Insights from reusing large prehistoric and interdisciplinary databases
Session organiser: Christian Sommer, Angela Bruch, Nicholas Conard, Christine Hertler, Miriam N. Haidle, Volker Hochschild, Zara Kanaeva, Andrew Kandel, and the ROCEEH Team
Recent trends in data science show ever-increasing amounts of digital data, the continued digitalization of legacy data, and an attitude towards fair-sharing. Together, these factors open up new potentials to study the biological and cultural evolution of early humans, including the environments in which they lived. The reuse of these various sources, however, remains challenging, because the data landscape appears fractured: Various providers maintain databases of different spatial and temporal scopes, levels of detail, and customized ontologies tailored to their specific research questions. Nevertheless, new computational approaches and interdisciplinary analyses merging information from archaeology, anthropology, paleoenvironment and geography have generated spectacular new insights in recent years.
This session addresses researchers who use one or multiple established databases to solve their own research questions related to the cultural, biological, environmental, and geographical expansions of early humans. We encourage contributors to submit case studies that feature a wide variety of research questions, their choice of analytical methods, and the results obtained. Furthermore, we provide room to discuss challenges and problems encountered in the handling of diverse and big datasets. These case studies will help researchers learn about the different solutions chosen by their colleagues; conversely, such case studies will also allow data providers to learn about the needs of their users. Furthermore, the discussion will help to identify current obstacles in the reuse of prehistoric big data.