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Session 2: Integrating Sciences in Historical and Archaeological Research

The application of technological, digital, and scientific methods has become an indispensable part of archaeological and historical research; such that most modern studies rely on these methods to at least some degree. The session provides a forum for novel applications of new technologies in historical studies from a practical and a theoretical perspective. The practical engages with advances in relevant technologies, including computational analysis, 3D-scanning, archaeometric studies, and new scientific methods in mortuary archaeology, and requires a constant re-evaluation of the ways these can be integrated into socio-historical research. Are there untapped or under-utilized forms of data which provide historical arguments? Do information sciences provide a better way of presenting and interpreting the data we have? The theoretical perspective deals with long-lasting epistemological questions. While the sciences have usually been seen to establish quantitative and objective facts, the goal of historical and social research has traditionally been to uncover the complex subjectivities, agencies, and meanings underlying historical processes. Conversely, historical and archaeological studies face the constant problem of matching the fuzzy data derived from the sources with the precise quantity of data provided by scientific research. To what degree are these two aims compatible as forms of historical argument? Are there inherent limits to these approaches?