The Connected Past 2023 will take place in Helsinki on September 12 - 15, hosted by the University of Helsinki and the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires. The new, extended deadline is on April 30th, 2023.

The Connected Past – Helsinki, 12-15 September 2023

Theme: Digital Methods for Studying Networks and Complexity in the Humanities

Organizing Committee:

Paula Gheorghiade (Team 3, Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires)

Lena Tambs (Team 1, Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires)

Jason Silverman (Team 2, Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires)

The last decade has seen an explosion in the application of digital methods in the humanities from LiDAR scanning of archaeological features, 3D models for visualizing artefacts, to network science applications for exploring interaction and mobility, and even textual data. Despite many cross-disciplinary successes, the reality remains that many of these new tools of analysis are borrowed from other disciplines - computer science, sociology, physics, and/or ecology – highlighting the need for building cross-disciplinary bridges. This is especially true for historians and archaeologists working diachronically across large geographic areas and time periods, with incomplete and fragmentary data requiring thinking outside the box. This conference aims to do just that, with a focus on recent and current work conducted on the east Mediterranean and the ancient Near East.

By bringing together scholars from a wide range of fields and academic disciplines, our goal is to engage in friendly and informal dialogue on the application of digital methods for studying networks and complexity in past societies. In addition to the two days of talks, we also offer a series of hands-on workshops in the two days leading up to the conference, through which you can further develop your skills and broaden your digital horizons.

Although our focus is on the eastern Mediterranean and the ancient Near East, we welcome any contribution that discuss, address, and/or explore historical and archaeological networks from a wide range of digital perspectives. What new approaches or tools have you been using to explore your data and what collaborations (if any) did you find most fruitful in this goal?

Contributions can include, but are not limited to:

  • New digital methods or tools for studying historical, archaeological, or lexical datasets
  • Modelling - spatial, statistical, material datasets
  • Geospatial analysis, methods, and applications
  • Exploring trade routes, mobility, interaction, migration of people, things and ideas
  • Integration of spatial and material datasets
  • Diachronic, multi-scalar analyses using digital methods
  • Traditional SNA applied to historical datasets
  • Agent Based Modelling (ABM)
  • Digital materiality
  • Text mining and analysis
  • Novel visualization methods and analysis of datasets
  • Digital methods and community archaeology/heritage management in the Middle East
  • ANE imperial dynamics and social networks

Please submit your abstract (max. 300 words) to ConnectedPastHelsinki@gmail.com by 30 April 2023. Unsure if your paper topic would be a good fit? Send us an email, and we will be happy to clarify.

Connected Past 2023 will take place at the University of Helsinki from 12-15 September with workshops from 12-13 and talks from 14-15 September. Conference registration will open in May, with more detailed information on offered workshops. We endeavour to provide fair and accessible registration fees. Registration costs will range from 25-50 euros (concessionary, regular).