At CAA Krakow in 2019 the SimComp team will be hosting Session 34. If you have data you think could be used for modern challenges, or are interested in talking to people outside of archaeology about how to use archaeological data, please consider submitting an abstract!
Archaeological Data for Modern Problems. Modern Methods for Archaeological Questions.
Challenges faced by modern societies like climate change, epidemics, mass migration, or uneven wealth distribution may seem insurmountable, but they have their analogues in the past. The scale of the challenges may be different, yet the scope of the problems remains the same. Past peoples dealt with anthropogenic change, population shifts, disease, and famine, and the myriad other issues similar to the ones we face today. Some of them were successful in combating these challenges, some of them less so. With the onset of big data, robust computational analysis, scientific approaches to data collection, sampling and modelling, the notion that archaeology is a modern scientific discipline that can contribute useful insights to today’s problems has gained momentum. With the technological shift it is no longer regarded as naïve to suggest using archaeological and historical data to extend and calibrate our understanding of the present and to try to provide more informed predictions for the future. The question, though, is how do we do that?
In this session we welcome papers from archaeologists whose computational analyses have implications for understanding one of the following broad topics:
• Climate change and resilience;
• Health science;
• Wealth distribution;
• Cultural identity.
The goal of this session is to encourage researchers to actively use their case studies to approach modern challenges and/or to use their data to bear on influencing public policy. Thus, each of the segments of the session will be followed by an invited discussant – a researcher outside the domain of archaeology who will comment on how data and models from past systems could help with modern challenges.
This session will be punctuated with several breaks for discussion, and the organizers will work as facilitators to bridge questions between practicing archaeologists and economists, climate scientists, public health experts, urban planners, and other scientists whose work could benefit from dialogue with archaeologists. It is the ultimate goal that this session will lead to constructive collaborations between archaeologists and scientists from other disciplines to solve the largest of today’s problems.
For more information: