The Computational Research on the Ancient near East (CRANE) Project: An Archaeological Data Integration, Simulation and Data Mining

Stephen Batiuk, Tim Harrison, Lynn Welton, Darren Joblonkay, Lemonia Ragia


Archaeology has emerged as one of the most dynamic and innovative disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, employing a truly interdisciplinary, collaborative approach and a continually expanding array of analytical research tools. Computer aided analysis of archaeological data is remarkably challenging given the heterogeneous nature of the material. Archaeologists generally aim to discover patterns, spatial relationships and other associations between different traits of the archaeological record. However, given the idiosyncratic and highly personal nature in which archaeological data is collected and analyzed, identifying these patterns and relationships offers many challenges. The Computational Research on the Ancient Near East (CRANE) initiative seeks to build an international multidisciplinary research collaboration, comprised of archaeologists, computer scientists, and paleo-environmental specialists, with the capacity to leverage a burgeoning corpus of data from a number of archaeological sites and fundamentally transform our knowledge of the civilizations of the ancient Middle East. The CRANE initiative is developing a sustainable, scalable, user-driven vehicle for large-scale data management and cross-project data integration, to harness the full evidentiary range produced by this uniquely rich cultural legacy. At the same time we are developing tools for data mining techniques, and to analyze simulate ancient societies using agent-based models of behavior.


