ContaSed 2020

2nd International Conference on Contaminated Sediments

14 – 18 June 2020, University of Bern, Switzerland

Contased2020 images

Scope of the colloquium

Recent advances in remote sensing, climate modelling and other disciplines as well as the availability/processability of (openly shared) big data have triggered fundamental changes in research over the last decades and expanded the toolbox of archaeological methods. While traditional methods (i.e. typochronology, mapping sites) remain important and continue to be used to study material culture complexes over time and space, novel quantitative approaches based on spatial analysis, however, are rapidly gaining momentum. The archaeological community has recognized their importance to support and add value to archaeological data as their contextualisation and interpretation. The development of highly specialized plugins and packages in open-source frameworks like R, QGIS and SAGA GIS has enabled researchers to process archaeological data using a much wider range of statistical methods, significantly advancing our ability to understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of past human societies. Tools like unsupervised classification (i.e. clustering and principal component analysis) and machine learning (i.e. regression trees and neural network), which few years ago were only available to statisticians and computer scientists, are rapidly adopted by archaeological researchers.
This colloquium will provide a forum to present innovative ideas for applying quantitative approaches to better understand the dynamic of human-human and/or human-environment relationship. The aim is also to initiate a dialogue within the archaeological community on the interaction of different approaches to spatial modelling and classification techniques. This event addresses colleagues who would like to exchange their ideas for the use of these innovative tools and demonstrate their relevance for archaeological applications in research, heritage management practice, theory building and construction of narratives/models of (pre-)history.


The colloquium will consist of three main sessions dealing with the topics...

  • quantitative approaches in spatial and non-spatial archaeological case studies
  • data mining and new techniques of supervised and unsupervised pattern recognition in archaeological and environmental datasets
  • applications and approaches to socioecological modelling on different scales and temporal resolutions 

Confirmed speakers

Juan A. Barceló; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Michael Barton; Arizona State University
Mikhail Kanevski; University of Lausanne
Oliver Nakoinz; University of Kiel

R workshop

On the third day of the colloquium, 06.02.2019, participants will have the opportunity to join a R workshop where they will work on real archaeological data and learn the application of advanced machine learning techniques. Furthermore there will be a possibility to discuss own data within the workshop.

Call for papers and registration

Oral and poster presentations are welcome. Accepted oral presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. Posters should be submitted in A0 size. The colloquium language is English.

The registration fee includes workshop registration, materials, coffee breaks, and the conference dinner. 

  • The registration fee for presenting participants: 60 CHF 
  • The registration fee for non-presenting participants: 100 CHF
  • BA and MA students are exempt from the registration fee.

Young scholars are particularly encouraged to apply and participate. There will be a grant to support travel and accommodation expenses for young scientists, BA/MA/PhD students and early Postdocs, presenting a talk or poster at the colloquium.


Deadline for abstract submission: 11 November 2018
Deadline for registration: 1st January 2019


Partners and Sponsors

International Colloquium on Digital Archaeology in Bern
04. - 06. February 2019, University of Bern, Switzerland

Organizing Committee: Maria Elena Castiello, Julian Laabs and Martin Hinz

LINK (PDF Colloquium Flyer)