The call for papers is now open until October 19th 2023, please click here to submit a paper.

The approved sessions for CAA2024 are listed here. Click on the session title for more information.

S1: Beyond Binary: Exploring Maritime and Coastal Archaeology across the Water’s Edge through Digital Methods

S2: Bringing the Past to Life: Immersive Approaches to Education and Cultural Heritage

S3: Point Process Models in Archaeology and Heritage: State of the Field and New Directions

S6: Data Sources and Data Integration for Macroscale Archaeology

S7: From trials and errors to triumphs: Machine Learning applications in archaeology

S8: Maritime Horizons: Modeling Movement and Navigation

S9: Between the Nile and the Brahmaputra: Computational methods to study ancient societies, landscapes and riverine systems straddling Asia and Africa

S10: CAA in the real world: making computational archaeology commonplace

S11: 3D modelling in perspective

S13: Computational Approaches to Archaeological Mega-Projects

S14: Modelling Monumental Landscapes in 4D: A Novel Approach to Understanding Architectural Settlement Patterns and Temporal Dynamics

S15: Keep it simple, just not too simple — Challenges and (Best?) Practices in Managing and Integrating Archaeological Data

S17: Conversations across the (digital) ditch

S18: Digital Landscape Archaeology: New Possibilities and Old Problems

S19: Archaeological Heritage in Conflict Zones: from data gathering to virtual environments

S20: The legacy of Harold Dibble in stone artefact archaeology in Australasia and beyond

S21: Fair Reuse of Archive Data

S22: The Ethics of Open Data

S23: Advances in Computational Archaeology

S1: Beyond Binary: Exploring Maritime and Coastal Archaeology across the Water’s Edge through Digital Methods

John McCarthy, Flinders University

Benjamin D Jones, University of Auckland/Waipapa Taumata Rau

Isaac McIvor, University of Otago/Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo

Standard session

Abstract: The subdiscipline of maritime archaeology has always had a strong emphasis on technology. However, since the turn of the century, there has been a transformative shift with the increasingly ubiquitous integration of digital methods and advanced remote sensing methods, including high-resolution bathymetry, multibeam sonar, and airborne laser scanning (McCarthy et al., 2020). Improvements in digital technologies and remote sensing methods have blurred the binary distinctions between land and sea. This has led to an increasing focus on research that spans the sub-tidal, intertidal, coastal, and terrestrial realms. As a result, maritime and coastal themes now encompass nautical archaeology and ancient seafaring, submerged ancient landscapes, and the archaeology of the coast and its hinterlands (Jones et al. 2023). This session will explore how these technologies have been integrated into research and enhanced our understanding of the interaction between human societies and the sea.

The digital nature of the session will be centred around two themes:

  1. Documentation and imaging technology: This theme will explore the latest advances in digital technologies for documenting and imaging maritime and coastal heritage. Topics will include the use of GIS, 3D modelling, photogrammetry, and virtual reality. Attendees will gain insights into the enhanced ability to analyse and interpret maritime and coastal archaeological sites and make informed management decisions based on comprehensive spatial data. Digital documentation and imaging techniques will take centre stage in the session. Researchers will present the latest advances in GIS, 3D modelling, photogrammetry, and virtual reality applications, showcasing their potential for preserving and communicating maritime and coastal archaeological sites. We also welcome speakers researching the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning for coastal and maritime archaeology.
  2. Stewardship and accessibility: This theme will discuss the challenges and opportunities of using digital technologies to steward and make maritime and coastal heritage more accessible to the public. Topics will include the ethical use of digital technologies, the role of indigenous communities in stewardship, and the use of digital technologies for education and outreach. Maritime and coastal heritage can be uniquely difficult to access for the public, Traditional Owners, and Tangata Whenua, who hold deep connections to the coast and sea and who have led and continue to lead our stewardship of Sea Country; of whenua me moana tupuna. The session will also delve into how these technologies can support and communicate this connection through tools such as immersive experiences. With these tools, heritage professionals, stakeholders and indigenous communities can explore virtual replicas of submerged archaeological sites, enhancing public engagement and education on maritime and coastal heritage. Attendees will explore the transformative potential of digital technologies in revealing untold stories of coastal and maritime cultures, preserving underwater cultural heritage, and fostering a deeper appreciation for our maritime past.

Overall, the session will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about the latest advances in digital technologies for maritime and coastal heritage, and to discuss the challenges and opportunities of using these technologies to achieve these goals.


Bennett, K., McIvor, I. H., & Paul, L. (2018). Report on the rescue and preservation of Daring, a mid-19th-century schooner built in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Australasian Journal of Maritime Archaeology, 42, 75-80.

Jones, B.D., Dickson, M.E., Ford, M., Hikuroa, D. and Ryan, E.J., 2023. Aotearoa New Zealand’s coastal archaeological heritage: A geostatistical overview of threatened sites. The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, pp.1-21.  

McCarthy, J., Benjamin, J., Winton, T. and Van Duivenvoorde, W., 2019. The rise of 3D in maritime archaeology. In McCarthy, J., Benjamin, J., Winton, T. and Van Duivenvoorde, W. (Eds.) 3D Recording and Interpretation for Maritime Archaeology. Cham: Springer, pp.1-10.

S2: Bringing the Past to Life: Immersive Approaches to Education and Cultural Heritage

Robert Stephan, University of Arizona (Associate Professor of Classics)

Caleb Simmons, University of Arizona (Executive Director of Arizona Online, Professor of Religious Studies)

Aviva Doery, University of Arizona (PhD Student in Education)

Standard session

Abstract: In recent years, the fields of archaeology and technology have converged in unprecedented ways, revolutionizing our understanding of the past and how we engage with antiquity. This proposed conference session delves into the dynamic intersection of archaeology, education, and cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. By bringing together archaeologists, technologists, and educators, this session will explore the multifaceted applications, challenges, and transformative potential of VR and AR in archaeological research, preservation, education, and public engagement. Recent research has highlighted the variety of ways in which these technologies have been utilized within the field of archaeology (Champion 2023). Studies have shown, for example, how VR and AR can be used in archaeological research, helping researchers better understand the sites they investigate (Morgan 2009). These technologies have also been employed to digitally preserve and reconstruct archaeological sites and artifacts, mitigating physical deterioration while providing an interactive platform for study and analysis (Haydar et al. 2011). Within the field of education, VR and AR have been used to create immersive and experiential learning environments, enabling students to explore historical contexts and artifacts in unprecedented ways (Gartski et al. 2019). Similarly, those involved in public outreach have relied upon VR and AR to enable broader audiences to virtually experience archaeological discoveries and cultural heritage, transcending geographical and cultural barriers (Boboc et al. 2022). This session focuses on the applications of VR and AR within the realm of archaeological and cultural heritage education. In doing so, it takes a case study approach, inviting scholars to describe their own attempts to integrate these technologies as teaching tools, whether in the classroom, in the museum, or at archaeological sites. By showcasing the variety of contexts in which these tools have been used, along with specific decisions about software, hardware, content-design, and logistics, attendees will gain a better understand of the wide range of ways VR and AR might be incorporated for the benefit of students and the public at large. Results – both successes and challenges – from these attempts will help guide future educators in their own endeavors. A sample, but by no means comprehensive, set of relevant topics includes the following:

  • Highlighting how VR and AR technologies can create immersive and experiential learning environments, allowing students to virtually step into historical contexts, explore archaeological sites, and engage with artifacts in unprecedented ways.
  • Discussing the use of VR to digitally reconstruct ancient sites and artifacts, enabling educators and the public to virtually explore and interact with cultural heritage that may be physically inaccessible.
  • Demonstrating how AR can be employed to overlay digital information on physical artifacts and historical sites, enhancing visitor experiences and enabling real-time historical context while preserving the authenticity of the artifacts.
  • Exploring the use of VR and AR to enable users to virtually travel to distant historical locations.
  • Addressing ethical considerations, cultural sensitivity, and inclusivity when using VR and AR technologies in archaeological education and cultural heritage preservation.

This session is particularly important as education opens to increasingly diverse populations. Over the past decade, and especially since the pandemic, online and hybrid learning have created educational opportunities for students who may not fall within the traditional 18 to 22-year-old, middle- to upper-class college demographic. Yet outside constraints often these prevent students from taking full advantage of these opportunities. According to the 2022 Education Dynamics Online College Students report, for example, the top three (59% of responses) pain points for those enrolling in online programs are related to finances and family and work obligations (Aslanian et al. 2022). The integration of VR and AR, then, gives a far greater range of archaeology students the ability to virtually participate in opportunities like study abroad trips, archaeological fieldwork, museum curation, and experiential learning more broadly. In short, this session gives presenters and attendees an opportunity to learn from each other about the promise and pitfalls of these exciting new technologies. Participants will gain insights into the transformative role of VR and AR in archaeology, fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and sparking new ideas for integrating these technologies into their own research, educational, and outreach endeavors. The proposed session promises to be a thought-provoking and forward-looking exploration of the symbiotic relationship between technology and archaeology, ultimately enhancing our ability to unearth, interpret, and share our findings about the ancient world.


