Session: #445

Theme & Session Format

6. Material culture studies and societies
Session format:
Session with presentation of 6 slides in 6 minutes

Title & Content

Digital Methods and Typology: New Horizons
The recent increase in projects based on large-scale digitization of archaeological material has made urgent a conversation which reflects critically on issues connected to cataloguing and classification of often ample amount of collected data. On the other side, studies more reliant on traditional methods often neglect digital approaches to test basic clustering in their data. Moreover whereas archaeological classifications, especially typology, have a long history behind them, being at the foundation of the discipline itself, on the other hand digital approaches seem still to be in a tumultuous developing phase. In the archaeological practice a detrimental disconnect between the two approaches, could be problematic, one way or another: by either leading to a positivist enthusiasm towards the new, dismissing well-matured archaeological methodologies, or by setting aside the opportunities digital archaeology can provide.
These issues will be the focus of this session, by discussing projects, approaches, and theories that are situated at the confluence of traditional classification and digital methods, with a specific focus on the practical and directly work-related issues connected with the classificatory work, as for instance reflection on the role of traditional classifications in the development of machine learning for the recognition or analysis of patterns or forms, geometric morphometrics, big data studies of artifacts and other archaeological material.
We are looking forward to receiving presentations from all periods, including pre- and protohistory, classical antiquity, and historical archaeology (e.g. lithics, ceramics, metal, art, burials, architecture, etc.), regardless of their geographical origin. The aim of the session will be to bring together and discuss practical experiences as well theoretical perspectives, linking classification and digital methods in a critical and constructive way, weaving together new and old methods of recording, analyzing, and interpreting the archaeological record into a more mutual-profitable interaction.
Typology, Digital archaeology, Theory, Methodology, Material culture
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Main organiser:
Gianpiero Di Maida (Germany) 1
Christian Horn (Sweden) 2
Stefanie Schaefer-Di Maida (Germany) 3,4
1. Neanderthal Museum
2. Institutionen för Historiska Studier, Göteborgs Universitet
3. Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, CAU Kiel
4. CRC1266