowledge is constructed at the other end of the communication process.
This session aims to address this by, precisely, analyzing the languages and notations that we use in archaeology, i.e. by studying the vocabularies, conceptualizations, ontologies and graphical or textual representations that are involved in discussing the archaeological record and its interpretations from an abstract viewpoint and beyond anecdotal evidence.
Major research areas that are welcome in the session include (but are not limited to) the following:
– What kind of natural language is being used to describe archaeological information? Is this language any different to regular language?
– What specific conceptualisations are we using to represent archaeological information? How are they developed? What are the key concepts on which the archaeological discourse relies?
– What formal systems, such as models or ontologies, are being used in archaeology? How are they useful? In what scenarios? Who develops and uses them?
– How is archaeological information conveyed between specialists in the field or the lab, while exploring hypotheses or developing arguments? What note taking, sketching, diagramming or other techniques are used?
– How is archaeological information presented in final form through publications or similar artefacts? What visual or textual notations are employed? What criteria are used to select the right presentation format?
– What kinds of actors are involved in the use of different languages and notations? Do specialists, amateurs and the general public, for example, use the same or different ones? What languages and notations mediate the communication between actor kinds?
– What software tools exist that facilitate the use of the above mentioned languages and notations? Who uses them and in which situations? How useful are them?
– How are these languages and notations useful for the development of computer systems such as databases or repositories?
– What reasoning and knowledge construction processes take place in relation to the languages and notations mentioned above?
Please bear in mind that the session is intended to focus on the theoretical and analytical study of archaeological languages and notations, rather than on the detailed account of specific case studies.
The session will be of interest to people who:
– Participate in the development of models, ontologies, thesauri or other formal conceptualizations for archaeology.
– Have adopted, or are considering adoption of, a particular model or ontology for archaeological information.
– Believe that no particular conceptualization of archaeological information is especially better than others, or that no formal conceptualization can or should be used.
– Are interested in how archaeological knowledge is created, refined, visualized and shared.
– Are interested in the ways in which we interact among ourselves and with computer systems in relation to archaeological information.
– Need to assess the impact of the adoption of a tool or technique on the overall results of their work.
– Make decisions about standards adoption or methodological choices, either small- or large-scale.
– Are interested in the mechanisms by which meaning is constructed in archaeology, either individually or collectively.
Theorising the Digital: Digital Theoretical Archaeology Group (digiTAG) and the CAA
James Stuart Taylor (Department of Archaeology, University of York, United Kingdom)
Sara Perry (Department of Archaeology, University of York, United Kingdom)
Nicolò Del’Unto (Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Lund, Sweden)
Åsa Berggren (University of Lund, Sweden)
Computing and the application of new digital technologies in archaeology and the heritage sector more generally have been advancing rapidly in recent years. This ‘digital turn’ is reflected in the growth and success of the CAA international conference, and in the emergence of a range of dedicated interest groups and associated digital outputs around the world. In concert, pressure has been increasing to situate the application of digital technologies within a wider theoretical framework, and with a degree of critical self-awareness, thereby allowing for rigorous evaluation of impact and disciplinary change. This is something that the CAA, as a nexus for the discussion of applied digital technologies in archaeology, has explicitly addressed throughout its history, and particularly in recent meetings, with a range of round tables and theoretically-engaged sessions that have proved popular amongst the digital community.
TAG, another well-established conference, with a long history of fostering progressive and critical debate in archaeology, has never explicitly aimed to address the various theoretical consequences of the digital turn. As such, this session seeks both to broaden the TAG family to attend to the rapidly-growing computational sphere of archaeological practice, and to work with the CAA to consolidate its own efforts to theorise and encourage critique and evaluation of the effects of the digital turn.
We invite participants to deliver papers that question, challenge, appraise and reconceive the epistemological and research-oriented implications of the digital turn—as well as its larger social, political and economic consequences. In short, what is the actual impact of the digital turn upon archaeology and the wider heritage sector? The session will culminate in a chaired discussion amongst all contributors, with a focus on both debating the future of the concept of ‘digiTAG’ and rethinking critical engagement with digital practice in archaeology and heritage overall.