Aslanian, C.B., Fischer, S, and Kitchell, R. Online College Students, 2022.

Boboc, Răzvan Gabriel, Elena Băutu, Florin Gîrbacia, Norina Popovici, and Dorin-Mircea Popovici. “Augmented Reality in Cultural Heritage: An Overview of the Last Decade of Applications.” Applied Sciences 12.19 (2022): 9859.

Champion, Erik. Playing with the Past. Cham: Springer International AG, 2023.

Garstki, K, Larkee, C, and LaDisa, J. “A role for immersive visualization Experiences in teaching archaeology.” Studies in Digital Heritage 3.1 (2019): 46-59.

Haydar, Mahmoud, David Roussel, Madjid Maïdi, Samir Otmane, and Malik Mallem. “Virtual and Augmented Reality for Cultural Computing and Heritage: A Case Study of Virtual Exploration of Underwater Archaeological Sites.” Virtual Reality : The Journal of the Virtual Reality Society 15.4 (2011): 311-27.

Morgan, Colleen L. “(Re)Building Çatalhöyük: Changing Virtual Reality in Archaeology.” Archaeologies 5.3 (2009): 468-87.

S3: Point Process Models in Archaeology and Heritage: State of the Field and New Directions

Giacomo Fontana, Institute of Archaeology, University College London

Marco Nebbia, Institute of Archaeology, University College London

Eduardo Herrera Malatesta, Centre for Urban Network Evolutions, Aarhus University

Standard Session

Abstract: The application of point process models (PPM) in archaeology and heritage has shown varying degrees of success. Despite the promising potential for these models to serve as effective tools in characterizing the generative processes behind observed spatio-temporal distributions of events (Baddeley, Rubak and Turner, 2016; Bevan, 2020), their utilization has been hindered by the steep learning curve required to master them. PPM addresses two classes of point patterns behaviors that are traditionally difficult to untangle in archaeological research: site location preferences and the structural types of spatial distributions (i.e., clusters, dispersion, regularity). By leveraging an understanding of the pattern’s structure and its associations with other cultural and/or environmental variables, both first and second-order characteristics of the pattern can be explored. Moreover, PPM enable the analysis of what are known as ‘marked point patterns’. These patterns represent real-world phenomena reduced into points with associated marks, which can signify site size, chronology, presence/absence, and more. The exploration of marked point patterns holds significant promise in archaeology, as it can provide deeper insights into the spatial structure and interactions between various distributions of sites, materials, etc. Furthermore, one of the primary strengths of adopting a PPM approach to investigate these matters is its robustness and applicability across diverse research scenarios, facilitated in part by the sharing of data and code.

Despite this potential, PPM have witnessed limited utilization in archaeology and heritage, likely due to the steep learning curve necessary to comprehend their theoretical underpinnings, their implementation in software such as R, and the complexity involved in interpreting the results. The untapped potential of PPM becomes more apparent when considering recent trends towards the generation of extensive point-based datasets. The rapid advancement of AI-driven tools for large-scale regional and interregional detection of archaeological sites, coupled with substantial recording projects like those funded by Arcadia (e.g., CAAL, EAMENA), has yielded an immense collection of archaeological data often represented as spatial points. However, the analysis of these new and vast  datasets has somewhat fallen behind, resulting in a significant portion of the data remaining unexplored. From this perspective, the promise of PPM shines through, as they facilitate robust analysis of this fresh data, serving both archaeological research and heritage management practices. Likewise, the growing availability of accurately georeferenced survey data presents exciting prospects for advancing PPM at the intra-site level. Incorporating variables such as erosion modeling and high-resolution visibility maps into PPM offers new avenues for accounting for post-depositional processes, thereby enhancing the accuracy of reconstruction of the original distribution of materials. Similarly, akin to the application of PPM for landscape analysis, these possibilities remain largely unexplored.

This session aims to bring together archaeologists working on the application of PPM in archaeology and heritage. We are interested in how PPM are utilized for research-oriented applications, including intra-site level, regional, and interregional studies. Additionally, we are also interested in applications of PPM for heritage management and risk assessment studies, as well as contributions delving into the broader potential and constraints of PPM. This includes addressing uncertainties, modeling complex second-order interactions, implementing marked point process models, exploring multitemporal applications, and incorporating line process models. We recognize that the use of PPM in archaeology continues to be closely linked with specific institutions or scholars in their educational activities. In response to this, we extend an invitation for contributions that shed light on the challenges encountered by educators and students when engaging with these tools. We believe that initiating a dialogue in this regard is crucial to develop more accessible teaching resources with the capacity to engage a wider audience. In conclusion, we anticipate that this session will contribute to computational archaeology, and archaeology more broadly, in opening a space for debate and reflection on this topic.


Baddeley, A., Rubak, E. and Turner, R. (2016) Spatial Point Patterns: Methodology and Applications with R. Boca Raton: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b19708.

Bevan, A. (2020) ‘Spatial Point Patterns and Processes’, in Gillings, M., Hacıgüzeller, P., and Lock, G. (eds) Archaeological Spatial Analysis: A Methodological Guide. Routledge, pp. 60–76.

S6: Data Sources and Data Integration for Macroscale Archaeology

Christine Hertler Research Center ROCEEH, Senckenberg Research Institute

Christian Sommer, Research Project ROCEEH, University of Tübingen

Volker Hochschild, Dept. of Geosciences, University of Tübingen

Jan-Olaf Reschke, LATEUROPE, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris

Standard session

Abstract: Macroscale archaeology is a highly interdisciplinary approach that examines the relationships between humans, their environments, and cultural developments over large geographic regions and extended timespans, offering a broader perspective on the past. In recent years, related disciplines such as paleogenetics (e.g. Ragsdale et al. 2023), paleoanthropology and paleoclimatology (e.g. Timmermann et al. 2022) have shown that large-scale and computationally intensive methods provide fundamental new insights. For a holistic view of prehistory, it is essential to explore cultural aspects of human development at broader scales by valorizing the archaeological record. In the first place, this requires an extensive collection of data, for example from curated databases (Kandel et al 2023), but also a community-wide commitment to sharing and linking data, including the development of accepted standards to ensure interoperability (Kansa & Kansa 2022, Pilar Birch & Szpak 2022). Furthermore, the archaeological record is extremely difficult to interpret due to its scope, sampling interval and resolution, but also the bias resulting from cultural deposition, sedimentation and scientific research (Perreault 2019). Therefore, it requires dedicated analytical methods that account for the characteristics of cultural data, from classical statistics to exploratory analysis driven by machine learning. In addition, simulation-based approaches, such as Agent-Based Modeling (Timm et al. 2016) or ecological Modeling (Roebroeks et al. 2021), can help to complete missing information or validate existing hypotheses. Properly applied, macroscale archaeology not only has the potential to capture the broad of past human behavior, but at its best can also provide a perspective on current and future social and environmental challenges (Rick & Sandweiss 2020). We welcome contributions that address one or more of the following aspects at inter-regional, continental, or greater scales with large datasets and a large time-frame.

  • Curated or crowd-sourced archaeological databases
  • Platforms for data collection and visualization
  • Statistical analyses addressing culture directly or in combination with paleoenvironment, paleoanthropology, etc.
  • Simulation-based approaches, e.g. Agent-Based Modeling, Ecological Modeling   


Kandel, A. W., Sommer, C., Kanaeva, Z., Bolus, M., Bruch, A. A., Groth, C., Haidle, M. N., Hertler, C., Heß, J., Malina, M., Märker, M., Hochschild, V., Mosbrugger, V., Schrenk, F., & Conard, N. J. (2023). The ROCEEH Out of Africa Database (ROAD): A large-scale research database serves as an indispensable tool for human evolutionary studies. PLOS ONE, 18(8), e0289513.

Kansa, E. C., & Kansa, S. W. (2022). Promoting data quality and reuse in archaeology through collaborative identifier practices. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(43), e2109313118.

Perreault, C. (2019). The Quality of the Archaeological Record. University of Chicago Press.

Pilaar Birch, S. E., & Szpak, P. (2022). Current developments and future directions in archaeological science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(43), e2212490119.

Ragsdale, A.P., Weaver, T.D., Atkinson, E.G., Hoal, E.G., Möller, M., Henn, B.M. & Gravel, S. (2023). A weakly structured stem for human origins in Africa. Nature 617, 755-763.

