Oliver Nakoinz, Models and Modelling in Archaeology

Being a discipline in-between natural science and humanities, archaeology has conflicting attitudes towards models. On the one hand the term model is currently very fashionable, while on the other hand there is a certain ignorance and even rejection of models in archaeology. This is caused by limited knowledge on models, the polarization of assumed paradigms, and different developments in different sub-communities in archaeology. Models in archaeology range from conceptual social models over typo-chronological models, regression models, network models and 3d models to simulations. One single definition of models seemingly does not work in archaeology, whereas a structured set of different terms based on an overarching definition of models would make sense. Since most models in archaeology are derived from other disciplines, the field would benefit from a trans-disciplinary modelling framework to enable efficient knowledge transfer. In order to establish a fruitful application of diverse modelling frameworks in archaeology, the establishment of disciplinary modelling communities together with a trans-disciplinary modelling community, as well as a proper education in modelling concepts and techniques, is required.

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