Conference Plug: CAA NL/DE Joint Chapter meeting 2012

Just a quick note to plug a conference I am helping to organise here in Groningen:

New Developments in Archaeological Data Management

CAA Netherlands – Germany Joint Chapter Meeting 2012

Institute of Archaeology, University of Groningen (Netherlands), 30 November and 1 December.

We will also be joined by our Flemish colleagues. The conference covers two themes, Managing Data Quality and Z – The Third Spatial Dimension. The language of the meeting will be English.

Managing Data Quality
An issue that plagues archaeologists of all kinds, but is rarely presented and discussed in a formal setting, is the management of (information about) data quality. How do we store and manipulate information about the spatial error associated with the mapped location of a site? How do we deal with ‘legacy’ data that is based on antiquated typologies and/or is poorly described by metadata? How do we use the confidence limits associated with the acquisition of field measurements? Can we effectively describe degrees of uncertainty in, for example, assignment of a sherd to a typology, or a site to a period?
A very wide range of issues can be discussed under this methodological theme, including database design, data capture methods, and data analysis methods. We are particularly interested in case studies that demonstrate how specific data quality issues were addressed.

Z – the third spatial dimension
After 20 years of ‘2.5D’ GIS work in Archaeology, we are seeing in recent years the first signs that researchers are moving on to true 3D (volumetric) spatial representation and analysis – previously the preserve of oil geologists. To foster this development, we invite papers that focus on the collection, management and analysis of 3D spatial data from intra-site to landscape-scale contexts. The data sets for this type of analysis might derive from coring, geophysics, excavation, seismics, etc. Pure visualisation studies, such as those based on laser scanning, CAD or VRML models of ancient structures, will be excluded from this session because they already receive enough attention elsewhere.

More information about the venue, submitting an abstract and so on can be found on the conference website here. We will close abstract submissions at the end of September, and are particularly looking for speakers for the second theme.

Groningen is a great city to come and visit, and we’ll be talking about some amazing digital archaeology. I’m also running the twitter account for the conference, so address any questions you might have to @caanl2012 , and make sure to use the #caanl2012 tag for any questions or discussions,

See you there?

Lazio, Finland and an evil cold…

Hello world.

My good mood, that I last blogged about? It stayed! I’m just writing a quick little update now, as I’ve been off on adventures and have spent longer than I meant to uploading the resulting pictures to flickr.

Lazio was seriously warm, seriously hard work, but also really good fun. It was a very productive little bit of fieldwork that gave us some fantastic starting points for much bigger things next year. I am so pleased about the whole thing. The team I worked with couldn’t have been better: a lot of fun, no bad tempers and everyone willing to work really hard to get things not only done, but done to a high standard. We had an excellent graduate from the MSc Archaeological Geophysics programme at Bradford. I would work with him again in a heartbeat, and if all of Chris‘ students match that standard, then I’d be happy to have them along any time I can!

Early morning, Astura

It was also very beautiful, when it wanted to be. It was good, it felt like coming full-circle, as six years ago I worked for Southampton University and the BSR near Roma, and spent (mis-spent?) some weekends in Nettuno! That was my first ever ‘real’ geophysics job, it was when I found out I had the PhD place… it was also about when I started blogging and using flickr more intensively, as I was away for 2 months, and wanted to stay in touch- no facebook then! At least, not unless you were at a US University. It staggers me how much has changed, in my life, and in the world since then.

I was home in Groningen for exactly 50 hours, then I went to Finland! I went to go to EAA 2012, (a big conference for archaeologists working in Europe). The people I spoke to, the papers I saw and the complex feelings I had about my career and chosen specialism are worth 3 or 4 posts on their own, that I’ll try to get to during this week and next. I met some wonderful people that I knew on twitter, but hadn’t ever managed to meet in person, ate reindeer, drank perry and went on a very good excursion to loads of different archaeological sites. I sent postcards with Moomin stamps, and fell in love with amazing stone artefacts (a bear-mace and a moose-mace) in the museum. Many silly pictures were taken.

Raseborg Castle, Finland

I did take some not-silly ones too- I’m rather pleased with this one, but I wish it was from the other side where you can clearly see the huge chunk of bedrock the castle is built on! I’m feeling positive and inspired by the whole thing, even if at times it was a bit overwhelming and I had my usual ‘please ground, open up and swallow me’ moment after asking some questions in some sessions. Apparently I was very enthusiastic. I’m just going to keep hoping this remains A Good Thing ™ ’cause I am not sure I know how to be anything else. The one session I did manage to be quiet in, John Bintliff wandered up at the end and told me it wasn’t like me to be so quiet! Well!

I got home late Monday night, organised to take the Tuesday off as I knew I was burned out, then promptly succumbed to what will forever be known as ‘the cold from hell’. Those of you arriving here from my twitter posts will already know waaay too much about it as I have been vocal in my whining! I’m just about well enough for work tomorrow, which is good as there is a lot to do before my parents arrive on Friday and I take a week off to spend with them and (later) Matt! Our next fieldwork is exactly a month away, and I’ll be gone a whole month, then straight to the UK for a few days…. thankfully after that it’s just a CAA chapter meeting we are hosting and then nothing too mad until the spring! So, with all that in mind, I am going to sign off for now….. ‘night all x

froglet 🙂