Project News
March 2005 Mark Altaweel of MASS presented a paper on the “Virtual Ancient Mesopotamia” project at the CAA (Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology) 2005 Meeting in Tomar, Portugal, March 21-24, that was selected as the “Best Paper” of the conference.
May 2005 John Christiansen of MASS participated in and presented a paper at a workshop entitled “Anthropogenic Landscapes: The Cycles of Social and Environmental Complexity in Lowland Latin America,” in Florianópolis, Brazil, May 24-28. The workshop was sponsored by the Santa Fe Institute, the School of American Research, and the Museu de Arqueológia e Etnológia, Universidade de Saõ Paulo, Brazil.
November 2005 Mark Altaweel of MASS participated in and presented a paper at a workshop entitiled “Digital Archaeology: A New Paradigm for Visualizing the Past Through Computing and Information Technology,” sponsored by the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum,
in Mussoorie, India, November 9-13.
December 2005 John Christiansen of MASS participated in and made a presentation at a workshop entitled “Next Generation Simulations of Human-Environmental Interactions,” sponsored by the Santa Fe Institute, Tucson, AZ, December 12-14.
January 2006 A large MASS contingent participated in the British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology (BANEA) Annual Conference, in Edinburgh, Scotland, January 5-7. MASS members participated in and made several presentations at the conference workshop, “Environments of Complexity”: Toward the Reconstruction of Models of Near Eastern Settlement, Economy, Society and Environment.”
February 2006 MASS researchers, in two separate teams, submitted project proposals that make extensive use of the products of MASS project research, for the National Science Foundation’s Human and Social Dynamics 2006 competition:
  • “Situating Language in Dynamic Societal and Environmental Models: How Language Change Influences and is Influenced by Changes in Social Dynamics and the Environment” (in collaboration with linguists, archaeologists, and anthropologists at the University of Chicago)
  • “Agents of Change in Dynamic Human Ecologies: Integrting Natural and Cultural Systems During the Holocene in Tutuila Island, American Samoa” (in collaboration with anthropologists, archaeologists, and computer scientists at North Dakota State University.
Upcoming Events
April 2006 Mark Altaweel of MASS will chair a modeling and simulation in archaeology session at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Annual Conference, Fargo, ND, April 18-23. This yearly conference, the largest in the world that specifically deals with computational methods in archaeology, is being held in the U.S for the first time this year.

MASS papers to appear in publication in 2006-7 include the following:

  • Altaweel, M. (forthcoming) The fertility of Assur’s lands: A study of agricultural productivity using computer simulation. Isimu VI.
  • Christiansen, J.H. and M. Altaweel 2006, Simulation of natural and social process interactions: An example from Bronze Age Mesopotamia. Social Science Computer Review 24(2):1-17.
  • Christiansen, J.H. and M. Altaweel (forthcoming) Understanding ancient societies: A new approach using agent-based holistic modeling. Structure and Dynamics: eJournal of Anthropological and Related Sciences.
  • Wilkinson, T.J., J.H. Christiansen, J. Ur, M. Widell, M. Altaweel (forthcoming) Urbanization Within a Dynamic Environment: Modeling Bronze Age Communities in Upper Mesopotamia. American Anthropologist.
  • Wilkinson, T.J. et al. (forthcoming) Modeling Settlement Systems in a Dynamic Environment: Case Studies from Mesopotamia, in Modeling Socioecological Systems, T. Kohler and S. van der Leeuw eds., School of American Research Press.
  • Christiansen, J.H. and Altaweel, M. (2007) Agent-based holistic simulation of Bronze Age Mesopotamian settlement systems, Proceedings of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Conference 2005.


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