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Connected Past

Artefactual Intelligence

Date29-30 September 2021
Time29 September 09:00 - 30 September 17:30

The Aula, Aarhus University, Nordre Ringgade 4, building 1412, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark


Computational models used by archaeologists are becoming increasingly complex. We create and tackle ever larger datasets, include more parameters and make machines learn by themselves. Recent approaches to network theory in archaeology, and the historical sciences more generally, have embraced agents, agency and practice theory. But where does this leave objects? Since the earliest days of the discipline, objects have been at the core of the archaeologist’s enquiry. However, until recently, objects were left heavily undertheorised. With the advance of object-related theories, such as ANT or the New Materialism approaches, agency is extended not just to humans but to the objects and materials they handle as well. Does this mean that digital archaeologists and historians are to move from Artificial Intelligence to Artifactual Intelligence? And if so, how?

Being a community of scholars interested in recent theoretical and methodological innovations in archaeology and the historical sciences, the Connected Past Conference provides a forum for presenting and discussing ongoing work on the intersection between archaeology,  history, digital approaches and theory. The conference will be preceded by a two-day practical workshop (limited capacity, open call for participants to follow soon).

This year’s conference focuses specifically on the topic of artefacts, human and material agency, artificial and artefactual intelligence and their place within archaeological and historical network studies. In addition, we also welcome presentations on any topic related to archaeological or historical network research and complexity science.

We invite abstracts for 20-minute presentations on these and related topics for consideration to the scientific committee. In addition, there will be a session on general topics related to network science in archaeology and the historical sciences. We equally welcome abstracts for 10-minute presentations on work-in-progress.