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Humanist Archives: Oct. 3, 2019, 6:24 a.m. Humanist 33.294 - events: archaeological networks cfp

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 294.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2019-10-02 11:50:07+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty 
        Subject: CFP Networks sessions at CAA 2020 Oxford

We invite abstracts for two network research sessions at the 2020
Computer Applications and Quantitative methods in Archaeology conference
held in Oxford.

S32. Archaeological network research 1: spatial and temporal networks

S33. Archaeological network research 2: missing data, cross-disciplinary
collaboration and teaching networks

Submit abstracts here: https://2020.caaconference.org/call-for-papers/

Deadline: 31 October 2019

Conference dates: 14–17 April 2020


*S32.  Archaeological network research 1: spatial and temporal networks


Philip Verhagen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Humanities
Tom Brughmans, University of Barcelona
Aline Deicke, Digital Academy, Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz
Natasa Djurdjevac Conrad, Zuse Institute Berlin
Grégoire van Havre, Universidade Federal do Piauí
Philip Riris, University College London

Explicitly including spatial or temporal information in network research
is something that has come naturally to archaeologists. Our discipline
has a long tradition of spatial analysis and of exploring long-term
change in datasets and past phenomena. These are two areas where
archaeologists did not look towards mathematicians, physicists and
sociologists for inspiration, but rather developed original network
methods based on a purely archaeological tradition. As such, they are
some of the most promising research topics through which archaeologists
can make unique contributions to network science.

But recognition of these contributions has still to materialise due to a
number of challenges. How can we ensure these archaeology-inspired
approaches become known, explored and applied in other disciplines? How
precisely do these spatial and temporal archaeological approaches differ
from existing network methods? What existing spatial and temporal
approaches in archaeology show equal potential for inspiring new network

The spatial phenomena archaeologists address in their network research
are rather narrow and can be grouped into three broad categories:
movement-, visibility-, and interaction-related phenomena. The aim of
network techniques in space syntax focus on exploring movement through
urban space, whereas least-cost path networks tend to be used on
landscape scales. Neither of these approaches have equivalents in
network science (Verhagen et al. 2019). Archaeology has a strong
tradition in visibility studies and is also pioneering its more diverse
use in network research (Brughmans and Brandes 2017). Most visibility
network analyses tend to explore theorised visual signalling networks or
visual control over cultural and natural features. Most network methods
used for exploring interaction potential between past communities or
other cultural features belong to either absolute or relative distance
approaches: such as maximum distance network, K-nearest neighbours
(sometimes referred to as proximal point analysis (PPA)),
beta-skeletons, relative neighbourhood network or Gabriel graph. These,
however, are derived from computational geometry and have a long
tradition in network research and computer science. Moreover, this is a
not a field in which archaeologists seem to push the boundaries of
network science (with perhaps a few exceptions; Knappett et al. 2008).

There are a few commonalities between the archaeological applications of
these movement, visibility and interaction networks. They tend to be
network data representations of traditional archaeological research
approaches (e.g. viewsheds, least-cost paths, urban settlement
structure, community interaction), and they tend to be applied on
spatially large scales with the exception of space syntax (inter-island
connectivity, landscape archaeology, regional visual signalling
systems). How can we diversify spatial archaeological network research?
How can we go beyond making network copies of what archaeologists have
done before and rather draw on the unique feature of network data (the
ability to formally represent dependencies) to develop even more
original spatial network techniques? This seems to us like an eminently
possible task for archaeologists.

Despite being at the core of archaeological research, the use of
temporal (or longitudinal) network data is common but incredibly narrow
in archaeological network research. By far the most common application
is to consider dating evidence for nodes or edges and to chop up the
resulting networks into predefined categories that could have a
typological, culture historical or chronological logic (e.g. artefact
type A; Roman Republican; 400-300 BC). This process results in
subnetworks sometimes referred to as snapshots, the structure of which
are explored in chronological order like a filmstrip. A significantly
less common approach is to represent processes of network structural
change as dynamic network models (e.g. Bentley et al. 2005), or to
represent dynamic processes taking place on top of network structures
(e.g. Graham 2006).