Rick, T. C., & Sandweiss, D. H. (2020). Archaeology, climate, and global change in the Age of Humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(15), 8250–8253.

Roebroeks, W., MacDonald, K., Scherjon, F., Bakkels, C., Kindler, L., Nikulina, A., Pop, E. & Gaudzinski-Windhäuser, S. (2021): Landscape modification by Last Interglacial Neanderthals. Science Advances 7, 51: eabj5567.

Timm, I.J., Lorig, F., Hölzchen, E., & Hertler, C. (2016). Multi-Scale Agent-Based Simulation of Long-Term Dispersal Processes: Challenges in Modeling Hominin Biogeography and Expansion. In: Barceló, J.A., Del Castillo., F. (eds.): Simulating Prehistoric and Ancient Worlds. Springer, Cham. 141-158. Timmermann, A., Yun, KS., Raia, P. et al. Climate effects on archaic human habitats and species successions. Nature604, 495–501 (2022).

S7: From trials and errors to triumphs: Machine Learning applications in archaeology

Mathias Bellat, CRC 1070, University Tübingen, Germany

Anastasia Eleftheriadou: ICArEHB, University of Algarve, Portugal

Mirijam Zickel: Institute of Geography, University of Cologne, Germany

Alex Brandsen, Faculteit Archeologie, University of Leiden, Netherlands

Alfie Talks, Department of Archaeology, York University

Standard session

Abstract: Over the past decade, a growing number of publications have explored the use of Machine Learning (ML) in archaeology (Argyrou and Agapiou 2022; Jamil et al. 2022). Applications are plenty in different sub-fields of archaeology (Bickler 2021; Mantovan and Nanni 2020) and mainly aiming for object detection and image classification to study of: bone surface cutting marks classification, ceramics classification palaeography, architectural reconstruction/classification. The exponential increase of papers related to ML since 2018-2019 and the different background of researchers working on this topic have led to heterogeneous practices. During CAA 2023 a previous session, “Machine and deep learning methods in archaeological research – creating an integrated community of practitioners” concluded with a “lack of standardised approaches”. Despite Machine Learning’s tremendous potential, the neglect of its limitations and the inconsistency in data and/or code reproducibility practices complicate its sustainable implementation and the development of such standards.

Toward this goal, we will share successful and failed applications to synthetize a set of guidelines for future research. Various tracks have to be explored: 1) Look “across the horizon” and take examples of successful experience in other fields (e.g. geosciences, paleo-climatology, literature, medicine); 2) Share data, workflows, and accuracy parameters in a standardized manner to maximize reproducibility; 3) Share in the same way unsuccessful results and analyses the reasons of failure. 

The aim of this session is to provide a reflection on the great advantages of  ML techniques for  archaeological daily tasks and ways to standardise the use of it . Give examples of what to do and what to avoid in ML practices in archaeology. Examples may be drawn from a single study or from a review of several studies. Authors are encouraged to outline the necessity for robust reproducibility and the methods to achieve it.

We invite authors to submit papers related to the following topics (or any related subjects):

  • Epistemology, historiography or future trend prediction of ML application in archaeology.
  • Standardisation and reproduction problems of ML techniques between different data sets (data type, data size…).
  • Borrowing ML methods from other disciplines into archaeology.
  • Tuning and using hyperparameters in ML.
  • Legislative and social issues related to the standardisation and FAIRness (see Wilkinson et al 2016) of ML approaches in archaeology (e.g., data sharing policies, access and ownership of information, Huggett 1995).
  • Successful case-studies of ML application in archaeology.
  • Unsuccessful case-studies of ML application in archaeology.

For practical approaches we would encourage a critical dialogue to identify individual and shared problems, opportunities, and solutions. We invite authors to provide a thorough explanation and evaluation on their methods. In the spirit of reproducibility, we ask authors to share code and data wherever possible or explain why this can’t be shared. To be able to compare methods, we also highly recommend using standard accuracy metrics, such as precision, recall, F1, MAP and/or ROC, depending on your task.

In this this session we focus on dialogue, exchange of ideas, and constructive feedback. Consequently, we will pay attention to have enough time available for this purpose.


Argyrou, A., Agapiou, A., 2022. A Review of Artificial Intelligence and Remote Sensing for Archaeological Research. Remote Sensing 14, 6000.

Bickler, S.H., 2021. Machine Learning Arrives in Archaeology. Adv. Archaeol. Pract. 9, 186–191.

Huggett, J. 1995. Democracy, Data and Archaeological Knowledge, in: Huggett, J. and N. Ryan (eds.), CAA94. Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology 1994 (BAR International Series 600). Tempus Reparatum, Oxford, pp. 23-26.

Jamil, A.H., Yakub, F., Azizan, A., Roslan, S.A., Zaki, S.A., Ahmad, S.A., 2022. A Review on Deep Learning Application for Detection of Archaeological Structures. Journal of Advanced Research in Applied Sciences and Engineering Technology 26, 7–14.

Mantovan, L., Nanni, L., 2020. The Computerization of Archaeology: Survey on Artificial Intelligence Techniques. SN COMPUT. SCI. 1, 267.

Wilkinson, M., Dumontier, M., Aalbersberg, I. et al., 2016. The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Sci Data 3, 160018.

Yaworsky, P.M., Vernon, K.B., Spangler, J.D., Brewer, S.C., Codding, B.F., 2020. Advancing predictive modeling in archaeology: An evaluation of regression and machine learning methods on the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. PLoS One 15, e0239424.

S8: Maritime Horizons: Modeling Movement and Navigation

Karl Smith, Unaffiliated

Emma Slayton, Carnegie Mellon University

Standard session

Abstract: The theme of this CAA is Across the Horizon, which is itself a concept drawn from maritime mobility. Computational modeling and seafaring analysis is itself crossing an horizon in our field, as the topic is becoming more researched. These horizons include those who are approaching both computational methodologies and seafaring theory. We also recognize the relevance of regional connection to Pacific navigation, and we feel the discussion of maritime heritage and seafaring theory is an important aspect of New Zealand based archaeology and seafaring modeling. This session focuses on computational models for maritime movement and navigation – a growing area of research that has benefitted from several past CAA sessions (see below). The particular focus of this session is twofold: on computational approaches to modeling maritime movement – how and where ships, canoes, rafts, etc. move over bodies of water, and approaches to modeling navigation – the means by which the people in those watercraft find their way to their destinations. Neither of these questions are new to the wider communities of terrestrial or maritime movement (e.g. Lock and Pouncett 2010; Smith 2020). Some examples of methodologies for modeling movement include least-cost-path analysis, agent-based models, isochrone route-finding. Examples of computational approaches to modeling navigation include visibility analysis, coastal affordances, and celestial markers. Most analyses of maritime movement deal with both of these issues, as they can be difficult to separate – assumptions about navigation can be found in most maritime movement models. Examining how these two concepts are entangled is important to developing shared methodologies to understand past seafaring practice. The field of computational water-based modeling movement is still relatively new, and as such there is much that can be added to how we approach technical aspects of the model as well as theoretical considerations we place as boundaries to their use. Conversely, as researchers develop new techniques they can create parallel methodologies or ways of processing data.  Several researchers are using the same approach in the same region (e.x. Blakley 2018 and Poullis et al 2019), producing different results that allow for evaluation of the fidelity of different projects.

We would like to invite applicants to this session to submit papers that engage with themes of navigation and maritime movement, for example: case studies involving computational models that describe seafaring or route-finding; terrestrial movement analyses that engage with maritime spaces, such as coastal interactions; analyses of maritime or coastal visibility; discussions of maritime heritage within the archaeological record and its connection to broader understandings of seafaring practice; exploration of computational maritime archeology for the Pacific Region; and generating environmental datasets and/or incorporating them into maritime movement analyses. We also invite the submission of papers that address the theoretical basis for maritime modeling, issues with datasets used to create maritime models, or the broader state of the field.

Through this session we hope to foster a discussion of topics related to navigation and maritime movement, thereby providing a forum for researchers already working on these topics, and hopefully encouraging others to create their own models and further develop our shared computational practice. Recent work in developing methodologies for modeling maritime movement and navigation include the Computational Archaeology and Seafaring Theory (CAST) conference in 2022, the formation of the Computational Modeling Water-Based Movement special interest group, and sessions/roundtables at previous CAAs (i.e. Slayton 2023; Kyriakidis et al. 2022; Slayton et al. 2022; Slayton and Smith 2021). This session builds on these successes and shares their main goals: to connect researchers who are already working on issues of maritime movement and navigation, and to encourage new researchers interested in these topics.   


Blakely, S. (2018). Sailing with the Gods: serious games in an ancient sea. thersites. Journal for Transcultural Presences & Diachronic Identities from Antiquity to Date, 7.

