The staggering complexity of past societies is well recognised in archaeology. Human groups often built intricate social systems, which consist of numerous individual elements interacting with each other and with the environment and producing phenomena that are not easy to anticipate or understand using non-quantitative methods. The standard scientific answer to the challenges of investigating such systems is the large family of simulation techniques and the theoretical paradigm known as Complexity Science. In the last few years these approaches (agent-based and equation-based modelling, systems dynamics, cellular automata, network analysis etc.), have become increasingly popular among the practitioners of archaeological computing, suggesting that the time is right to bring this growing community together.
Therefore, the aim of the new Special Interest Group in Complex Systems Simulation is to provide a strong communication platform for present and future researchers working in the complex systems simulation domain. In particular, we will strive to:
- provide continuity to the sessions and workshops concerned with computational modelling at the annual CAA conference and beyond,
- organise, coordinate and inform the members of other events related to complexity science and simulation,
- organise events aimed at training future complex systems modellers and the general archaeological audience,
- define and promote good practices in archaeological computational modelling,
- and, in the long term, we hope to bring simulation and other complexity science methods into mainstream archaeological practice.
To join the SIG simply sign up to the mailing list and join us at the sessions and workshops dedicated to simulation and complexity science at CAA 2016 in Oslo!
— posted on behalf of SIG leaders Florencia del Castillo, Iza Romanowska and Juan Antonio Barceló