Tag Archives: CAA

CAA 2016 Session Videos

Continuing on the video theme: awhile back we encouraged folks to attend this year’s Computer Applications in Archaeology conference in Oslo. It was a blast to attend, and Oslo is a really cool city to spend a week in. I even briefly considered staying on to start a career doing car advertisements..



However, if you weren’t able to make it up to Oslo, Doug Rocks-Macqueen, author of the excellent blog Doug’s Archaeology, has you covered: his session recordings have been making their way out on to the interwebs via his YouTube channel, Recording Archaeology. Now you can relive all of the action of CAA Oslo right in your own home!

Here’s a few of the sessions, helpfully organized as playlists of individual talks:

Linked pasts: Connecting islands of content

Methodology of archaeological simulation. Meeting of the Special Interest Group in Complex Systems Simulation

The road not taken: Modelling approaches to transport on local and regional scales

Can you model that? Applications of complex systems simulation to explore the past

Networking the past: Towards best practice in archaeological network science

Theorising the Digital: Digital Theoretical Archaeology Group (digiTAG) and the CAA

Interpretations from digital sensations? Using the digital sensory turn to discover new things about the past

For more videos, check out Recording Archaeology. And don’t forget to register for CAA 2017 in Atlanta!


CAA in Atlanta: 2017 dates

The Simulating Complexity team is all coming home from a successful conference in Oslo. Highlights include a 2-day workshop on agent-based modeling led by the SimComp team, a roundtable on complexity and simulation approaches in archaeology, and a full-day session on simulation approaches in archaeology.

We are all looking forward to CAA 2017 in Atlanta. Dates were announced at Oslo, so start planning.

CAA2017 will be held at Georgia State University March 13th-18th. This leaves 2 weeks before the SAAs, so we hope to have a good turnout on simulation and complexity approaches at both meetings!

Call for Papers: Computer Applications in Archaeology, Oslo, March 29 – April 2 2016

The folks at CAA have issued a call for papers for next year’s conference in Oslo. The conference theme is Exploring Oceans of Data, befitting the maritime heritage of the host city. There are a number of exciting sessions planned, including a one organised by we, your friendly neighborhood SimulatingComplexiteers:

Can You Model That? Applications of Complex Systems Simulation to Explore the Past

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.

There are also a number of other amazing looking sessions. Here’s just a few:

  • Networking the past: Towards best practice in archaeological network science
  • Using GIS Modeling to Solve Real-World Archaeological Problems
  • Exploring Maritime Spaces with Digital Archaeology: Modelling navigation, seascapes, and coastal spaces
  • Analyzing Social Media & Online Culture in Archaeology
  • Modelling approaches to analyse the socio-economic context in archaeology II: defining the limits of production
  • Computational approaches to ancient urbanism: documentation, analysis and interpretation

Personally, I can’t think of a better way to spend a few days than talking computers and archaeology in lovely Oslo. For more information or to submit an abstract, visit the CAA conference website.

Special Interest Group – Complex Systems Simulation

We have proposed the creation of a Special Interest Group in Complex Systems Simulation under the auspices of the CAA (Computing Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology). The proposal has been accepted for consideration by the CAA Steering Committee and will be voted on at the next Annual General Meeting during the CAA conference in Siena. The aim of the group is to provide a platform for present and future researchers in the domain of complex system simulation. In particular we will strive to:

* provide continuity to the sessions and workshops concerned with computational modelling at the annual CAA conference and beyond,
* organise, coordinate and inform all interested members of other events related to complexity science and simulation,
* organise events aimed at training future modellers and the general archaeological audience,
* promote good practice in computational modelling,
* in the long term, bring simulation and other complexity science methods into mainstream archaeological practice.

These points, as well as further logistical details of the day-to-day activities of the Special Interest Group (including its steering committee) will be discussed at a roundtable meeting at the CAA 2015 in Siena.

In the meantime, if you are interested in participating in the roundtable, would like to be added to the mailing list, think your research group/independently organised event/blog etc may benefit from association with the group or simply would like to keep in touch, let us know! You can comment under this post or just drop me an email: i.romanowska @ soton.ac.uk ! 

Keep the MODELLING revolution going! CAA2015, Siena

The CAA (Computing Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology) conference has always been the number one destination for archaeological modellers of all sorts. The motto of the next meeting (to be held in lovely Siena, Italy! 30/03-5/04 2014) is ‘Keep the revolution going‘ and given the outstanding presence of simulation, complexity and modelling last year in Paris, I thought it will be a tall order.
Fear no more! The revolution keeps on going with a number of hands-on workshops and sessions on modelling scheduled for Siena. From modelling dispersals to network application complexity science is well represented. What is, perhaps, worth particular attention is the roundtable: Simulating the Past: Complex Systems Simulation in Archaeology which aims to sketch out the current place within the discipline and the future direction of simulation in archaeology. It’s also a call for a formation of a CAA Special Interest Group in Complex Systems Simulation (more about it soon). Follow the links to the abstracts for more details.