Lock, G. and J. Pouncett 2010. Walking the Ridgeway Revisited: The Methodological and Theoretical Implications of Scale Dependency for the Derivation of Slope and the Calculation of Least-Cost Pathways, in: Frischer, B., J. Webb Crawford and D. Koller (eds.), Making History Interactive. Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA). Proceedings of the 37th International Conference, Williamsburg, Virginia, United States of America, March 22-26 (BAR International Series S2079). Archaeopress, Oxford, pp. 192-203.

Kyriakidis, P., Gravanis, E., Demesticha, S., Reepmeyer, C. Moutsiou, T., Bar-Yosef, B., Chliaoutakis, A., Zervakis, H., Theodorou, K., Xoplaki, E., and Montello, D. (2022) CAA Oxford. Session 27: Modelling prehistoric maritime mobility Jarriel, K. (2018). Across the Surface of the Sea: Maritime Interaction in the Cycladic Early Bronze Age. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 31(1).

Smith, K. (2020). Modeling Seafaring in Iron Age Atlantic Europe. PhD Dissertation, University of Oxford: Oxford.

Slayton, E. (2023) CAA Amsterdam. Session 38: Computational Modeling Water-Based Movement.

Slayton, E., & Smith, K. (2021). Session 26: Moving Over Seas: Modeling Seafaring Routes to Analyze Past Connections. Presented at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Cyprus.

Slayton, E, Borreggine, J. Farr, R. H., Jarriel, K., Leidwanger, J., El Safadi, C., Davies, B., and Smith, K. (2022) CAA Oxford. Session 23: Computational archaeology and seafaring theory.

S9: Between the Nile and the Brahmaputra: Computational methods to study ancient societies, landscapes and riverine systems straddling Asia and Africa

Maria Elena Castiello, Institute of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern and Institute of Heritage Sciences (INCIPIT-CSIC)

Navjot Kour, Landscape Archaeology Research Group (GIAP), Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology

Nazarij Bulawka, Landscape Archaeology Research Group (GIAP), Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology

Alessia Brucato, University of Bari – Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche, Instituto di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale

Standard session

Abstract: The vast areas stretching from Egypt through Western Asia, Central Asia and South Asia are considered home to some of the earliest civilisations (Van De Mieroop 2016; Steadman and McMahon 2011; Magee 2014; Lyonnet and Dubova 2021, Possehl 1993). Notably, during the Middle and Late Bronze Age, there was extensive evidence of deep trade ties between those areas, which intensified since antiquity (Arnott 2022; Cobb 2018; Mattingly 2017). The landscape of the mentioned areas is diverse and transitional, dramatically shifting between the arid and hyper-arid regions of Northern Egypt and the Central Arabian Peninsula, through the dry savanna of the Eastern Sahel to the semi-arid steppe in the coastal regions and mountain piedmonts of Western Asia, towards the layered climatic complexities of South Asia ranging from temperate to tropical and cold regions (Rubel and Kottek 2010; Husain 2022; Kuper and Kröpelin 2006). It includes areas where permanent settlements emerged and persisted in time owing to multifaceted factors of the presence of huge perennial rivers, the development of irrigation systems, sufficient rain regimes, and in some areas the decisive role played by summer monsoons, which all sustain, even in such diverse environment, fertile ecosystems and productive lands. In the desert areas, crossing lands, connections and exchanges require following riverine routes and stopping by water bodies, defining mandatory paths and attraction spots for trading, networking and borders (Gatto 2011; Arbuckle and Hammer 2019). In contrast, in the tropical monsoonal belt, the itineraries require an unceasing adaptation not only to the land topography but also to the seasonal variations, because the water bodies play the key role of endless remodelers of the landscape. This massive diversity in these environments share a common ground in the relationship between cultures and water bodies that played a pivotal role in the rising of social and technological complexity, economy, movement, trade and the commencement of civilisations (Rost 2022; Zhuang and Altaweel 2018). Despite the territorial morphology and local environmental conditions made the economy of each area developing an individual pathway, these cultures rapidly became intertwined in the maritime and land trade networks, boundary disputes and conflicts.

This session aims to transcend traditional geographic and cultural boundaries and to consider a unified perspective across the vast areas between the Nile to the Brahmaputra. This approach seeks to connect the archaeological narratives and landscapes of the mentioned regions, highlighting shared features, interactions, and influences that shaped human history from prehistory towards medieval times. A wide array of computational methods can be employed to address this intricate subject and vast geographic range. These include satellite remote sensing, geophysics, laser scanning, 3D modelling, LiDAR, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), mobile GIS, historical legacy datasets, mapping and management cultural heritage systems, statistics, spatial analysis, machine learning, deep learning, predictive modelling, network analysis, agent-based modelling, or least-cost path analysis for instance (to cite a few: Boogers and Daems 2022; Castiello 2022; Garcia-Molsosa, Orengo, and Petrie 2023; Resler et al. 2021) We warmly welcome papers on computational methods centred around such topics as:

  • Social Complexity and technological advancement in connection with water bodies
  • Heritage preservation
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Machine Learning
  • Mountain archaeology
  • Network analysis
  • Predictive modelling
  • Remote sensing
  • Sedentarization and Nomadism
  • Settlement patterns
  • Trade and movement modelling
  • Water management


Arbuckle, B. S., and E. L. Hammer. 2019. ‘The Rise of Pastoralism in the Ancient Near East’. Journal of Archaeological Research 27 (3): 391–449.

Arnott, R. 2022. Crossing Continents: Between India and the Aegean from Prehistory to Alexander the Great. Oxford: Oxbow Books.  

Boogers, S., and Daems, D.. 2022. SAGAscape: Simulating Resource Exploitation Strategies in Iron Age to Hellenistic Communities in Southwest Anatolia. Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology 5 (1): 169–87.

Castiello, M.E. 2022. Computational and Machine Learning tools for archaeological site modeling. Chams: Springer. Cobb, M.A. 2018. The Indian Ocean Trade in Antiquity: Political, Cultural and Economic Impacts. Taylor & Francis.

Garcia-Molsosa, Arnau, Hector A. Orengo, and Cameron A. Petrie. 2023. ‘Reconstructing Long-Term Settlement Histories on Complex Alluvial Floodplains by Integrating Historical Map Analysis and Remote-Sensing: An Archaeological Analysis of the Landscape of the Indus River Basin’. Heritage Science 11 (1): 141.

Gatto, M.C. 2011. The Nubian Pastoral Culture as Link between Egypt and Africa: A View from the Archaeological Record. In Egypt in Its African Context Proceedings of the Conference held at The Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, 2-4 October 2009, edited by K. Exell, 21–29. BAR International Series 2204. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Husain, M. 2022. Geography Of India. Edited by Tasawwur H. Z.. 10th ed. Chennai: MC Graff Hill.

Kuper, R., and S. Kröpelin. 2006. ‘Climate-Controlled Holocene Occupation in the Sahara: Motor of Africa’s Evolution’. Science 313 (5788): 803–7.

Lyonnet, B., and N. A. Dubova. 2021. The World of the Oxus Civilizations. Edited by B. Lyonnet and N. A. Dubova. Routledge. Magee, Peter. 2014. The Archaeology of Prehistoric Arabia: Adaptation and Social Formation from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. Cambridge University Press.

Mattingly, D.J. 2017. Trade in the Ancient Sahara and Beyond. Trans-Saharan Archaeology. Cambridge University Press.

Possehl, G., ed. 1993. Harappan Civilisation: A Recent Perspective. New Delhi. American Institute of Indian Studies and Oxford & IBH Publishing Company

Resler, Abraham, Reuven Yeshurun, Filipe Natalio, and Raja Giryes. 2021. ‘A Deep-Learning Model for Predictive Archaeology and Archaeological Community Detection’. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications 8 (1): 295.

Rost, S., ed. 2022. Irrigation in Early States New Directions. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Rubel, F., and M. Kottek. 2010. ‘Observed and Projected Climate Shifts 1901–2100 Depicted by World Maps of the Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification’. Meteorologische Zeitschrift 19 (2): 135–41.

Steadman, Sharon R., and G. McMahon. 2011. The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Anatolia: (10,000-323 BCE). OUP USA.

Van De Mieroop, M. 2016. A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323 BC. 3rd ed. Blackwell History of the Ancient World. Wiley.

Zhuang, Y., and M. Altaweel, eds. 2018. Water Societies and Technologies from the Past and Present. London: UCL Press.

