March 27-28, 2019
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
University of Cambridge
Thanks to all the speakers and attendees for making this a great conference!!
Conference_Photo.jpg
#BigDataArchaeology

The Conference

Two days of talks examining the potential and practical challenges of big data approaches in archaeology 
March 27-28, 2019
09:00 am - 5:30 pm

This conference will bring together leaders in the fields of archaeological data science to critically evaluate the concepts and methods associated with "big data” and data-intensive research approaches. The goal of this conference is to provide a forum for discussion about the growing complexity of archaeological data as well as to provide participants with the scaffolding to explore their own application of data science methods. Through a self-critical examination of emerging forms of digital and analog data, this conference aims to recognise how social sciences fit, and may even contribute, to a rapidly emerging data-intensive research landscape. The conference will be organised around four themes of understanding big data, accessing big data, analysing big data and interpreting big data.  Broadly, we envision three outcomes for this conference:

1) Demystifying “big data” and a data science approach in the social sciences;

2) Educate participants about emerging tools to access and analyse cultural data;

3) Critically examine how big data can help expand our understanding of the human past and how archaeology and anthropology can contribute to this growing field.

 
 

Schedule

Day 1
8:30 - 9:00 Registration 
9:00 - 9:20 Welcoming and Introduction - Erik Gjesfjeld
9:20 - 10:00 Jeremy Huggett, University of Glasgow
Datafication, Dataism, Data-centrism: Examining Big Data in Archaeology
10:00 - 10:40 Holly Wright, University of York
Economies of Scale: collaboration, big infrastructures and archaeological data
10:40 - 11:10 Morning Coffee Break
11:10 - 11:50 Kate Fernie, 2Culture Associates and CARARE
Connecting European Archaeology Datasets: Prospects and Challenges
11:50 - 12:30 Matt Peeples, Arizona State University
Large-scale data integration and archaeological synthesis: Ten years of collaborative work in the US Southwest
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch (Included for all conference registrants - Aromi Catering)
14:00 - 14:40 Anne Alexander, University of Cambridge
The ethics of data-intensive research: an interdisciplinary perspective
14:40 - 15:20 Gabriele Gattiglia, University of Pisa
From datafication to Big Data: A possible approach for Data-driven Archaeology
15:20 - 16:00 Eric Kansa, Open Context (Presented by Erik Gjesfjeld)
Sizing up data in archaeology
16:00 - 16:30 Afternoon Coffee Break
16:30 - 17:30 Discussion - What are the practical challenges facing "big data" approaches in archeology?  
16:30 - 17:00 Breakout discussion groups
17:00 - 17:30 Full group discussion
17:30 - 18:30 - Wine reception (for all conference registrants)
19:00 - 21:00 - Speaker dinner at Magdalene College
Day 2
9:00 - 9:20 Summary of Day 1 and Goals for Day 2 - Erik Gjesfjeld
9:20 - 10:00 Ben Marwick, University of Washington
Big Data and Tool-driven Revolutions in Archaeological Science
10:00 - 10:40 Andreas Vlachidis, University College London
Reflections on excavating archaeological grey literature: and on the challenges in
information extraction
10:40 - 11:10 Morning Coffee Break
11:10 - 11:50 Chiara Bonacchi, University of Stirling & Marta Krzyzanska, University of Cambridge
Heritage research, bigger data and data-intensive methods
11:50 - 12:30 Daniel Pett, Fitzwilliam Museum
Do Museums have big data? Are they jumping on a trend?
 
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch (Included for all conference registrants - Aromi Catering)
14:00 - 14:40 Anwen Cooper, University of Manchester & Chris Green, University of Oxford
Thinking big with characterful data: the English Landscape and Identities Project
14:40 - 15:20 Hector Orengo, University of Cambridge
Applications of machine and deep learning for the identification and analysis of archaeological sites at a continental scale using 40 years of multi-source satellite data.
15:20 - 16:00 Andrew Bevan, University College London
Contemporary balancing acts between data, theory and method in archaeology 
16:00 - 16:30 Afternoon Coffee Break
16:30 - 17:00 Discussion - What are the possibilities for a "big" data-driven archaeology?
Conference Ends

Conference abstracts 

Conference abstracts are available here
 

Accomodation

Cambridge has a wide range of accommodation from hotels, B&Bs, guest houses and self-catering. There are no arrangements with specific hotels (i.e. a "conference hotel") so participants are encouraged to find accommodation that best suits their needs.  

As the conference is out of term time, affordable rooms can be found in some of the colleges. See the Visit Cambridge website for additional details:

https://www.visitcambridge.org/accommodation/college-rooms. 