Supporting researchers in the use and re-use of archaeological data: continuing the ARIADNE thread
Julian Richards (Archaeology Data Service, University of York, United Kingdom)
Franco Niccolucci (PIN Scri – Polo Universitario “Città di Prato”, University of Florence, Italy)
Holly Wright(Archaeology Data Service, University of York, United Kingdom)
Kate Fernie (2Culture Associates, United Kingdom)
Following on from the successful conversation begun at CAA Siena in 2015, this session seeks to further expand dialogue in this critical area. Ever-increasing amounts of data are available within data repositories in individual institutions, national infrastructures and international services. The EC Infrastructures funded ARIADNE project is working to bring together archaeological research data from across Europe, for use and re-use in new research. There are challenges, such as raising awareness about the available data, integrating datasets produced by very different projects using differing methodologies and various technologies. There are GIS, databases, 3D data, scientific datasets and more, all produced in a variety of languages. ARIADNE is building vital infrastructure to bring together, manage and provide access to these datasets. The project is embracing Linked Open Data, Natural Language Processing, deploying Web Services and new tools to provide enhanced access to researchers. ARIADNE is also offering training and opportunities for archaeologists to access the research infrastructure, and to share knowledge and expertise.
The aim of this session is to stimulate discussion between researchers and data specialists, and to:
– Showcase best practices and relevant work supporting access and use of digital archaeology from ARIADNE and other services
– Present case studies demonstrating innovative re-use of archaeological datasets
– Develop an understanding of the challenges in providing access to research data and the opportunities offered by ARIADNE and other services
– Discuss how these challenges can be addressed and how the opportunities can be maximized
– Generate ideas for future training, access and research
The focus is on access, discovery and research reuse of archaeological datasets, and contributions are invited on the following (and related) topics:
– 3D and Visualization
– Remote Sensing and Spatial Data
– Excavation and Monument Data
– Scientific Datasets
– Grey Literature
– Linked Data
– Design of Archaeological Datasets
– Conversion of Legacy Datasets
Documentation interpretation and communication of Digital Archaeological Heritage
Carlo Bianchini (Sapienza Università di Roma – Dipartimento di Storia, Disegno e Restauro dell’Architettura, Italy)
Alfonso Ippolito (Sapienza Università di Roma – Dipartimento di Storia, Disegno e Restauro dell’Architettura, Italy)
Carlo Inglese (Sapienza Università di Roma – Dipartimento di Storia, Disegno e Restauro dell’Architettura, Italy)
Luca James Senatore (Sapienza Università di Roma – Dipartimento di Storia, Disegno e Restauro dell’Architettura, Italy)
Any comprehensive knowledge concerning Archaeological Heritage can be reached only through the development of different investigation activities belonging to a very wide range of disciplines: archaeology of course, but also history, chemistry, physics, architecture, and so on.
In the last two decades, this whole research field has experienced (like the majority of human activities) a massive transition from analogic to digital tools, data, information. While this transition can be considered by now almost concluded, nevertheless many problems remain unsolved especially concerning the way Archaeology is digitally documented, how this information is elaborated and finally how it is communicated.
For instance, digital surveying technologies have produced important changes in the study, analysis, and interpretation of archaeological elements and the growing demand for realistic 3D models enabling the cognition and popularization of archaeology represents one of the most clear consequences of this process.
Furthermore the opportunities disclosed by the digital revolution are deeply influencing even the management and preservation of Archaeological Heritage by now inextricably connected with the innovative processes of acquiring, organising and using digital information.
In this framework, the multidisciplinary and multilevel approach that allows us to document, study, interpret, manage, preserve, and popularize archaeology implies the structuring of an innovative system of knowledge where all these phases are not only connected but also balanced among each other enlightening in this way a new image for Digital Archaeology itself.
This session will thus not aim at focusing on a specific technique/technology but instead on state-of-the-art projects and investigations showing the integration of digital techniques, tools and methodologies necessary to understand, represent, spread, communicate and explore Archaeological Heritage.
Contributions to this session will discuss the use of integrated and multidisciplinary approaches in archaeology, use of digital data acquisition technologies, data processing and communication. The focus will be on: 2D and 3D data capture methodologies and data processing in archaeology, 3D GIS, BIM, use of different system to document and explore archaeology, archaeological and historical research, standards, metadata, ontologies and semantic processing in cultural heritage, data management, archiving and presentation of archaeology content, innovative topics related to the current and future implementation, use, development and exploitation of the innovative technologies, on-site and remotely sensed data collection, innovative graphics applications and techniques, libraries and archives in archaeology, diagnoses and monitoring for the preventive conservation and maintenance of archaeology, information management systems in archaeology.