S10: CAA in the real world: making computational archaeology commonplace

Dr Andrew Brown, Horizon Archaeology

Dr Lawrence Shaw, Bournemouth University

Dr Derek Pitman, Bournemouth University

Standard session

Abstract: Researchers regularly develop innovative approaches in the use of computational applications and quantitative methods within the archaeological discipline. It is less common, however, to see this research practically implemented in a manner that is adopted within or benefiting the larger discipline. While specialisms in archaeology should be celebrated, they also serve to silo aspects of the discipline that can make them seem inaccessible to those outside. The CAA community is no exception. It is this core issue that this session aims to address: How do we as the CAA community make our approaches implementable and democratic within the larger discipline, while simultaneously maintaining cutting edge, pioneering computational archaeological research? 

This session therefore serves to celebrate the development and implementation of “practical” real world change when using computational research within archaeology, heritage management and the historic environment. We wish to share papers which demonstrate how our research area has best utilised developing technologies, mobile GIS, gaming technologies, deep learning, open software and much more to better deliver practical change within our discipline, drawing in speakers from both the CAA community and beyond. Enhancements may vary from informing planning or land management decisions, improving field work and survey, advancing public participation or furthering engagement and education.   

This session aims to be deliberately open to encourage papers from all areas of CAA. We hope to remove the often siloed nature of thematic approaches which prevents CAA members from learning from within the larger community. Instead, we hope to demonstrate how multiple computational applications in archaeology approaches have delivered change and benefits to practical deliveries, outside of the research bubble. We welcome papers from a broad range of computational applications in the hope of highlighting how our research is changing the profession for the better. Papers that focus on practical and widely accessible approaches will be prioritised, those that will stimulate a discussion on the role of CAA in the wider discipline. Over all, the session will ask not what archaeology can do for CAA, but what CAA can do for archaeology! 

S11: 3D modelling in perspective

Simon Wyatt-Spratt Discipline of Archaeology, University of Sydney

Lauren Franklin, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona

Thomas Keep, Classics and Archaeology, University of Melbourne

Madeline Robinson, Discipline of Archaeology, University of Sydney

Standard session

Abstract: 3D modelling has revolutionised archaeology across multiple scales (Benjamin et al. 2019; Grosman et al. 2014; Magnani et al. 2020). 3D models have been used as an alternative to analog forms of archaeological illustration and recording (e.g. Douglass, Lin and Chodoronek 2015; Magnani 2014), have allowed for highly accurate and complex analyses of a wide-range of archaeological material and features (Evin et al. 2016; Jalandoni and May 2020; Wyatt-Spratt 2022) and have even been used to reconstruct gaps in the archaeological record (e.g. Delpiano et al. 2019; Robinson et al. 2019). Beyond their illustrative and analytical uses, models have also been used for archiving, exhibitions, teaching, and other types of public outreach (e.g. Ahmed, Carter and Ferris 2014; Keep 2022). The rapid proliferation of 3D modelling across the different subfields of archaeology has led to a diverse array of approaches to making and using models. This diversity includes different methods of modelling (computer tomography, laser/light scanning, and photogrammetry), different scales of modelling (micro-, macro-, and terrestrial), and the different purposes that models have been used for (analysis, archiving, illustration, pedagogy, and conservation). However this has also led to a situation where the different branches of archaeology’s approaches to modelling have become increasingly siloed. Given that 3D modelling is becoming an increasingly common component in the archaeological toolkit it is important that archaeologists take stock of how the field has grown and share knowledge of the latest developments across the field.

The aim of this session is to bring these diverse perspectives on 3D modelling together. By bringing together multiple experts on archaeological applications of 3D modelling, we want to start conversations about how these different approaches to 3D modelling could be applied to different archaeological contexts. To do so, we invite submissions, with a particular focus on the following topics:

  • Innovative methodological approaches to model making
  • 3D modelling as a tool for documentation or illustrative landscapes, features, excavations, and/or eco/artefacts
  • Case studies involving understudied archaeological material
  • Novel approaches to the analysis of 3D models
  • 3D modelling as a multipronged approach to archaeological analysis
  • Ethical questions, such as applying FAIR Data Principles to 3D modelling, modelling human remains, indigenous data sovereignty, and repatriation of cultural materials
  • Gaps in how and where 3D modelling is used, whether that be reflect socio-economic inequalities, methodological challenges, and theoretical biases
  • 3D modelling as tool for teaching, conservation and public outreach

Papers in this session are not limited to a particular region or historical period. We particularly encourage contributions from students and early career researchers who wish to present preliminary results and presentations that incorporate collaboration with First Nations communities. Papers looking at methodological innovations, archaeological case studies, and theoretical issues are all welcome.


Ahmed, N, Carter, M and Ferris, N. 2014 Sustainable archaeology through progressive assembly 3D digitization. World Archaeology 46(1): 137–154. DOI:

Benjamin, J, McCarthy, J, Wiseman, C, Bevin, S, Kowlessar, J, Astrup, PM, Naumann, J and Hacker, J. 2019 Integrating aerial and underwater data for archaeology: digital maritime landscapes in 3D. In:. McCarthy, JK, Benjamin, J, Winton, T, and van Duivenvoorde, W (eds.). 3D Recording and  Interpretation for Maritime Archaeology. Coastal Research Library. Cham: Springer International Publishing. pp. 211–231. DOI:

Delpiano, D, Cocilova, A, Zangrossi, F and Peresani, M. 2019 Potentialities of the virtual analysis of lithic refitting: case studies from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 11(9): 4467–4489. DOI:

Douglass, M, Lin, S and Chodoronek, M. 2015 The application of 3D photogrammetry for in-field documentation of archaeological features. Advances in Archaeological Practice 3(2): 136–152. DOI:

Evin, A, Souter, T, Hulme-Beaman, A, Ameen, C, Allen, R, Viacava, P, Larson, G, Cucchi, T and Dobney, K. 2016 The use of close-range photogrammetry in zooarchaeology: Creating accurate 3D models of wolf crania to study dog domestication. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 9: 87–93. DOI:

Grosman, L, Karasik, A, Harush, O and Smilansky, U. 2014 Archaeology in three dimensions: computer-based methods in archaeological research. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 2(1): 48–64.

Jalandoni, A and May, SK. 2020 How 3D models (photogrammetry) of rock art can improve recording veracity: a case study from Kakadu National Park, Australia. Australian Archaeology 86(2): 137–146. DOI:

Keep, T. 2022 The Mernda VR Project: The Creation of a VR Reconstruction of an Australian Heritage Site. Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology 5(1): 238–254. DOI:

Magnani, M. 2014 Three-dimensional alternatives to lithic illustration. Advances in Archaeological Practice 2(4): 285–297. DOI:

Magnani, M, Douglass, M, Schroder, W, Reeves, J and Braun, DR. 2020 The digital revolution to come: photogrammetry in archaeological practice. American Antiquity 85(4): 737–760. DOI:

Robinson, MGP, Porter, A, Figueira, W and Fletcher, R. 2019 Neolithic temples of Malta: 3D analysis points to novel roof reconstruction. Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage 13: e00095. DOI:

Wyatt-Spratt, S. 2022 After the Revolution: A Review of 3D Modelling as a Tool for Stone Artefact Analysis. Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology 5(1): 215–237. DOI:

S13: Computational Approaches to Archaeological Mega-Projects

Andrew Bevan, University College London

Barney Harris, University College London

Kate Welham, Bournemouth University

Standard session

Abstract: This session will bring together contributions that seek to draw out common archaeological themes and shared computational methodologies around the concept of ‘mega-projects’. We define the latter term as referring to a relatively diverse range of physically large-scale, often monumental, and infrastructurally-challenging initiatives that seem to push the existing labour pools, material resources and know-how of a given society, and can often have their own mobilising momentum in terms of altering the terms of social, economic and political coordination. Examples in the archaeological record include individual mausoleums and collective tombs, dams and aqueducts, integrated transport systems, megalithic and/or mega-earthen assembly places, fortifications and large-scale storage facilities. Computational approaches often have a central role to play in archaeological understandings of such projects, and we would anticipate but would not limit our methodological scope to the role of high resolution LiDAR, multi-instrument geophysics, both 3d surface models and hyper-real 3d physically-based renders, advanced modelling of radiocarbon or dendrochronological dates, spatial statistical models and/or landscape-scale advanced GIS. Starting themes might include best practice with regard to archaeological prospection of mega-projects as physical features in the landscape, chronological modelling of project duration and continuity, calculation of the often colossal energetic inputs of labour, identification of upscaling patterns in contemporary craft practices, assessment of wider positive and negative environmental impacts, and/or modelling of wider resource landscapes. This session also leaves room for anyone interested in the different-and-yet-complementary isights that might exist when considering how computational and data science approaches underpins archaeology’s engagement with infrastructural mega-projects in the present-day.

