Programs > List of roundtables & meeting


R1 What do you want from Digital Archaeology?

Jeremy Huggett, Gary Lock, Paul Reilly

R2 Linked Data Approaches to Numismatic Catalogues

David Wigg-Wolf, Andrew Meadows, Karsten Tolle

R3 Virtual Archaeology - the first 25 years

Hookk Daria, Sorin Hermon, Franco Niccolucci, Susan Hazan

R5 CAA Publication issues

Philip Verhagen


MEETING : parallel meeting are organised during the CAA by research group and associations


Julian D Richards


Lewis Lancaster


R1 What do you want from Digital Archaeology?

Jeremy Huggett, Gary Lock, Paul Reilly

In a time of financial crisis and disciplinary anxiety, when impact and value are demanded, subjects – and humanities subjects in particular – are searching for relevance. In a keynote at CAA 2012, Huggett argued that archaeological computing needed to seek grand challenges if it was to continue to transform the practice of archaeology and contribute to the development of theories and methods. The immediate challenge is for archaeological computing to confront the task of constructing and pursuing grand challenges in the first place, and this round table discussion is intended to be a first step in this direction.

What are these grand challenges? A range of different criteria can be defined but they have in common some general characteristics. They should focus on the needs and values of archaeology, but at the same time be of interest and relevance to other disciplines, organisations, and the general public. They should have transformative potential, creating something that is novel and innovative, pushing boundaries and going beyond what is currently possible. They should be international and interdisciplinary in scope, involving the whole community rather than just the academic sector. Although challenges should be capable of being implemented, at least insofar as they can be broken down into intermediate benefits and goals, success is not measured solely in terms of the final outcome but in relation to what is learned as a consequence of making the journey. And, at the risk of stating the obvious, they should be difficult to achieve and represent a considerable degree of effort.

Such criteria set grand challenges apart from what might be characterised as a ‘typical' research project. What may be adequate and sufficient for a research project will not necessarily constitute a grand challenge. For instance, archaeologists will frequently use concepts, techniques and technologies borrowed from another discipline, but such an approach would not be enough for a grand challenge unless it is significantly offset by meeting other criteria. A grand challenge may not need to meet all the defining criteria: the extent to which it does or does not remains a matter for debate. It does mean, however, that grand challenges cannot simply be ‘more of the same' – they need to go beyond relatively straightforward applications of existing software, beyond areas such as resource discovery and finding aids, beyond applying what may be relatively commonplace in other disciplines, etc. and generate genuinely novel approaches and methodologies that may also find application beyond archaeology. Most challengingly, they should represent a radical paradigm shift and hence unlikely to be met from evolutionary professional/commercial development.

In an environment increasingly characterised in terms of ‘big data', cloud processing, crowd sourcing, social media, intelligent computing, etc., this roundtable seeks to begin the debate about the future contributions of archaeological computing to the discipline and, in doing so, to identify the next big research challenges for the subject. How can the expertise represented at CAA be best harnessed in pursuit of these objectives?


R2 - Linked Data Approaches to Numismatic Catalogues

David Wigg-Wolf, Andrew Meadows, Karsten Tolle

Coins survive in vast numbers from many historical periods and cultures, providing important evidence for a wide variety of social, political and economic aspects of those cultures. But currently these data are only potentially available, as differing national traditions have yet to integrate their substantial datasets on the basis of shared vocabularies, syntax and structure.

Building on the experience with Linked Data of projects such as (, the European Coin Find Network (ECFN - and Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE -, the roundtable will provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of (meta)data standards and ontologies for data repositories containing information on coins, with a view to advancing the possibilities of data exchange and facilitating access to data across a range of repositories.

The roundtable follows on from the two joint meetings of and ECFN, which concentrated on ancient, primarily Roman coins, held in Frankfurt, Germany in May 2012; and Carnuntum, Austria in April 2013, which was attended by 28 participants from 10 European countries and the USA ( The roundtable is intended to encourage discussion among a wider community, beyond that of ancient numismatics, drawing together lessons from a broader range of projects, and embedding the results in the more general landscape of cultural heritage data management. Too often in the past numismatists have allowed themselves to operate in isolation from other related disciplines, including archaeology, a deficit that this roundtable also aims to address.

Although the core data required to identify and describe coins of almost all periods are relatively simple (e.g. issuer, mint, date, denomination, material, weight, size, description of obverse and reverse, etc.), and this can result in a significant degree of correlation between the structure of different repositories, linking disparate numismatics repositories presents a number of problems. Nevertheless, coins provide an ideal test bed for the implementation of concepts such as Linked Data and the creation of standardised thesauri, the lessons of which can be profitably applied to other, more complex fields.


R3 Virtual Archaeology - the first 25 years    

Hookk Daria, Sorin Hermon, Franco Niccolucci, Susan Hazan

Virtual reality in archaeology, or virtual archaeology, was “officially” introduced to the archaeological scientific community more than two decades ago, by the work of P. Reilly (1990). Since then, additional terms were added (e.g. virtual environments, cyber-archaeology) and application areas extended from reconstructions of buildings, simulation of construction / destruction of monuments and sites or virtual reconstruction of ancient landscapes. We find today “virtual archaeology” in many museum installations, online web pages and recently in the “apps” world. As an apparently natural course of development, virtual archaeology followed trends in technological developments, the archaeological scientific community seeing applications using haptic devices, cave systems and recently augmented reality environments. Measuring devices improved as well, nowadays including total stations, GPS, 3D scanners or image-based 3D documentation systems. As pointed out in many scientific papers, virtual archaeology is a term that has the potential to cover the entire archaeological research pipeline – from field data acquisition, archiving, analyzing and interpreting the results, to the final publication and dissemination. A digital model produced during an archaeological research becomes object of study and education that means digital heritage by itself. What is then the relation between the original and the digital surrogate?

 Virtual archaeology and its digital outcomes can be powerful tools for the archaeological investigation, but also as excellent communicators of the embedded (and sometimes not so visible) information cultural heritage assets posses, and, as such, are widely implemented in museum environments. However, even after almost 25 years of “virtual archaeology”, the term is still under scrutiny of definition within the archaeological scientific community (as recently expressed in the he First International Conference on Virtual Archaeology, organized by the Department of Eastern Europe and Siberian Archaeology of the State Hermitage Museum) as well as the museology (and virtual museums) community (see discussions in the Automation directions in Museums and Information Technologies – ADIT conferences in the Russian Federation, NODEM, Museums and the Web conferences, etc.).

 The aim of the session is to create a meeting point between scholars of Eastern and Western scientific traditions, experts in virtual archaeology and related fields, with experiences which sometimes developed in parallel paths but eventually converge, since sharing similar goals. Moreover, the session aims at bringing together scholars that expertise in all or specific steps of the scientific pipeline: data acquisition (recording), archiving, interpreting and publication, the ultimate scope being the definition of the term “virtual archaeology”, its research methodology, techniques and technologies to be adopted. We are inviting therefore scientist to present papers that will contribute to the goals described above, in particular (but not exclusively) topics such as data provenance, data reliability and transparency, virtual paradigms in archaeology or ontologies of virtual archaeology.



The sessions/rountable/workshops summaries are on the pdf file CAA2014 List of sessions

The whole list is as follows (03/09/2013)

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