This research focus of temporal archaeological network research is not
at all representative of the diverse and critical ways archaeologists
study temporal change. How can the archaeological research tradition
inspire new temporal network approaches? How can the use of dynamic
network models become more commonly applied? What temporal approaches
from network science have archaeologists neglected to adopt? How can,
for example, studies modelling the evolution of networks suggest
explanations for the levels of complexity observed in past networks?

This session welcomes papers on archaeological network research
including but not exclusive to these challenges. We also invite you to
present your work on the topics of missing data, cross-disciplinary
collaboration and teaching networks in the linked session
‘Archaeological network research 2’.


Bentley, R., Lake, M., & Shennan, S. (2005). Specialisation and wealth
inequality in a model of a clustered economic network. Journal of
Archaeological Science, 32(9), 1346–1356.

Brughmans, T., & Brandes, U. (2017). Visibility network patterns and
methods for studying visual relational phenomena in archaeology.
Frontiers in Digital Humanities: Digital Archaeology, 4(17).

Graham, S. (2006). Networks, Agent-Based Models and the Antonine
Itineraries: Implications for Roman Archaeology. Journal of
Mediterranean Archaeology, 19(1), 45–64.

Knappett, C., Evans, T., & Rivers, R. (2008). Modelling maritime
interaction in the Aegean Bronze Age. Antiquity, 82(318), 1009–1024.
Retrieved from http://antiquity.ac.uk/Ant/082/1009/ant0821009.pdf

Verhagen, P., Nuninger, L. & Groenhuijzen, M. R. (2019). Modelling of
pathways and movement networks in archaeology: an overview of current
approaches. In: Verhagen, P., J. Joyce & M.R. Groenhuijzen (eds.)
Finding the Limits of the Limes: Modelling Demography, Economy and
Transport on the Edge of the Roman Empire. Cham: Springer, p. 217-249.

*S33.  Archaeological network research 2: missing data,
cross-disciplinary collaboration and teaching networks (Standard)*


Grégoire van Havre, Universidade Federal do Piauí – Department of
Tom Brughmans, University of Barcelona
Aline Deicke, Digital Academy, Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz
Natasa Djurdjevac Conrad, Zuse Institute Berlin
Grégoire van Havre, Universidade Federal do Piauí
Philip Riris, University College London
Philip Verhagen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Humanities

New challenges emerge as network research becomes ever more common in
archaeology: can we develop new network methods for dealing with missing
archaeological data, how can cross-disciplinary collaborations be
leveraged to make original contributions to both archaeology and network
science, and how do we teach archaeological network research in the

Although a range of techniques exist in both archaeology and network
science for dealing with missing data and data uncertainty, the
fragmentation of the material record presents a challenge – made more
explicit through the use of formal methods – that is hard to tackle.
Much of the task of identifying network science equivalents of
archaeological missing data techniques remains to be done, and there is
a real need for identifying how archaeological approaches could lead to
the development of new network mathematical and statistical techniques.
But by far most pressing is the need to formally express data
uncertainty and absence in our archaeological network research.

Like many other aspects of archaeological network research, this
challenge should be faced through cross-disciplinary collaboration with
mathematicians, statisticians and physicists. Archaeological network
research has a great track record of such collaborations, but not all of
them have been successful and not all archaeologists find it equally
easy to identify collaborators in other disciplines. How can we
facilitate the communication between scholars with different
disciplinary backgrounds? How can we foster archaeological network
research that holds potential contributions to archaeology as well as
other disciplines? What events and resources should be developed to
provide a platform for cross-disciplinary contact and collaboration?

Now that archaeological network research is slowly becoming recognised
as an archaeological subdiscipline in its own right, the topic
increasingly finds itself in the curriculum of postgraduate modules and
summer schools. But this rapid growth is almost exclusively marked by
research and has neglected the development of teaching resources and
approaches. What resources are necessary? What lines of argumentation
and case studies are particularly powerful for convincing students of
the need to see network research as part of our discipline? Which
foundations (e.g. data literacy, statistics, and more) have to be laid
to facilitate the widespread adoption of formal methods in general into
our research processes?

This session welcomes papers on archaeological network research
including but not exclusive to these new challenges.  We also invite you
to present your work on the topics of spatial and temporal networks in
the linked session ‘Archaeological network research 1’.

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Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
Software designer: Malgosia Askanas (Mind-Crafts)

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