The call for papers is now open (deadline: 20 November). Follow this link to submit: http://caaconference.org/program/ .


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

Michael Maerker, Christine Hertler, Iza Romanowska

5A Modelling approaches to analyse the socio-economic context in archaeology

Monica De Cet, Philip Verhagen

5H Geographical and temporal network science in archaeology

Tom Brughmans, Daniel Weidele


RT5 Simulating the Past: Complex Systems Simulation in Archaeology

Iza Romanowska, Joan Anton Barceló


WS8 First steps in agent-based modelling with Netlogo

Iza Romanowska, Tom Brughmans, Benjamin Davies

WS5 Introduction to exploratory network analysis for archaeologists using Visone

Daniel Weidele, Tom Brughmans


Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Siena5.jpg

Agents, Networks, Equations and Complexity

Tomorrow starts the most complexity-oriented CAA ever. Don’t miss out on the fantastic opportunity to check out what’s up in the world of archaeological modelling. Here is a handy guide of what not to miss:


8:00 am – 13:00

W11. Introduction to Network Analysis for archaeologists

14:00 – 18:00

W12. One hour, one model: Agent-based Modelling on-the-fly



Agent-Based Modelling and Archaeology: Past, Present and Future


S23. Modelling approached to investigate population dynamics and settlement patterns over the long term



S25. Agents, Networks, Equations and Complexity: the potential and challenges of complex systems simulation


8:30 – 13:00

S20. (Re)building past networks: archaeological science, GIS and network analysis


S24. Modelling approaches to study early humans in space and time


whole day

The Connected Past

Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference

CAA is currently the largest annual conference focusing on computing in archaeology. It usually hosts a session about computational modelling and/or simulations but this year seems to be particularly prolific for complexity science. Here’s a quick tour of what we particularly look forward to:


(W12) Workshop: One hour, one model: Agent-based Modelling on-the-fly”

Organised by myself, Ben Davies, Tom Brughmans and Enrico Crema this workshop will aim at brining together researchers working with complexity science tools. We will divide into small groups and work in parallel on the most common building blocks of archaeological simulations (diffusion of an idea, innovation, environmental change etc) to see how different our approaches are and if different models could produce  different outcomes. We also hope to build a small library of code snippets.

(W11) Workshop: Introduction to network analysis for archaeologists

Run by Tom Brughmans, Ursula Brosseder and Bryan Miller it’s a half day hands-on workshop (so you can come to W12 as well) introducing the basic techniques of network analysis. No previous experience required.


(S25) Session:  Agents, Networks, Equations and Complexity: the potential and challenges of complex systems simulation

A full day session organised by the same team as the ‘One hour, one model’ workshop (Ben Davies, Iza Romanowska, Tom Brughmans, Enrico Crema). Last time I checked we had 18 papers in our session with presenters from all six continents and an enormous breath of applications, case studies and techniques. From Early Palaeolithic dispersals (that’s me! but also another paper by Dario Guiducci, Ariane Burke, James Steele which I’m really looking forward to) to Tierra del Fuego societies to  sea faring in Oceania to modelling 17th century Polish epidemics – you get 12 hours (!!!) of Agent-based Modelling, Network Analysis, Neural Networks and even a few theoretical papers. You can find the abstracts here:  S25. Agents, Networks, Equations and Complexity.

(S23) Session: Modelling approaches to investigate population dynamics and settlement patterns over the long term

Another giant session, thankfully not overlapping with S25. Focused on population  dynamics, settlement patterns and land use this session takes a leap forward from the traditional static, GIS approaches and looks for more dynamic modelling techniques such as simulation.

(S24) Session: Modelling approaches to study early humans in space and time

I had a pleasure to participate in this session at the CAA2013 in Perth and it was a fantastic combination of papers showcasing various techniques (databases, least-cost path analysis, ABM) used to approach the topic of mobility in prehistory.

(S20) Session: (Re)building past networks: archaeological science, GIS and network analysis 

Network analysis seems to be getting a strong hold in archaeological computing. This session shows a few of the most common applications (inter-visibility, transport/trade, connectivity of islands) as well as some new ideas.

Satellite Event: The Connected Past

On Saturday, the Connected Past team will hold a satellite conference on Network Analysis in archaeology. You can find their call for papers and all the details here: The Connected Past.