 

Speaker Accomodation

Westminster College

Madingley Road

Cambridge CB3 0AA

Tel: 01223 330650

Email: events@westminster.cam.ac.uk

Westminster College’s newly refurbished accommodation offers bright and airy en-suite bedrooms, within the historic setting of a Cambridge College. Located in the heart of the city, Westminster College can offer bed and breakfast facilities to the public all year round, making it the perfect location for a leisure break or a residential retreat for business trips.

The College is easily accessible from major road networks. The City Centre and its main attractions are within a 3 minute walk from the College. The train station is a 40 minute walk or a 10 minute taxi ride.  

The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research is a 20 minute walk down Magdalene Street / Bridge Street, continuing down Sidney Street and turning right onto Pembroke Street just past the Grand Arcade. The McDonald Institute is located in Courtyard Building on the Downing Site. 

The conference dinner (for speakers only) will be held at Magdalene College, which is approximately a 3 minute walk from Westminster College down Magdalene Street.  

 

Getting Here

Cambridge is located approximately 60 miles from the heart of London. It is well serviced by both trains, buses and motorways. Details of arriving in Cambridge from specific locations are provided below.

 

In Cambridge

Walking, buses and taxis are the easiest way to travel to the city centre from the train station. For those that feel like a nice stroll, the train station is a 25 minute walk to the McDonald Institute. You can also take many of the buses that leave from the train station towards the city center. These include the Whippett Pedigree (£2.20 single / £3 return getting off at Downing College or Emmanuel Street); the Whippett Universal (£2.20 single / £3 return getting off at Pembroke Street), or the Stagecoach 1, 2, 3, or 7 (£2.40 single getting off at Emmanuel Street). Taxis are also available from the taxi rink outside the train station with a trip to the McDonald costing around £8. 

Getting to Cambridge

From London Heathrow (LHR)

Coach Bus: A direct route from London Heathrow to Cambridge city centre is provided by National Express. The journey takes between 2.5 to 3 hours with buses leaving approximately every 2 hours from the Heathrow bus terminal. The preferred stop in Cambridge would be the city centre (Parker's Piece), which is a 20 minute walk from Westminster College and a 6 minute walk to the McDonald Institute.  

Train: The first leg of the journey will be traveling from London Heathrow to either King's Cross or Liverpool Street train stations. This journey can be made riding the tube (Piccadilly Line) from Heathrow directly to King's Cross or to Liverpool Street with a transfer to the Central Line at Holborn. A second option is taking the Heathrow Express to Paddington train station and taking the Hammersmith and City / Circle line to either King's Cross or Liverpool Street.  Once arriving at either of these stations, please follow the directions listed below.  

From London Gatwick (LGW): 

Coach Bus: A direct route from London Gatwick to Cambridge city centre is provided by National Express, it is the same bus that also services Heathrow. The journey takes approximately 4.5 to 5 hours with buses leaving approximately every 2 hours from the Gatwick terminal. The preferred stop in Cambridge would be the city centre (Parker's Piece), which is a 20 minute walk from Westminster College and a 6 minute walk to the McDonald Institute.  

Train: A direct train service from Gatwick to Cambridge is now available on weekdays between 7am and 11pm. This service runs approximately every hour with travel time around 2 hours. The service is operated by Thameslink and costs are around £35 pounds for purchase on the day of travel. 

From London Stansted (STN):

Coach Bus: A direct route from London Stansted to Cambridge is provided by National Express, it is the same bus that also services Gatwick and Heathrow. The journey takes approximately 50 minutes with buses leaving approximately every 2 hours from the Stansted bus station. The preferred stop in Cambridge would be the city centre (Parker's Piece), which is a 20 minute walk from Westminster College and a 6 minute walk to the McDonald Institute.  

Train: Direct trains are available from Stansted to Cambridge from either Cross Country or Greater Anglia. Travel time is approximately 35-50 minutes with tickets purchased on the day of travel costing between £8-£12 pounds for a single (one-way). All trains leave from the Stansted train station located beneath the main terminal. 

From King's Cross train station: Direct and non-stop train service to Cambridge is available at this station. Travel time to Cambridge is approximately 50 minutes (non-stop) to 65 minutes depending on the route. Tickets from King's Cross cost approximately £25 for a single on the day of travel and is serviced by Great Northern. 

From Liverpool Street train station: Direct train service is also available at this station. Travel time to Cambridge varies between 70 minutes and 85 minutes depending on the route. Tickets from Liverpool Street cost approximately £15 single on the day of travel (as cheap as £7 advance purchase) and is serviced by Greater Anglia.