S14: Modelling Monumental Landscapes in 4D: A Novel Approach to Understanding Architectural Settlement Patterns and Temporal Dynamics

Cristian Gonzalez Rodriguez, University College London

Giacomo Bilotti, Institute of Pre-and Protohistory, CRC 1266, Kiel University

Standard session

Abstract: The progressive evolution of computational methodologies has revolutionized our interpretation of archaeological data, granting us the capacity for in-depth spatial and temporal analyses. Ancient monumental sites stand out as pivotal archaeological landmarks, their significance stemming from their roles in settlement patterns, economic systems, and religious practices. Though many studies have delved into these monumental structures, they are generally confined to a static chronological framework. This limitation results in landscape reconstructions that lack dynamism and potentially obscure economic, social, geopolitical or ontological interactions and change. That is why this session on “Modelling Monumental Landscapes in 4D” ventures into the groundbreaking utilization of 4-dimensional models to assess ceremonial, mortuary, and ritual sites as dynamic technologies and scenarios. This vision transcends merely spatial considerations; since it emphasizes the temporal dynamics intrinsic to architectural landscapes. Introducing the fourth dimension—time—provides a transformative lens, illuminating evolving burial and ceremonial customs, site progressions, and interactions with living communities over various epochs.

Traditionally, 3-dimensional models focusing on visibility, accessibility, and sensory analysis have offered vibrant visualizations of monumental sites. By integrating the dimension of time, we can shed light on the chronology of site usage, patterns of re-use, and the temporal importance of architectural attributes. Techniques like Point Pattern Analysis, previously utilized for studying ancient monument distribution, have shown flexibility in incorporating chronological aspects, as does Bayesian Modelling. Advances in chronological modelling, encompassing radiocarbon distribution, and time-related uncertainty management, herald a new era in interpretative model creation. The present juncture calls for the amalgamation of these chronological frameworks with a well-entrenched inquiry into site intensity and interaction patterns. The abundance of archaeological sites, the accessibility of temporal information and the use of probabilistic methodologies for managing uncertainties in archaeological modelling allow a formal integration of the conventionally unidimensional scrutiny of population density (e.g. date as data approach) with the multi-dimensional facets of the landscape.

Noteworthy patterns, such as site abandonment, reuse and imprinting in the cognitive landscape, permeate human history. For instance, Early Neolithic megalithic burials in Northern Europe experienced reuse in the subsequent Middle and Late Neolithic, even in the absence of cultural continuity. Classical periods also witnessed such phenomena, with Late Helladic sites and edifices being assimilated into Classic Greek religious practices and lore. Similarly, pre-Colombian landscapes converged and mingled with the Christian beliefs built by the Spaniards and later on by the criollos, in a similar way to what happened in Europe with the establishment of Christianity. These phenomena are observed in many different parts of the World and happened throughout human history. However, due to the difficulties of dealing with this type of data, quantitative and statistical analysis often are missing.

We warmly extend an invitation to researchers exploring quantitative methods and reconstructing landscapes, especially those centred on ancient monumental sites. Regardless of the specific function of these monuments – be it cultural practices, funerary rituals, or others – we welcome submissions from all geographical regions and historical periods across the globe. Our goal is to foster a holistic view, one that fully embraces the dynamic interplay between people, monuments, and time. By converging diverse perspectives, we hope to deepen our collective understanding of ancient landscapes and the rich tapestry of histories they hold. This session serves as a unique platform for sharing insights, methodologies, and findings. This invites researchers from diverse backgrounds, aiming to accentuate the nexus between monuments and their evolving landscapes over time, creating what is called the “four-dimensional landscape”. Through various case studies, attendees will appreciate how integrating time and space offers a profound comprehension of past civilizations, enhancing our grasp of their monumental landscapes and significance.

S15: Keep it simple, just not too simple — Challenges and (Best?) Practices in Managing and Integrating Archaeological Data

Steffen Strohm, Department of Computer Science, Kiel University

Hartwig Bünning, Research Group Ecosystem Research, Geoarchaeology and Polar Ecology, Kiel University

Lizzie Scholtus, Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University

Oliver Nakoinz, Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University

Standard session

Abstract: Archaeology is a diverse field, bringing numerous disciplines together to combine expertise from humanities, social and natural sciences as well as engineering. All these disciplines come with their own research traditions, educational concepts, interests, and their very own methodologies. This (certainly incomplete) selection of aspects relevant for shaping the personal background of researchers has a strong influence on their ways in perceiving the world around them. Additionally, research is usually carried out in a certain project context, with respective funding schemes and differing national or other regulations. The variety of perspectives and contextual preconditions go along with differing views on what (available) information is relevant to describe objects or phenomena of interest, and is then reflected in the large heterogeneity found in archaeological data and corresponding preservation efforts.

In the pursuit of organizing and preserving the various information used in archaeological research, numerous initiatives aim to create infrastructure to serve this purpose. Systems for information type specific (e.g. radiocarbon dates) or broader scopes (often in the form of repositories) have been designed and implemented over the last decades. Here, a general trade-off seems to exist between “correctness through completeness” and usability of the system. Whether the system is a spreadsheet or database where a data model is required to organize concepts and attributes, or the system is a repository where metadata is required to sufficiently represent a data collection in a FAIR sense — the trade-off still occurs and is affecting the design process and later success in terms of participation and therefore relevance to the community.

There is no optimal way of digitally representing information about the section of the world we are interested in. Data formats, extent of description and technologies used for observation as well as preservation are usually project and context specific. Therefore, there is no superior alternative to project specific efforts, especially with limited resources and the diversity of backgrounds mentioned. Over the course of such projects, some decisions may turn out better than others in achieving project goals. These decisions may affect characteristics such as the workload needed to input new data in the system, retrieve information from the system, the maintainability or usability of the system or the sustainability of the solution after the project (and its funding) ends. This session aims to provide an opportunity to reflect on enabling, enhancing or limiting effects of decisions made in the process of managing archaeological data and developing information systems for it. Submissions to the session should provide an on-point description of the project context of their data managing or data integration experience, including a characterization of the data involved, the goals of the data management or integration process, approaches to achieve these goals and an evaluation on what goals were (not) achieved and why. As pointed out before, there most likely does not exist any optimal way of organizing certain data, so we cannot expect to get to something like a unified model of archaeological data management. However, researchers should be enabled to learn from former experiences in the community. This will help to avoid mistakes in the future and it may lead to a more efficient use of the limited resources available. Submissions to the session should consider this learning experience as a session goal and contextualize their lessons learned with relevant aspects of their project goals, staffing, the regulatory or financial environment, competencies required and all those factors that had an impact on the data processing or system design from the submission authors’ perspective.

S17: Conversations across the (digital) ditch

Katharine Watson, Christchurch Archaeology Project

Joshua Emmitt, Auckland War Memorial Museum

Rebecca Phillipps, University of Auckland

Standard session

Abstract: Archaeological data management has been the subject of much discussion for many years at the CAA conference. Conferences like this one are often spaces where conversations between different spheres of influence in heritage management, including academic and commercial, can take place, but often languish outside of such contexts. Academic discussions of data management are historically hidden behind paywalls, and are largely inaccessible to those working outside of the academy. In addition to the challenges of data semantics, the sovereignty of data must also be meaningfully engaged with (e.g. Heilen and Manney 2023). In this session we wish to promote conversations across these different spheres of archaeological research, including academic, cultural resource management, museums, government agencies, and community groups with a focus on the challenges of archaeological data management.

Submissions could include any of the following. The challenges of digital data acquisition in field contexts, including logistical challenges. The management of archaeological data including database structure, semantic issues, the challenges of archaeological data as a living archive, resourcing, and long-term curation. The challenges of addresses concerns around data sovereignty including pressures of open access, legal obligations, and ontological issues regarding digital matter.

Heilen, M., & Manney, S. (2023). Refining Archaeological Data Collection and Management. Advances in Archaeological Practice, 11(1), 1-10. doi:10.1017/aap.2022.41

S18: Digital Landscape Archaeology: New Possibilities and Old Problems

Ian Moffat, Flinders University

Jarrad Kowlessar, Archaeology, Flinders University

Standard session

Emerging digital methods have the potential to transform our understanding of archaeological landscapes.  These methods include instruments to undertake high density data collection (such as multi-sensor geophysics, lidar and photogrammetry), computational approaches to interrogating voluminous data sets (such as machine learning or data fusion) and immersive visualisation techniques that facilitate new perceptions of the past.  Despite this promise, we argue that their potential for understanding landscapes has not been realised because, to date, much research using these techniques in archaeology has been focused on a single method or on locating/mapping archaeological sites rather than understanding landscapes in a holistic way.  We believe that the emerging discipline of digital landscape archaeology has the potential to overcome these challenges and integrate landscape and archaeological information in ways that have not previously been imagined, but first we must grapple with the possibilities and problems of these techniques.