  1. Abiteboul, S., Buneman, P., and Suciu, D., 2000. Data on the Web: from relations to semistructured data and XML. Morgan Kaufmann.
  2. Agrawal, R., Imielinski, T., and Swami, A., 1993, June. Mining association rules between sets of items in large databases. In Acm sigmod record, Vol. 22, No. 2, 207- 216. ACM.
  3. Akkermans, P.M.M.G. and Schwartz, G.M., 2003. The Archaeology of Syria: From Complex HunterGatherers to Early Urban Societies (ca. 16,000-300 BC). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  4. ANR-PALEOSYR 2014
  5. Argus, D. F. and Peltier, W. R., 2010. Constraining models of postglacial rebound using space geodesy: a detailed assessment of model ICE-5G (VM2) and its relatives. Geophysical Journal International 181 (2), 697-723.
  6. Arnold, J.G., Fohrer, N., 2005. SWAT2000: current capabilities and research opportunities in applied watershed modelling. Hydrological. Process. 19 (3), 563-572.
  7. ASOR 2014.
  8. Bentley, J., Schneider, T. J., 2000. Statistics and archaeology in Israel. Computational statistics & data analysis, 32(3), 465-483.
  9. Christiansen, J.H., 2005. A Practical Approach for Constructing Flexible and Robust Simulations for Complex, Heterogeneous Problem Domains. Paper presented at the Santa Fe Institute Workshop: Next Generation Simulations of Human-Environment Interactions, Tucson, AZ, December 12-15, 2005.
  10. Christiansen, J.H., Altaweel. M., 2006a. Understanding Ancient Societies: A New Approach Using AgentBased Holistic Modeling. Structure and Dynamics: eJournal of Anthroplogical and Related Sciences Vol. 1: No. 2, Article 7.
  11. Christiansen, J. H., Altaweel, M., 2006b. Simulation of natural and social process interactions: An example from Bronze Age Mesopotamia. Social Science Computer Review, 24(2), 209-226.
  12. CRANE 2016:
  13. Drennan, R. D., 2008. Statistics in archaeology. Pearsall, Deborah M. Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Elsevier Inc, 2093-2100.
  14. Dreyfus, H.L., 1992. What Computers Still Can't Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  15. Edens, C.M., Kohl, P.L., 1993. Trade and World Systems in Early Bronze Age Western Asia. In Trade and Exchange in Prehistoric Europe. Edited by C. Scarre and F. Healy. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 17-34.
  16. Han, J., Pei, J., and Kamber, M., 2011. Data mining: concepts and techniques. Elsevier.
  17. Jiao, J. R., Zhang, Y., and Helander, M., 2006. A Kansei mining system for affective design. Expert Systems with Applications, 30(4), 658-673.
  18. Kammash, M., 2008. Reverse Engineering: The Architecture of Biological Networks. Biotechniques 44 (3):323-29.
  19. Kansa, E.C., 2005. A Community Approach to Data Integration: Authorship and Building Meaningful Links across Diverse Archaeological Data Sets. Geosphere 1/2: 97-109.
  20. Kansa, E.C, 2010. Open Context in Context: Cyberinfrastructure and Distributed Approaches to Publish and Preserve Archaeological Data. The SAA Archaeological Record 10 (5): 12-16.
  21. Kansa, E.C, Schultz, J., and Bissell, A. N., 2005. Protecting Traditional Knowledge and Expanding Access to Scientific Data. International Journal of Cultural Property 12/3: 285-314.
  22. Kansa, S.W., Kansa, E.C., and Schultz, J.M., 2007. An Open Context for Near Eastern Archaeology. Near Eastern Archaeology 70/4: 188- 201.
  23. Kelly-Buccellati, M., Elster, S., 1973. Statistics in archaeology and its application to ancient Near Eastern data. Orientalia, 42, 195-211.
  24. Kimball, L. R., 1997. Statistics for Archaeologists: A Commonsense Approach. American Antiquity, 62(3), 568-570.
  25. Lambeck, K., Purcell, A., Zhao, J., and Svensson, N.-O. 2010. The Scandinavian Ice Sheet: from MIS 4 to the end of the Last Glacial Maximum. In Boreas, 39, 410- 435
  26. Ling, T. W., Dobbie, G., 2004. Semistructured database design (Vol. 1). Springer Science & Business Media.
  27. Marfoe, L. 1987. Cedar Forest to Silver Mountain: Social Change and the Development of Long-Distance Trade in Early Near Eastern Societies. In Centre and Periphery in the Ancient World, 25-35.
  28. Mazzoni, S., 2003. Ebla: Crafts and Power in an Emergent State of 3rd Millennium Syria. Journal of
  29. Mediterranean Archaeology 16: 173-91.
  30. Neitsch, S.L., Arnold, J.G., Kiniry, J.R., Srinivasan, R., Williams, J.R., 2002. Soil and Water Assessment Tool. Users Manual. Version 2005. GSWRL Report 02-02, BRC Report 2-06, Temple, Texas, USA
  31. Olson, D. L., Delen, D., 2008, Advanced data mining techniques. Springer Science & Business Media.
  32. Petrovic, V., Gidding, A., Wypych, T., Kuester, F., DeFanti, T., and Levy, T., 2011. Dealing with Archaeology's Data Avalanche. Computer, 44(7), 56- 60.
  33. Redman, C., 1978. The Rise of Civilization; From Early Farmers to Urban Society in the Ancient Near East. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Co.
  34. Richards, J. D., Ryan, N. S., 1985. Data processing in archaeology. CUP Archive.
  35. Schloen, J. D., 2001. Archaeological data models and web publication using XML. Computers and the Humanities, 35(2), 123-152.
  36. Schloen, J.D., Schloen S.R., 2012. OCHRE An Online Cultural and Historical Research Environment.
  37. Stein, G., Blackman M.J., 1993. The Organizational Context of Specialized Craft Production in Early Mesopotamian States. Research in Economic Anthropology 14: 29-59.
  38. Stöckle, C.O., Campbell G.S., Nelson R., 1999. ClimGen Manual. Biological Systems Engineering Department, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
  39. Tarasov, L., Dyke, A. S., Neal, R. M., and Peltier, W. R.,2012. A data-calibrated distribution of deglacial chronologies for the North American ice complex from glaciological modeling. In Earth and Planetary Science Letters., 315, 30-40.
  40. Taylor, K. E., Stouffer, R. J., and G. A. Meehl, G.A., 2011. An overview of CMIP5 and the experiment design, Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 93(4), 485-498.
  41. Wattenmaker, P., 1994. Political Fluctuations and Local Exchange Systems in the Ancient Near East: Evidence from the Early Bronze Age Settlements at Kurban Hoyuk. In Chiefdoms and Early States in the Near East; The Organizational Dynamics of Complexity. Ed. By G. Stein and M. S. Rothman. Madison: Prehistory Press, 193-208.
  42. Wattenmaker, P., 1998a. Craft production and social identity in northwest Mesopotamia. Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, 8(1), 47-55.
  43. Wattenmaker, P., 1998b. Household and State in Upper Mesopotamia: Specialized Economy and the Social Uses of Goods in an Early Complex Society. Washington: Smithsonian Institute Press.
  44. Wilkinson, T.J., 1994. The Structure and Dynamics of DryFarming States in Upper Mesopotamia.” Current
  45. Anthropology 35: 483-520.
  46. Wilkinson, T.J., Gibson, M., Christenson, J., Widell, M., Woods, C., Kouchoukos, N., and Paulette, T., 2007. Modeling Settlement Systems in a Dynamic Environment: Case Studies from Mesopotamia. In The Model-Based Archaeology of Socionatural Systems. Ed. by T.A. Kohler and S.E. van der Leeuw. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 175-208.
  47. Yoffee, N., 2005. Myths of the Archaic State: Evolution of the Earliest Cities, States and Civilizations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  48. Zhu, Q., 2011. Data Mining Historical Manuscripts and Culture Artifacts. UC Riverside: Computer Science. Retrievefrom:
  49. Zweig, Z., 2006. Using Data Mining Techniques for Analyzing Pottery Databases (Doctoral dissertation, Department of Land of Israel Studies & Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University. Ramat-Gan, Israel 2006).

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Batiuk S., Harrison T., Welton L., Joblonkay D. and Ragia L. (2017). The Computational Research on the Ancient near East (CRANE) Project: An Archaeological Data Integration, Simulation and Data Mining . In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications and Management - Volume 1: GISTAM, ISBN 978-989-758-252-3, pages 153-160. DOI: 10.5220/0006213401530160

in Bibtex Style

author={Stephen Batiuk and Tim Harrison and Lynn Welton and Darren Joblonkay and Lemonia Ragia},
title={The Computational Research on the Ancient near East (CRANE) Project: An Archaeological Data Integration, Simulation and Data Mining},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications and Management - Volume 1: GISTAM,},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications and Management - Volume 1: GISTAM,
TI - The Computational Research on the Ancient near East (CRANE) Project: An Archaeological Data Integration, Simulation and Data Mining
SN - 978-989-758-252-3
AU - Batiuk S.
AU - Harrison T.
AU - Welton L.
AU - Joblonkay D.
AU - Ragia L.
PY - 2017
SP - 153
EP - 160
DO - 10.5220/0006213401530160