New project papers

This week, the proceedings of the LAC2014 conference have been published in Open Access at lac2014.proceedings.nl. It includes the papers of the session “Computational modeling in landscape archaeology: back to the drawing board?” organized and edited by Philip Verhagen, Marieka Brouwer Burg and Thomas G. Whitley. Two project-related papers can be found here: Simulating the Farm: Computational Modelling of Cattle and Sheep Herd Dynamics for the Analysis of Past Animal Husbandry Practices and Modelling the Dynamics of Demography in the Dutch Roman Limes Zone.

Last week, we also published a paper with Ivo Vossen in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, on dealing with the chronological difficulties in our archaeological database. It is available in Open Access: Now you see them, now you don’t: Defining and using a flexible chronology of sites for spatial analysis of Roman settlement in the Dutch river area.

Update December 2015

The project is now getting on its way to completion, and preliminary results will be made available over the next few months. Two more papers submitted to the LAC2014 conference proceedings on modelling animal husbandry and demography are scheduled to be published in April 2016. For now, we want to draw your attention to an overview lecture given by Philip Verhagen on Nov 10, and to the presentation given by Mark Groenhuijzen at the CAA-NL/FL conference on Oct 22 in Amsterdam on simulating local transport networks. We will also present the first results of the project for a Dutch audience at the Romeinensymposium on Dec 18 in Amsterdam.

The archaeological database is now completed. All in all, we have identified and checked more than 1500  Roman sites, of which some 1300 will be retained for site location analysis. We intend to publish a paper on the issue of database uncertainty in the course of 2016, and are looking into options of making the data publicly available after completion of the project.

Developing the archaeological database

A major task in the project is creating the archaeological site database of the study area. For this, we are collaborating with Dr. Matthias Lang at the eScience Centre of the University of Tübingen (Germany), who will provide us with the necessary database interface (ArchGate). The base information we are using is derived from various sources, and needs careful scrutiny in order to judge the quality of information. It is our aim to develop a database of Roman sites in the study area that is as complete and reliable as possible, while maintaining a full documentation of the original sources, like the site records found in the national archaeological database Archis and the relevant bibliography and data that is partly stored the national digital archaeological repository at DANS. Filling and checking the database is a priority for the project at the moment, and we expect to spend much of 2014 on it. Eventually, we aim to make the data publicly available.

We have presented a first paper on this issue at the CAA2014 conference (Paris, 22-25 April 2014).