Computational approaches to ancient urbanism: documentation, analysis and interpretation
Johanna Stoeger (University of Leiden, Netherlands)
Eleftheria Paliou (University of Heidelberg, Germany)
Undine Lieberwirth (Excellence Cluster Topoi, Free University Berlin, Germany)
This session seeks to stimulate the discussion between different analytical approaches to the ‘Ancient City’, ranging from macro-scale analysis (including the exterior peripheral environment) to the micro-scale analysis of individual houses and interior spaces.
Since the 1990s archaeologists have been employing computer-based quantitative analysis tools to reconstruct not only cultural landscapes and rural settlements, but also urban built environments. These analysis tools and software solutions have been improved over the last decades, allowing us to advance our knowledge of the ‘Ancient City’ beyond descriptive digital models and constraining conceptional boundaries.
The aim of this session is to push the boundaries of current applications to open up new ways of studying and understanding Ancient Cities, and to work towards a shared set of analysis techniques and interpretative frameworks that can be applied to most past built environments across most time-scales.
We would like to invite contributions that discuss innovative aspects of computer applications to the research of past urban developments, which may include, among others, computer simulations of urban development in the past, 3D reconstructions of urban environments, large-scale analyses of urban social / cultural phenomena, innovative Building information Modeling applications (BIM), 3D/4D, and GIS. We particularly welcome papers that explore the interpretive potential of new computational approaches to ancient urbanism and encourage debate on the theoretical and methodological issues that come along with the application of digital technologies for the understanding of ancient cities.
Can You Model That? Applications of Complex Systems Simulation to Explore the Past
Iza Romanowska (University of Southampton, United Kingdom)
Stefani Crabtree (Washington State University and Université de Franche-Comté, United States)
Benjamin Davies (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)
The large scale patterns that we commonly detect in the archaeological record are often not a simple sum of individual human interactions. Instead, they are a complex interwoven network of dependencies among individuals, groups, and the environment in which individuals live. Tools such as Agent-based Modelling, System Dynamics Models, Network Analysis and Equation-based Models are instrumental in unravelling some of this network and shedding light on the dynamic processes that occurred in the past.
In this session we invite case studies using computational approaches to understand past societies. This session will showcase the innovative ways archaeologists have used simulation and other model building techniques to understand the interactions between individuals and their social and natural environments. The session will also provide a platform to discuss both the potential and the limitations of computational modelling in archaeology and to highlight the range of possible applications.
Interpretations from digital sensations? Using the digital sensory turn to discover new things about the past
Stuart Eve (L – P : Archaeology, United Kingdom)
Catriona Cooper (University of Southampton, United Kingdom)
We are at a turning point in development and thought about multi-sensorial engagement using digital mediation. From Oculus Rift VR googles or noise-reducing headphones through to vibrating-haptic simulating gloves, smell generators and virtual treadmills, every week a new technology or software emerges that can be used to virtualise, augment or diminish our reality, across all of our senses. Digital archaeologists have always been at the forefront of using these new technologies and one glance at past proceedings of the CAA conferences show how enthusiastic and competent archaeologists are at deploying them in heritage applications.
These new technologies are very often used for the public presentation or exploration of archaeological sites. The technology is used as a way to broadcast interpretations, to present current thinking to an interested ‘public’ or to allow the sites to be experienced remotely. From the hundreds of virtual reconstructions of Rome, to the smelly galleries of the Jorvik centre multi-sensory applications are often used to simply evoke a feeling or to ‘show’ people what things looked like. Whilst this is, of course, an admirable and very important aim – this session instead seeks to explore the projects and applications where a multi-sensory approach has enabled a fundamentally different interpretation of a site or artefact.
Examples might include an acoustic model that demonstrates a new use of the public space or landscape, an exploration of smell that challenges the current view of town planning, a haptic interface that can be used to experiment with pottery fabrics or a visual analysis of movement through a prehistoric village.
The current theoretical sensory turn in archaeology allied with the availability of new multi-sensory technologies is the start of an exciting physical/digital era – but only if we use the technology and theory together sensibly and are not just creating new things because we can. This session then welcomes papers and presentations that don’t simply claim “here is a cool model of X that I made”, but instead we encourage papers that shout firmly out loud, “here is something I made that tells us something new about my site and about the heritage and archaeology of the world”.
Traditional papers are welcomed, but more novel forms of presentation and demonstration are actively encouraged.
Networking the past: Towards best practice in archaeological network science
Mereke van Garderen (University of Konstanz, Germany)
Tom Brughmans (Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Konstanz, Germany)
Daniel Weidele(University of Konstanz, Germany)
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’.
