Computational Archaeology

Call for Participation: Session at 30th EAA Annual Meeting

Between 28-31 August 2024 the European Archaeology Association comes together for its 30th Annual Meeting, hosted by the La Sapienza University of Rome. The conference offers a wide range of topics from archaeology, cultural heritage and historial research to green and digital transition. Sessions in different formats (from keynotes, lectures and round tables to workshops and an accompanying fair) promise a versatile engagement with the various topics.

The call for papers is already closed and the sessions have been determined, but we would like to point out one session, namely #514 “Applying Archaeological Research Software Engineering as Little Minions: Statistical & Computational Approaches to Daily Archaeological Tasks“. Lead by Florian Thiery (Leibniz Zentrum für Archäologie, NFDI4objects) the session aims to delve into various topics, including treating source code as research data, presenting self-scripted tools, discussing challenges, advancing new algorithms and analysis methods, critically examining the use of AI and addressing FAIR(4RS) principles practices and their integration into the teaching curriculum.

Background and Motivation

Nowadays computer applications as well as statistical and computational approaches constitute a big part of the toolbox of every archaeologist, as they open tremendous possibilities for all research. These can be ready-to-use (proprietary) software applications but also “Little Minions” (self-scripted tools) or research software (e.g. implementation of statistic algorithms in R, Python), which are written by researchers. Both, research software and research data are part of Computational Archaeology and play an important role in up-to-date archaeological research. Optimally research data (and software) is FAIR(4RS) – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable (for Research Software) – and reproducible of which other users can benefit from or even develop further. The increasing number of topics and papers at the international and national chapters of the CAA show manifold applications but also implications. Working Groups like the SIG SSLA or the “Little Minions” also deal with Computational Archaeology and are building a community.

Several initiatives, such as the German National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) – especially NFDI4Objects – or the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), engage with this topic to strengthen the position of Computational Archaeologists and Research Software Engineers, highlight the scientific merit of their work, and ensure researchers receive credit for computational approaches, software development, as well as for writing papers.

To support this, this session invites contributions dealing with various aspects of Computational Archaeology, but not limited to:

  • treating source code/software as research data
  • presenting a “Little Minion”
  • discussing challenges in Computational Archaeology
  • advancing new algorithms and statistical/computational analysis methods
  • (critical) use of AI, discussing pitfalls and complications
  • addressing the divide between FAIR(4RS) principles and practices
  • incorporating FAIR(4RS) principles into the teaching curriculum
  • discussing approaches concerning problems and solutions to legacy data and software
  • making complex statistical and computational methods accessible to main-stream archaeology

If you would like to contribute to this session, please get in touch with the organising team.

Find more details about the conference, including registration details etc. here: