I’m freshly back from the 2017 SAA annual meeting in Vancouver, BC. It was a very good meeting for several reasons, but most exciting to me is the outcome of the ‘Lightning Round’ forum that I organized with my dear colleague Claudia Chang on the topic of “Modeling Agropastoralism in Eurasia.”
The lightning round format was excellent: a panel of excellent discussants each gave quick, 3 minute presentations, and then we followed that with an hour and a half of open round-table discussion. This discussion covered many topics, but it all revolved around ways to build a lasting dialog between computational archaeologists (aka., “modelers”), and domain specialist archaeologists (aka,. “field archaeologists”). The main outcome of this dialog was that we need to create a community where we can meet, discuss, share, and understand each other’s contributions, so that collaborations can grow.
The upshot of this is that we now have a name: The Community for Modeling Agro-Pastoral Lifeways in Eurasia. We also now have a website: www.cmaple.org. The website will be a community resource that will facilitate all the things we want to be doing. Check it out!