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Together with Oliver Nakoinz I’ll team-teach a winter school on classification methods for archaeology in R next year. It’ll be in German, because there is a lack of German statistical tutorials for archaeologists and we’ll be creating an open and free tutorial in this class. Apply until end of the year to join us!

Oliver is quite a well known statistics crack in German archaeology and an innovative theoretical thinker. I’ve learned a lot from him and therefore was especially happy when he asked me to join him in teaching this winter school in Kiel. It’ll take place 9th-12th March 2020 at the archaeological institute of the university.

Now, what is our take here?

We believe that learning by teaching is the best approach to acquire a deep and lasting understanding of new knowledge. It is what I have experienced myself, as I had to refresh a lot of my statistical expertise when I started teaching at the University of Cologne. Even the methods I knew a lot about already, which I had applied extensively in my Master’s thesis, I understood way better afterwards. This is the main reason why we aim to create tutorials in this winter school. When we decided on the language (English or German) to develop these tutorials in, I mentioned a sad fact: There is only one,  and I want to stress this for all native English speakers, *one* introductory text for statistical methods in archaeology in German. And. It. Is. Older. Than. Me. By. Nine. Years. And it was written by a statistician, which means everything is correct and it is a good book, but it is not exactly easy to understand. Check it out, if you want: .

So. Sorry, not sorry, native English speakers, but we poor German speakers need these tutorials far more than you. And I’m happy to provide anyone asking with a list of well done English books on this topic…

We will create German tutorials that can be used by anyone in the future for learning by themselves or for teaching their students. The exact topics aren’t decided yet, because we want our participants to tell us which methods they want to focus on. Classification is a large field and we won’t be able to cover all methods anyway, so after the input of our participants we will choose four of them.

Everything will be on gitlab (https://gitlab.com/oliver.nakoinz/klassifikator), which we will be teaching how to use. As we will be using R as programming language, a bit of knowledge in R is required. Oliver and I will provide the theoretical input and have materials on the methods available, which can be used to create the tutorial, so no worries, you don’t need to know everything beforehand.

I am really looking forward to this winter school. I’ll be learning a lot as well and really hope for a great output that is going to be useful to a lot of people!

There are no fees, we just ask you to write a motivational letter and name the two methods you would most like to feature in the winter school. Application deadline is the 31st December and we will give you the notice of acceptance until 15th January. Some more information can be found here (in German).

Please join us for a great week of learning, teaching and creating useful materials and apply via e-mail to mod@gshdl.uni-kiel.de!

Bibliography

Ihm, Peter. 1978. Statistik in Der Archäologie. Archaeo-Physica 9. Köln: Rheinland-Verlag.

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About the author

My name is Sophie, I am a prehistoric archaeologist and have been research associate at the University of Bonn and the Cologne Digital Archaeology Lab (CoDArchLab) of the Archaeological Institute at the University of Cologne, Germany. I teach statistics for archaeologists, work on new methods in settlement archaeology (GIS, geostatistics in R and stuff) and am interested in archaeogaming.

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