Go your own least cost path. Spatial technology and archaeological interpretation

CALL FOR PAPERS: "Go your own least cost path. Spatial technology and archaeological interpretation"
Session at the Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA)
15th – 20th September 2009, Riva del Garda, Italy

Deadline: May 20, 2009

Proposals for papers (max. 1 page A4) should be sent by 20 May as PDF documents. Only MS Powerpoint or OpenOffice presentations can be accepted for the speeches. Letters of acceptance or rejection will be sent until 10 June.

Papers should be 20 minutes long, and presenters should be prepared for another 10 minutes of discussion and questions.
If possible and favoured by the participants we plan to publish selected papers after the conference. Please note that all presenters have to be registered and have fully paid for the EAA meeting by 30 June at the very latest.

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have gradually become an indispensible tool for archaeologists. A number of powerful software tools, some developed by archaeologists themselves, are now used for spatial research questions like settlement history, territorial analyses, land use development, landscape perception and many more. The main focus so far in various GIS sessions at archaeological conferences and in GIS based research and presentations in general has been on the methods and theories of GIS, on technical issues, and the development and use of new techniques and algorithms. Furthermore, many published GIS-applications do not move very far beyond the descriptive stage.

The aim of this session is to take a look at what results GIS delivers for archaeological interpretation and how the use of spatial technologies influences research design. We therefore encourage participants to present papers that focus on the role and perception of GIS in their research. Case studies are welcomed that show examples of GIS-based landscape or intra-site research. Questions that could be addressed are:
– What is the added value of GIS to archaeological interpretation, and what are the limitations?
– Can GIS be used successfully as a central research framework, that allows researchers to combine their data in one environment and achieve a better interaction and dialogue between disciplines?
– How do we find the right methods and tools to deal with our data?
– How do we deal with the debate between the scientistic and interpretative schools of archaeology?
– How do we deal with the GIS based interpretations within our own scientific environments (academic debate, our countries etc.)
– Do the GIS based interpretations change the embedded perceptions of the past?

Session organisers:

Alžběta Danielisová
Archaeological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Prague / Czech Republic

Axel G. Posluschny
Roman-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeological Institute
DFG-project “Princely Sites” & Environs
Frankfurt / Germany

Philip Verhagen
VU University,
Research institute for the heritage and history of the Cultural Landscape and Urban Environment (CLUE),
Amsterdam/ The Netherlands