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Connected Past

Artefactual Intelligence

Date29-30 September 2021
Time29 September 08:00 - 30 September 16:00

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.


Read the abstracts for the accepted presentations at The Connected Past conference website.

Confirmed Speakers

Keynote speaker

  • Prof. Juan A. Barceló (Universitat Àutonoma de Barcelona)


  • Eugenio Bortolini (University of Bologna), Enrico Crema (University of Cambridge) and Mark Lake (University College London)
  • Chico Camargo (Exeter University)
  • Michele Coscia (IT University Copenhagen)
  • Fiona Coward (Bournemouth University)  
  • Katherine A. Crawford (Arizona State University), Matt Peeples (Arizona State University) and Tom Brughmans (Aarhus University)
  • Sarah Dalle (Ghent University, Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
  • Aline Deicke (Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz)
  • Louise Felding (Aarhus University)
  • Mariachiara Franceschini (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) 
  • Tomáš Glomb (University of Bergen)
  • Petra Hermankova and Vojtech Kase (Aarhus University)
  • Sara Ann Knutson (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Rachael Lane (The University of Sydney)
  • Rodrigo Loyola (Université Paris Ouest, Universidad Católica Del Norte)
  • Molly Masterson (University of Oxford)
  • Francesca Mazzilli (University of Bergen)
  • Camilla Mazzucato (Stanford University)
  • Hallie G. Meredith (Washington State University)
  • Henry Price (1), Paula Gheorghiade (2), Ray Rivers (1), Tim Evans (1) and Vaiva Vasiliauskaite (3) (1 Imperial College London; 2 University of Toronto; 3 EHT, Zurich)
  • Antonio Rivero Ostoic (Aarhus University) and Srebrenka Letina (Linköping University)
  • Eivind Heldaas Seland (University of Bergen)
  • Anthony Sinclair (University of Liverpool)
  • Adela Sobotkova, Petra Hermankova, Vojtech Kase and Antonio Rivero Ostoic (Aarhus University)
  • Marek Vlach and Balázs Komoróczy (Czech Academy of Sciences)
  • Adam Wiznura, Tom Britton, and Robin van Vliet (University of Groningen)

Travel and Accomodation

For more information on travel to Aarhus and accommodation, please see the Connected Past conference website.