One problem is that the high density data collection surveys in archaeology have been, unsurprisingly, focused on mapping archaeological sites or materials (ie. Trinks et al. 2018, Evans et al. 2013). These surveys generate extraordinarily rich data sets that provide novel information about the human past but few (such as De Smedt et al. 2022) take the opportunity to examine the landscape history through geophysical investigation of sedimentology and pedology.  This absence precludes richer and more complex understandings of human-environmental interaction or prospecting directly for archaeological material in sites with extensive sediment aggradation (ie. Kowlessar et al. 2022).

A second issue is that high density data collection methods also have the potential to create enormous data sets that can’t readily be understood using a singular or manual interpretation approach.  A final landscape interpretation is often produced through examination of the results from each method in isolation, which are then collated in an unstructured way as part of the final interpretation.  This risks losing much of the potential of these methods to be applied together to understand the broadest and most nuanced information about the archaeology and landscape history of these sites.

Thirdly, these data collection methods have now independently achieved highly detailed ways of visualising their specific data that can aid in cognitive understanding and increase interpretability. The trend has created an inherent need for researchers to use their familiarity with human sensory perception in order to make archaeological interpretations. Immersive visualisation techniques provide the best possible chance of achieving Tilley’s (2010) aim of experiencing archaeological landscapes from a phenomenological perspective. Monteleone (et al. 2021) coined the term ‘virtual cultural landscape’ to draw attention to the landscape that is conjured in the mind of an interpreter as they investigate geospatial visualisations of past environments even when these visualisation are only representative of discrete aspects of the material culture present at a site. With a variety of modern high density data collections methods all producing highly detailed visualisations of archaeological data, we are presented with an opportunity to connect these separate virtual cultural landscapes in an unprecedentedly holistic way with a combined landscape visualisation approach. There is an emergence of combined visualisation approaches which include, GIS visualisation systems, discrete rendered videos and graphics and fully interactive computer game engines.

Despite the issues summarised above, all these approaches offer a new means of contextualising the separate sources of archaeological data into a combined system which offers new ways of seeing, interacting with and most importantly understanding, digital archaeological landscapes.


De Smedt, P, Garwood, P, Chapman, H, Deforce, K, De Grave, J, Hanssens, D and Vandenberghe, D. 2022 Novel insights into prehistoric land use at Stonehenge by combining electromagnetic and invasive methods with a semi-automated interpretation scheme. Journal of Archaeological Science 143:105557. DOI:

Evans, DH, Fletcher, RJ, Pottier, C, Chevance, J-B, Soutif, D, Tan, BS, Im, S, Ea, D, Tin, T, Kim, S, Cromarty, C, De Greef, S, Hanus, K, Bâty, P, Kuszinger, R, Shimoda, I and Boornazian, G. 2013 Uncovering archaeological landscapes at Angkor using lidar. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110(31): 12595–12600. DOI:

Kowlessar, J, Moffat, I, Wesley, D, Willis, M, Wrigglesworth, S, Jones, T, Nayinggul, A and Rangers, the N. 2023 Reconstructing archaeological palaeolandscapes using geophysical and geomatic survey techniques: An example from Red Lily Lagoon, Arnhem Land, Australia. PLOS ONE 18(5): e0283006. DOI:

Monteleone, K., A. E. Thompson, and K. M. Prufer 2021 Virtual cultural landscapes: Geospatial visualizations of past environments. Archaeological Prospection  28(3): 379-401.

Tilley, C. 2010. Interpreting Landscapes: Geologies, Topographies, Identities; Explorations in Landscape Phenomenology 3. Walnut Creek, UNITED STATES: Taylor & Francis Group.

Trinks, I, Hinterleitner, A, Neubauer, W, Nau, E, Löcker, K, Wallner, M, Gabler, M, Filzwieser, R, Wilding, J, Schiel, H, Jansa, V, Schneidhofer, P, Trausmuth, T, Sandici, V, Ruß, D, Flöry, S, Kainz, J, Kucera, M, Vonkilch, A, Tencer, T, Gustavsen, L, Kristiansen, M, Bye‐Johansen, L-M, Tonning, C, Zitz, T, Paasche, K, Gansum, T and Seren, S. 2018 Large-area high-resolution ground-penetrating radar measurements for archaeological prospection. Archaeological Prospection 25(3): 171–195. DOI:

S19: Archaeological Heritage in Conflict Zones: from data gathering to virtual environments

Stefano Campana, University of Siena

Anna Leone, University of Durham

The archaeological heritage has been at risk for a long time, fallen under the threat of damage or disappearance through armed conflict globally. Terrorism, too, has increasingly become a major part of daily threats through the spectacular and highly publicised destruction of heritage assets. It is important to keep always in our minds the methodical destruction at Palmyra and the ancient city of Aleppo, systematically targeting archaeological monuments dating from the prehistoric, Byzantine, Roman and Islamic periods, with no apparent consideration for the cultural, historical and socio-economic significance of such sites. The violence within these conflicts is not, of course, limited to the destruction of heritage sites, but also to looting and the increasing illicit trafficking of antiquities.

It is now a priority to recognize that when heritage sites, or parts of them, are no longer granted protection, documentation and public engagement are the only tools available for the recording, monitoring, understanding of them.

In this panel, we intend to address and confront globally strategies to document and monitor archaeological objects, sites and landscapes through new technologies. We aim to discuss applied methods of documentation, mapping, management, monitoring in conflict zone, as well as discuss the suitability of post-conflict virtual reconstruction of archaeological objects, sites and landscapes. The focus will be on new technologies, in the first instance computer applications and systems, that may help to improve every step of this process from data collection to inclusion within virtual environments. Attention will also be paid to current and future means for measuring and evaluating damage and transformations at institutions, sites and landscapes involved in conflicts of this kind. Finally, the panel will address strategies for data sharing through websites, open access systems, open data sets and open databases as well as through GIS.

S20: The legacy of Harold Dibble in stone artefact archaeology in Australasia and beyond

Sam Lin, University of Wollongong

Rebecca Phillipps, University of Auckland

Ben Davies, Tufts University

Standard session

Abstract: One of the great debates of lithic studies in the 20th century relates to the explanation of lithic assemblage composition as representing variability in style or function. Harold Dibble proposed an alternative to these interpretations by suggesting variability related to continuous change in artefact morphology through resharpening and reuse. Dibble’s work not only transformed the interpretation of lithic assemblage variability worldwide, but also highlighted the importance of quantitative analysis, hypothesis testing and experimentation in archaeological research. Additionally, he played a pioneering role in the application of computer applications in both field and laboratory settings for data recording, modelling and electronic publication. His commitment to archaeology as a scientific endeavour continually challenged the lithic research community to empirically assess preconceived notions about lithic variability and the formation of archaeological assemblages. Dibble’s analytical approach and methodological developments have served as a source of inspiration for subsequent generations of researchers, encouraging them to examine lithic assemblages from innovative perspectives. This session seeks to honour Harold Dibble’s legacy by bringing together colleagues to present research programs that have drawn inspiration from his work, and to celebrate Dibble’s impact not only in Australasia but across the broader archaeological community. The session welcomes presentations that cover various topics within lithic studies, including lithic reduction, raw material economy and transport, lithic taphonomy and assemblage formation, as well as methodological advancements in quantitative, statistical and/or computer-based techniques for lithic data recording and analysis.

S21: Fair Reuse of Archive Data

Stephen Stead, Paveprime Ltd

Jane Jansen, Arkeologerna – Intrasis

Standard session

Abstract: The archaeological research community was an early adopter of digital tools for data acquisition, organisation, analysis, and presentation of research results of individual projects. (Richards 2022). As several projects have shown, digital data can be shared, but how can that data be used? To address those questions, principles and ontologies have been created and are ready to be applied.

One concept is FAIR data. FAIR data is data which meets the principles of Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability (FAIR). The acronym and principles were defined in the journal Scientific Data in 2016.

Digital archive access projects will revolutionise archaeological research and are vital if we want to attain the R in FAIR. However, it is necessary to apply an ontology to the data, otherwise the time needed to understand the semantics of each datasets is insurmountable. CRMarchaeo, an extension of the CIDOC CRM, is one way to link a wide range of existing documentation from archaeological investigations. It was created to promote a shared formalisation of the knowledge extracted from archaeological observations. It provides a set of concepts and properties that allow clear explanation (and separation) of the observations and interpretations made, both in the field and in post-excavation.

Using FAIR principles is critical to the creation of wider pictures of regions or periods and can also be a stepping stone to generating Big Data for further analysis.

Applying FAIR principles to data that contains elements of intangible heritage including living community engagement with cultural heritage sites is a nuanced task that is the topic of the session The Ethics of Open Data. Papers on this aspect are encouraged to apply to this session.

