Sebastian and I joined the international community of nerds in archaeology at the conference for Computer Applications & Quantitative Methods in Archaeology in Tübingen, which we advertised here.
What happened in Tübingen?
The #caatue was a huge conference, with about 500 participants from all over the world. There were workshops to attend on Monday; Tuesday to Thursday loads of talks were organised in several parallel sessions and on Friday people could join the excursions to well known south German sites (ice age caves or neolithic pile dwellings).
I arrived on Monday (too late of course – “thank you for travelling with Deutsche Bahn”) to join the introductory workshop to Python held by Iza Romanowska, which was really quite enlightening. So far I’ve only been working in R and thought it might be good to see “the other side” of coding in archaeology. After some initial confusion I recognised the logic in the Python structure and liked it. Nonetheless I’ll stick with R for now as it’d take me too long to really get into Python.
Loads of talks
Tuesday till Thursday were filled with talks, talks, talks, giving my own talks (on Reproducibility in archaeology with the help of R and rrtools together with Ben Marwick and on Site definitions using features in a transect excavation), talks, talks, talks, meeting old friends, loads of chatting, some networking, some more talks, some nice dinners, more talks and more chatting. Quite exhausting, really, but also great fun.
It was also the first conference I’ve been to, which was twittered upon heavily. Quite fun, especially Sebastians meta-tweet!
Things to take home:
- fond memories of meeting old friends, chatting for hours and meeting new interesting people
- ideas for courses to come on data analysis and rewriting chronologies by playing 19th century archaeologist
- archaeologists are using Github!
- percolation analysis (thanks Simon Maddison!)
- there might be a special interest group on programming languages in the CAA one day
Next year it will be #caakrk : the conference will move to Krakow, which is closeby for me and I hope I’ll be able to join again.