Between the 19th and 24th March, John and Mary attended the Computer Applications in Archaeology annual conference, this year held in Tübingen in southern Germany. Laura also presented work she had completed with FLAME before moving to the British Museum last year.
The CAA meeting is a place where all aspects of digital archaeology are represented and is an exciting forum in which to discover and discuss approaches to the collection, analysis and representation of digital data. The organisation is made up from members from across the world and being able to tap into this pool expertise is a great resource.
Mary and John reported on their work using arrays, to represent both the temporal and spatial changes in the metal chemistry, evident within the FLAME dataset. Mary emphasised how it is the change and connectivity between states which is of greatest interest and discussed the challenges the team face in modelling these aspects effectively, in four or more dimensions. Following the presentation, useful questions and discussions arose, with lots of input and suggestions provided regarding possible representations of, and experience with, multi-dimensional data. Hearing from other researchers who had faced similar challenges with equally large datasets was a very rewarding experience and the FLAME team were able to make some very useful contacts at the meeting.
Tübingen is a beautiful medieval town with cobbled streets a castle. It is not far from the Swabian Jura, where a new World Heritage Site was inscribed in 2017. Mary was also lucky enough to be able to visit the caves of Hohler Fels and Geißenklösterle, with the excavators, and to visit the Blaubeuren museum, where much of the wonderful Upper Palaeolithic art from the caves is housed (c. 35000 years old).