In this session we invite presentations from organisations or projects who are addressing these issues. We are particularly interested in applications of the CIDOC CRM and its extension CRMarchaeo but all approaches will be welcomed.

Richards, J. 2022, Presentation at CHNT Vienna


The motivation is to discuss the integration of a wide range of archaeological excavation archive materials using suitable ontologies, including CRMarchaeo. Healthy discussion of the application of the FAIR principles is required to ensure that best practice emerges by consensus rather than coup d’état. This means we need a body of proficient professional and amateur practitioners able, and willing, to discuss their approaches and experience. This may include the application of CRMarchaeo to describe and encapsulate the semantic meaning of archaeological archives of all eras but it may also encapsulate other ontologies and approaches.

The materials tackled could include historic daybook or narrative text descriptions of archaeological excavations or chance encounters as well as more modern context sheet paper records of systematic excavations. It is also intended to address electronic excavation databases of all flavours and vintages being made interoperable without the need to harmonise away the unique qualities and flavours of chosen excavation methodologies.

Target Audience:

The target audience is professional and amateur cultural heritage practitioners who enable access to archaeological excavation archives and wish to discuss their experiences in this arena. These could include archaeologists depositing new excavation archives or researchers attempting to provide access to existing archives to a wider professional and lay audience. Curators of museum deposits of archaeological excavation archives may also inform the debate based on their experience of providing access to the content of archives in their care. This would also apply to archivists who have similar historic excavation archive material in their care.

S22: The Ethics of Open Data

Leigh Anne Lieberman, Open Context / Princeton University

Melissa Cradic, Open Context

Sarah W. Kansa, Open Context

Standard session

Abstract: Archaeology faces immediate challenges in the ethical management of information, even as initiatives across the globe demonstrate that the potential and demand for open data have reached new heights. These include the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) and U.S. Federal Government’s 2023 Year of Open Science, UNESCO’s Recommendation on Open Science (2021), the European Union’s recent policy publications and investments in open science for digital futures, and interdisciplinary pushes to advance the FAIR Guiding Principles for open scientific data management and stewardship (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse). Yet the need for ethical and equitable considerations of open data, in particular the adoption of the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance (Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, and Ethics)–a guiding set of values developed by an international steering committee of Indigenous scholars based in Australasia, North America, Central America, South America, and Africa (Carroll et al. 2019, 2020, 2021)–has emerged as a priority for those creating, publishing, and (re)using archaeological data sets. More broadly, ethical, open data publishing in many global contexts, such as those with legacies of colonialism and those with marginalized, diaspora, and/or descendant communities, has also become an urgent concern among archaeologists practicing at all stages of data lifecycle–from data collection to processing, analysis, publication, and archiving–particularly as the “emancipatory narrative” of open data is called into question (Gupta et al. 2023: 77). Although the challenges of retrofitting legacy data, adapting existing or outdated technical infrastructures, and modifying already-published data so that they meet both FAIR and CARE criteria have proven to be a stumbling block for individual practitioners, data publishers, and community-curated data repositories (e.g., Open Context, tDAR, ADS, iSamples, Zooarchnet, Neotoma, and others) (Nicholson et al. 2023), the opportunities for shared governance create new pathways for equitable data futures and decolonization. These issues are particularly pertinent in regions such as New Zealand, where legal and ethical frameworks for CARE and Indigenous data sovereignty and governance are more mature than in other regions such as the United States and Europe.

Bridging FAIR and CARE principles requires reframing perspectives on data curation and management throughout the data lifecycle (see Kansa and Kansa 2022) in order to determine who has access and authority to control archaeological data; who benefits from these data and how; and how the capacity for data governance and sovereignty among rights-holding communities can be achieved (Gardner-Vandy and Scalice 2021; Gupta et al. 2023). FAIR is often viewed as data-centric, with an emphasis on data quality and reuse (Gupta et al. 2023), while the CARE framework, although necessarily dependent on data quality, explicitly emphasizes a purpose-driven, people-first, collaborative, and relationship-building philosophy (Carroll et al. 2021; Gardner-Vandy and Scalice 2021). Therefore, adherence to CARE may require retooling data infrastructures and research protocols; reallocating time and resources; partnering with stake- and rights-holding communities for shared data governance; securing or forfeiting access to sensitive data; engaging closely with Tribal Institutional Review Boards (IRBs); and incorporating detailed provenience information and Traditional Knowledge (TK) labels (Kimmel et al. 2023). It may also require that data practitioners be ready to adopt varied cultural ways of knowing, such as Two-Eyed Seeing, an integrative ontology that connects Indigenous and mainstream scientific frameworks (Bartlett, Marshall, and Marshall 2012; Reano 2020). Several concurrent initiatives run under the auspices of The Alexandria Archive Institute/Open Context in the US offer examples of collaboration across disciplines and heritage communities to build networks of practice that move FAIR and CARE integration forward; these include the NSF-supported FAIR Open Science Research Coordination Network Disciplinary Improvements for Past Global Change Research; the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) sponsored professional development program Networking Archaeological Data and Communities; and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) funded project Advancing FAIR+CARE Practices in Cultural Heritage

This session invites papers that grapple with the challenges and benefits of thinking “Across the Horizon” of FAIR and CARE, such as how data creators and users have approached ethics, equity, and decolonization in open data and restricted access data stewardship for researchers, stakeholders, and rightsholding communities. It aims to make the case that, through careful and thoughtful operationalization, these two sets of principles can successfully work in tandem for mutual benefit. This session welcomes submissions from archaeologists, cultural resource management (CRM) professionals, Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, museum specialists, heritage professionals, and data managers working on independent, collaborative, and interdisciplinary approaches to FAIR, CARE, and open data ethics in the digital archaeology ecosystem.


Barlett, C., M. Marshall, and A. Marshall 2012 Two-Eyed Seeing and Other Lessons Within a Co-Learning Journey of Bringing Together Indigenous and Mainstream Knowledges and Ways of Knowing. Journal of Environmental Studies 2: 331-340. DOI:

Carroll, S.R., D. Rodruigez-Lonebear, and A. Martinez 2019 Indigenous Data Governance: Strategies from United States Native Nations. Data Science Journal 18: 31, 1-15. DOI: 

Carroll, S.R., I. Garba, O.L. Figueroa-Rodríguez, J. Holbrook, R. Lovett, S. Materechera, M. Parsons, K. Raseroka, D. Rodriguez-Lonebear, R. Rowe, R. Sara, J.D. Walker, J. Anderson, and M. Hudson 2020 The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance. Data Science Journal 19(1): 43, 1-12. DOI:

Carroll, S.R., E. Herczog, M. Hudson, K. Russell, and S. Stall 2021 Operationalizing the FAIR and CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Futures.  Scientific Data 8: 108. DOI: 

Gardner-Vandy, K. and D. Scalice 2021 Relationships First and Always: A Guide to Collaborations with Indigenous Communities. An EDI Community Paper to the 2020 Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023—2032.

Gupta, N., Martindale, A., K. Supernant, and M. Elvidge 2023 The CARE Principles and the Reuse, Sharing and Curation of Indigenous Data in Canadian Archaeology. Advances in Archaeological Practice 11(1): 76-89. DOI: 10.1017/aap.2022.33

Kansa, E.C. and S.W. Kansa 2022 Promoting Data Quality and Reuse in Archaeology through Collaborative Identifier Practices. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119(43): e2109313118 DOI:

Kimmel, A.P., S.A. Katz, M. Lewis, and E. Wilk 2023 Working with Indigenous Site Monitors and Tribal IRBs: Practical Approaches to the Challenges of Collaborative Archaeology. Advances in Archaeological Practice 11(2): 224-231. DOI: 

Nicholson, C., S. Kansa, N. Gupta, and R. Fernandez 2023 Will It Ever Be FAIR? Making Archaeological Data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. Advances in Archaeological Practice 11(1): 63-75. DOI:

Reano, D. 2020 Indigenous Research Frameworks in the Multiple Contexts of Research, Teaching, Mentoring, and Leading. The Qualitative Report 25(11): 3902–3926. DOI: 10.46743/2160-3715/2020.4317

S23: Advances in Computational Archaeology

Lisa Fischer

Jeffrey Glover

Standard session

Do you have a computational archaeology topic or project to present outside of the scope of one of the existing sessions? Are you engaged in cutting-edge research on geophysics, data management, visualization techniques, semantic web, or another digital archaeology topic that you would like to share? This general session is open to standard papers and posters that may not be a perfect match for any of the current topical sessions. Papers accepted into this session for the final program will be grouped thematically, as practical, to create related blocks of papers.

For the ease of the review process, please select the most closely related topical session as your primary choice when uploading in the CMT submission system. Then you may mark “Advances in Computational Archaeology” as the secondary option if you feel that your paper may not be a strong fit for the primary one chosen.