Study of long standing human behavior and the evolution of it using computer based analytical methods us referred to as Computational Archaeology. Computational Archaeology is also known as archaeological informatics or archaeoinformatics.
It is only by becoming aware of the particular snags and possibilities inherent in the archaeological information and research process that an archaeologist may hope to be able to reach the full potential of quantitative methods and computer technology. Archaeological Informatics or Computational Archaeology is an up and coming field of study that endeavors to unearth, quantitatively reflect and explore particular characteristics and trends of archaeological data. A basic research on data and methods for an independent archaeological approach to information processing leads to the development of quantitative methods and computer software that focuses on comprehending and solving problems in the archaeological context.
Computational Archaeology is designed to augment and support all the fields that are related to scientific archaeological studies. A great chunk of the theories and methods that were developed in quantitative archaeology since the 1960s have been incorporated in computational archaeology, but stretches furthermore in an effort to quantify archaeology. Efforts have been made to put across common archaeological data and problem structures as computer algorithms & data structures. This essentially means exposing archaeological studies and research work to a number of computer based data processing methods that are suitable for solving problems of a high level of complexity. This encourages a systematic learning of the said field’s research objects and formulates linkages between archaeology and numerous other quantitative disciplines in terms of methods employed and software technology harnessed. The objective of the field may be logically split into two major research themes that balance one another.
- A basic study of the format, characteristics, and potential of the archaeological information, analyses, and knowledge building.
- Evolving computer algorithms and software that make this information and knowledge available to the public.
There is an impressive amount of literary work available on the application of quantitative methods and computer-based investigations pertaining to the field of archaeology. Following is a list of research topics to which computational archaeology has been a big contributor.
- Advanced statistics in archaeology, spatial and temporal archaeological data analysis
- Archaeological software development, electronic data sharing and publishing
- Scale-related phenomena and scale transgressions
- Archaeological predictive modeling and heritage management applications
- Landscape analysis (territorial modeling, visibility analysis)
- Optimal survey and sampling strategies
- Process-based modeling and simulation models
- Intra-site analysis (representations of stratigraphy, 3D analysis, artefact distributions)
- Supervised and unsupervised classification and typology, artificial intelligence applications
- Bayesian analysis and advanced probability models, fuzziness and uncertainty in archaeological data
- Digital excavations and virtual reality
Computational Archaeology has an inter-disciplinary nature that borrows, adjusts and boosts methods and theory from a wide array of other disciplines.