The Road Not Taken: modelling approaches to transport on local and regional scales
Mark Groenhuijzen (CLUE+ Research Institute for Culture, History and Heritage, Faculty of Humanities, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Philip Verhagen (CLUE+ Research Institute for Culture, History and Heritage, Faculty of Humanities, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Research on transport systems thus far has largely focused on the documented and partly surviving road systems, ranging from the Roman imperial road systems known from the itineraries and the Peutinger Table to the road systems documented by medieval cartographers, even when it is well known that secondary road systems were in use simultaneously. Empirical evidence for the existence, location and chronology, particularly for secondary roads, is however scarce in many cases. In addition, transport over water (both fluvial and coastal) is often not considered. In order to bridge the gap between our theoretical notions of short- to medium-distance transport and the surviving (archaeological and historical) evidence for transport systems, in this session we want to focus on the practical and theoretical implications of using spatial modelling and analysis techniques, such as GIS-based cost surface modelling and social network analysis, for better understanding transport at the local and regional scales. We want to explore in what way spatial modelling can provide more insight into the organisation of local and regional transport, as well as the implications it has for the interpretation of the position, function and potential for trade of settlements within the local and regional transport system. We specifically invite papers that deal with:
1) new approaches to modelling transport networks, including aspects of differential access to the system, different modes of (wheeled) transport and diverse cost considerations (energetic, economic etc.);
2) studies that combine transport network modelling and quantitative analysis approaches such as social network analysis;
3) studies that link transport networks to models of trade/exchange at the local and regional scale;
4) applications of transport network modelling in different landscapes and environments.
Analyzing Social Media & Online Culture in Archaeology
Lorna-Jane Richardson (Department of Sociology, Umeå University, Sweden)
Digital interaction with history and archaeology has enabled a variety of collaborative communications between the public and heritage professionals, as well as within the profession. The churn of online technologies from 3D applications to mobile phone apps, social media discussion forums to Minecraft means that the practice of public archaeology in the digital age is expanding rapidly – but how do we gather, research and analyse these data sources – many of which may be considered to produce ‘Big Data’, and require new techniques for management and analysis? This session will explore methods and techniques through which we can explore and understand the impact of digital technologies on the profession, concentrating on methodologies and synthesis, rather than case studies.
New technologies and archeology: the impact of the digital revolution
Anne Moreau (Inrap/UMR7324 CITERES-LAT, France)
Federico Nurra (Italy)
The interest of digital technologies for archaeological data exploitation and analyse is well-known as shown by many papers at previous CAA conferences. The “new technologies” including photogrammetry, three-dimensional modeling, GIS (not so new), agent-based model, internet and its consequences – opendata, Openaccess, Geolinked data… are nowadays integrated within the archaeological research process and some of them are about to be the new tools of the archaeologist for his daily work. It is not over: we live in a time of technological transformation. What are the changes brought up by the introduction and the diffusion of the new technologies? How does it change our practices and our way of thinking archaeology? Is that better or only different?
Accordingly, this session aims at focusing on the following issues
– the consequences of the data digitalisation and the field data recording (efficiency? fiability?)
– the changes raised by the new technologies in the ways of working and the organisation of work
– the way of exploring the data : spatial analyses, statistical analyses, three-dimensional modelling etc
– relationships between the scientific problematic and the tool contrived and used
– the archiving of data
– the definition of data and metadata
– the sharing of data, the diffusion of knowledge
– the collaborative working
– the training of the archaeologists
– the definition of the professions involved in producing archaeological data
The session will explore the questions raised above through different cases studies exposing how the new technologies are used and what are the changes involved. One of the consequences of the widespread use of the new technologies is the ocean of data produced, forgetting sometimes that archaeology, even digital, is a human science.
Computer vision vs human perception in remote sensing image analysis: time to move on
Arianna Traviglia (University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, Italy)
Karsten Lambers (Leiden University, Netherlands)
The (slow) emergence of semi-automated or supervised detection techniques to identify anthropogenic features over remote sensing imagery have received mixed reception in the past decade, with critics stressing the superiority of human vision and the irreplaceability of human judgement in recognising archaeological features, and supporters working toward the development of (semi)automated computer vision methodologies to streamline the screening of aerial/satellite imagery. This limited development has been due to a number of reasons, of which probably the most relevant are, on one side, an uneasiness of archaeologists in handing over –even partially– the interpretation process to machine-based judgment and, on the other, the fact that archaeological features can assume a near-unlimited assortment of shapes, sizes and spectral properties, which makes particularly challenging their auto-extraction. Thus, while (semi)automated and supervised procedures for feature extraction and processing are flourishing in a variety of fields, allowing for large swathes of landscapes to be simultaneously investigated, their application to archaeological and, more generally, cultural landscapes is still in its infancy.
A number of approaches in Feature extraction, Pattern Recognition, Pattern Matching, to name a few, now offer the opportunity to adopt (semi)automated feature detection and processing methods to identify potential archaeological features. These approaches can overcome the previous limitations of spectral and object-based methods and enable recognition of landscape patterns/features produced by a variety of diverse natural or artificial elements.
This session invites presentations showcasing computer-vision methods that are being used or developed to automatically identify landscape features and/or patterns on remote sensing imagery and it is –purposely– open to research employing broadly defined ‘remote sensing data’. The session also welcomes controversial papers examining more broadly the subject from a theoretical point of view and addressing the topic from an antagonist angle.
Linked Pasts: Connecting Islands of Content
Leif Isaksen (University of Southampton, United Kingdom)
Keith May (Historic England, United Kingdom)
While ever more archaeological and historical content is available online, direct connectivity between independent resources remains comparatively rare. Semantic Web and Linked Data approaches are just some of the possible mechanisms which can facilitate interconnections and this session will be dedicated to presenting concrete examples of any activities which promote cross-navigations, discovery and integration of heterogeneous content. Topics for papers may include, but are not restricted to:
– Interface development and user support for ingestion, annotation and consumption
– Management, publication and sustainability of Linked Data resources
– Building cross and inter-domain Linked Data communities
– Processes for establishing usage conventions of specific terms, vocabularies and ontologies
– Alignment processes for overlapping vocabularies
– Engage non-technical users with adopting semantic technologies
– Licensing and acknowledgment in distributed systems (especially those across multiple legal jurisdictions)
– Incorporation within other software paradigms: TEI, GIS, plain text, imaging software, VR, etc.
– Access implications of integrating open and private content
– Mapping the Field – what components are now properly in place? What remains to be done?
Papers should try to provide evidence of proposed approaches in use across multiple systems wherever possible. Purely theoretical papers and those dealing solely with a single data system are explicitly out of scope for this session. Papers which address both social and technical issues, or bridge between archaeology and other disciplines are especially welcome.
Teaching archaeology in the digital age
Karsten Lambers (Leiden University, Netherlands)
Hans Kamermans (Leiden University, Netherlands)
This session builds on a well-received session at the 2015 conference in Siena, Italy, in which the topic of teaching was addressed for the first time after many years at CAA.
As the Siena session showed, teaching archaeology in the digital age entails various challenges, e.g. to integrate new topics into proven degree programs, to employ new learning environments, to adapt degree programs to the requirements of rapidly changing labor markets, and not least to bridge the Digital Native / Digital Immigrant divide between teachers and students. These challenges are currently met in a variety of different ways and contexts. In many countries, digital archaeology as a teaching topic and/or digital teaching aids in archaeology degree programs are not yet widely common.
Focusing on higher education teaching (undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs), this session is intended as a forum for practitioners mainly from universities who design, implement and evaluate degree programs in archaeology that focus on digital archaeology and/or employ digital teaching environments for educational purposes. The aim is to exchange ideas and experiences and to give examples of good practice in order to encourage new approaches to teaching archaeology in the digital age.
Needles in the haystack – Geophysical methods in challenging conditions
Lars Gustavsen (NIKU, Norway)
Christer Tonning (Vestfold County Council Administration, Norway)
Arne Anderson Stamnes (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway)
Erich Nau (NIKU, Norway)
Monica Kristiansen (NIKU, Norway)
The development of geophysical techniques for archaeological purposes has largely taken place in areas where archaeological features tend to be pronounced, well-defined and, arguably, easily detected by geophysical instruments. Often, however, we are faced with archaeological features which do not readily lend themselves to detection by these methods. This is sometimes compounded by local geomorphological and pedological conditions, which may obscure or mask the archaeological features. This calls for different approaches to how geophysical methods are applied, and it requires comprehensive field observation regimes to verify and understand the geophysical properties of the archaeology. In this session we wish to focus on projects where adverse geological, geomorphological, pedological and archaeological conditions have been encountered. We want to explore how these conditions have affected the geophysical survey results and their archaeological interpretability, to see how these phenomena have been observed through archaeological feedback, and how the results have influenced subsequent field procedures.
Digital rock art documentations, new perceptions
David Vogt (Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway)
Magne Samdal (Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway)
Steinar Kristensen (Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway)
Bjarte Einar Aarseth (Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway)
The documentation of rock art has a tradition that spans over one hundred years, during which several methods have been tried and tested. Today, the traditional tracing method is the most commonly used all over the world. Digital methods of documentation have, however, in more recent years begun to challenge and supplement the traditional methods for documenting rock art. Laser scanning, photogrammetry, and other digital methods, are providing new ways of recording and presenting rock art, and are better suited to web based or other digital presentation forms. This session will explore these new tools and discuss the results and challenges they present. Questions will be addressed, such as will digital methods improve the documentation of strongly weathered figures, will the results be transferrable to general publication forms, and will digital methods be able to compete in terms of cost?
Public Archaeology & the use of digital platforms
Ingvild Solberg Andreassen (Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway)
The past decade or so has seen a great increase the in digitalization of archaeological materials. More data than ever before is being collected in the field. Archaeologists are online while excavating, blogging and tweeting, and all projects now have a Facebook page. For a while, accessibility has been a buzzword within the archaeological community. But what happens to all the digital efforts –all the databases, the Facebook pages, blogs and so on? How is it picked up, how is it received and perceived by the public? This session is particularly concerned with deep oceans of digital data and technology as point of departure for exploring learning, understanding and knowledge building in archaeology. How is data picked up and used by different public groups, why, and under what circumstances? How is data and technology used by institutions to create dialogues with the public, if at all? How is this problematized within the research community? Are data and portals customized with the public’s interest in mind? What about the potential of technology in bridging the gaps between excavation and museum, excavation and school, and excavation and the private sphere? Is this explored? If yes – how, if not – why not? Have you done an interesting project using social media, GIS data or database information with a group of students, with a school, or with a local community? Come and tell us about it! We are interested in harvested experience from the practical side of things as well as theoretical reflections over the connections between archaeology, digital data, the public and society. We welcome contributions presenting and discussing outreach projects, public archaeology projects and theoretical contributions concerned with learning, mediation and public dialogue. Keywords for this session are: social media, learning, dialogue, public archaeology, data collection
The portable XRF revolution: elemental analysis for all?
Kate Welham (Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom)
Paul Cheetham (Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom)
Derek Pitman (Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom)
Rebecca Cannell (Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom)
The recent surge of popularity in the use of portable XRF in archaeology has been felt across all spheres of the discipline. Applications of the technique are now wide and varied, and the affordability, flexibility, and non-destructive nature of this type of elemental analysis, together with easy to use software and internal calibration parameters have created an instrument that many new users are keen to embrace. Although portable XRF is being applied in increasingly novel and inventive ways, a commonality is the production of large datasets that must be statically treated and analysed. It is often at this point where interpretation begins and the many potential problems of integrating elemental data with archaeological research questions occur. This session invites contributions from all portable XRF users to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the technique, the methods they have used, and the practical and technical opportunities and restrictions. We are keen to examine the different stages of a project where portable XRF can be applied, whether as a prospection method, to screen through stratigraphical layers on a site, or within the lab on artefacts with extensive sample processing. A particular focus will be the challenges within the analysis, data processing and interpretation stages. The aim is to cover a broad range of material types, in-situ and ex-situ analysis, and the wide range of archaeological research questions the instrument can help address. We hope to create a productive, inclusive discussion between both new and experienced users from all backgrounds.
Revealing by visualising: Geographic relations in cultural heritage databases
Mieko Matsumoto (Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway)
Michael Märker (Institute of Geography, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany)
Espen Uleberg (Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway)
Volker Hochschild (Institute of Geography, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany)
Cultural heritage databases can easy accommodate, and are often required to contain large quantities of data. It is a challenge to present and convey this data in a manner which provides a comprehensive overview, whilst simultaneously promoting new interpretations and understanding. To continue from the CAA in Sienna, we would like to bring together researchers working on varying issues connected to the geographical relationships in cultural heritage and archaeological data. This can include the technical prerequisites of database systems, such as interface solutions that transform geographic, geodetic and 3D data to visualisation tools. We welcome presentations of tools and interfaces that allow the visualisation of this data in web based services, GIS systems, etc. In addition, we also wish to discuss tools for the spatial assessment of data in terms of spatial descriptive statistics and modelling. Examples of open source solutions are especially welcomed, along with applications that provide an overview of state of the art solutions. Further points of discussion include how to integrate the requirements of the target user and create sustainable systems- here questions of visualisation versus interaction might be relevant.